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Academic Integrity

What is it?

Academic integrity addresses the values that reflect honesty and rigour in academia. The overall aim from a teaching perspective is to support students through the process of how to find and use their own academic voice. In this way, academic integrity is an aspect of academic literacy. Many students enter university with little formal academic experience and need opportunities to be shown how to demonstrate their knowledge appropriately in an academic setting. Assisting students in mastering academic integrity includes the explicit teaching of referencing, paraphrasing, and how and when to quote a source.

Students who particularly require support are:

  • International students
  • First in family students
  • Students who enter university through alternative pathways

At Edith Cowan University, we encourage all courses to integrate the AIM: Academic Integrity Module into a first year core unit, to ensure that all students have a basic understanding of academic integrity and APA referencing (or AGLC citations for law students). Please contact the Centre for Learning and Teaching for more information ( Further support is available through the Library Services and the Learning Consultants.

To scaffold students’ learning the required academic skills for graduation:

  • Ensure task expectations are clear to students;
  • Provide examples of expected work (including correct referencing);
  • Provide a task rubric;
  • Consider providing first year students with specific sources to use;
  • Provide ongoing feedback to ensure errors are fixed before final work is submitted.

For students who knowingly plagiarise, collude, or use the work of others with or without their knowledge, penalties range from warnings to failing a unit, to being dismissed from the university, depending on the seriousness of the case. Individual Schools are responsible for matters of academic misconduct, so please talk with your Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning regarding any concerns. Please refer to the ECU Academic Misconduct Rules for further information.

To help minimise both unintentional and intentional plagiarism, it is recommended that unit coordinators:

  • Update assignments each year;
  • Avoid generic essay or report questions that can easily be re-purposed;
  • Use TurnItIn on all assignments.





Often staff are unsure about how much of a document can be copied under copyright law. This fact sheet deals with the limits of copying allowed under the Copyright Act and is intended to serve as a staff guide to copying for educational purposes. It has been adapted with permission from the University of Technology Sydney (2013) and they hold the copyright.


Ghostwriting is the presenting of another individual’s work or assignment as the student’s own. Ghostwriting exists when someone has made substantial contributions to writing and this role is not mentioned.

This factsheet examines how best to tackle ghost writing from the perspective of a lecturer or tutor. Ghostwriting occurs when someone makes a substantial contribution to a manuscript without attribution or disclosure. Staff should be alert for the possibility of ghostwriting and should consider it as a form of plagiarism.


These YouTube videos explain and give examples of plagiarism as well as explaining and giving examples of how to avoid plagiarism. The videos are suitable for both staff and students. (You may cut and paste the hyperlink into your Blackboard sites and/or Unit Plans).

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