Date reviewed: September 2018

Please note that this policy applies to all work submitted to West London College or Evolve Learning Group.

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1. Introduction

1.1 This is the Plagiarism Policy Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College, and sets out how we address any issues regarding the authenticity of work submitted by a student for assessment. We strive to be a fully inclusive organisation and achieve consistency of good practice across the College.

1.2 The College has an obligation to its students, employers and society in general to ensure that the qualifications its students receive are a fair and accurate representation of their work, and of the knowledge and skills attained. Plagiarism and other forms of cheating undermine the value of qualifications for all concerned because they undermine their credibility. If a student passes an assessment, or gets a qualification, by unfair means then this is unfair to those who have achieved the same qualification fairly. Please also refer to the Assessment Malpractice Policy.

1.3 If left unchecked plagiarism is a serious threat to the integrity of learning programs, and thereby a threat to the reputation of the college. In addition students who succeed in achieving their qualifications having knowingly submitting plagiarised work risk being poorly prepared for their careers.

1.4 This policy provides guidelines on how to deal with the issue. It is important all teaching staff and students in the college carefully read the policy together with the guidance and warnings set down by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ).

1.5 Plagiarism is the notion of a student taking someone else’s intellectual effort and presenting it as their own. The JCQ defines plagiarism as:” The failure to acknowledge sources properly and/or the submission of another person’s work as if it were the candidate’s own.” In other words, it is a form of cheating and if proven will be the person will be subjected to the College’s Student Disciplinary Procedure.

1.6 Plagiarism is the submission for assessment of material (written, visual or oral) originally produced by another person or persons, without acknowledgement, in such a way that the work could be assumed to be the student’s own. Plagiarism may involve the unattributed use of another person’s work, ideas, opinions, theory, facts, statistics, graphs, models, paintings, performance, computer code, drawings, quotations of another person’s actual spoken or written words, or paraphrases of another person’s spoken or written words

1.7 All staff carrying out internal or external assessed work must make students aware of the guidelines on plagiarism. This is part of the whole college student induction.

1.8 All tutors and teachers before the main examination and coursework period must make students aware of the college plagiarism and assessment malpractice policy.

2. Guidance on referencing for students where appropriate

All students must be aware of how to cite any work that is not their own using the Havard Referencing System. All resources used must be included in a bibliography. It is vital that all internet sites are also clearly shown. In particular

  • The sources of ideas and all resources used in a reference list/bibliography must always be cited
  • Verbatim, i.e. word for word, or near verbatim extracts from other resources, e.g. textbooks and the internet, must not be reproduced.
  • Quotations shorter than two lines (approx) or 20 words (approx) may be included in inverted commas in the normal run of text (source clearly shown in the Bibliography)
  • Longer quotations should be indented and could be shown in a different font
  • Quotations longer than 200 words should be avoided, as should their over-use
  • Appendices should be used for substantial elaborations, e.g. copies of questionnaires, documents, and newspaper reports
  • Any charts, graphs and tables should be put them in the main text, but they must be numbered and referenced
  • The Harvard system should always be used and references should always be consistent

3. Identifying plagiarism

3.1 If text, data, drawings, designs or artefacts are used without properly acknowledging who produced the material, then there is a risk of being accused of plagiarism. This can be avoided by making clear the sources of information used (e.g. books, articles, interviews, reports, ‘www’ reference, or government publications). All must be properly referenced (as described in the Induction Programme) not only in a reference list/bibliography but also by citations and quotations.

3.2 Teaching teams will routinely use online plagiarism software and personal interviews to help determine the authenticity of submitted work and will publicise this to students through course induction and handbooks to deter them from deliberately making plagiarised submissions.

3.3 Plagiarism covers both direct copying and copying or paraphrasing with only minor adjustments:

  • a direct quotation from a text must be indicated by the use of quotation marks and the source of the quote (title, author, page number and date of publication);
  • a paraphrased summary must be indicated by the attribution of the author, date and source of the material including page numbers for the section(s) which have been summarised. 

3.4 Students will be required to submit their work through the college’s ‘Turnitin’ software. This is a plagiarism detection service and will check any submitted work for its originality. This software automatically generates a receipt so there is certainty that the work has been submitted correctly and within the deadlines set by course tutors. This service uses extensive databases of material from a range of sources, including the work of other students, in order to detect when the material submitted by a student has been copied from another source. This system is very powerful and provides an aid to the judgement of College staff. However, the responsibility for judging whether plagiarism has taken place remains with teaching staff.

3.5 Double-counting: Students are also not permitted to re-present any assessment already submitted for one module as if for the first time assessment in another module. Double counting of assessed work is not normally allowed. If submitting work previously included in another assessment the student should attribute the section of text from the earlier work. This may be taken into account by the markers.

4. Action on Detecting Plagiarism

4.1 Any instance of proven plagiarism is regarded as serious misconduct under the College’s Student Disciplinary Procedure and the matter will be subject to that Procedure and reference will be made to the rules and regulations for coursework and examinations of the Awarding Body or Partner University.

4.2 Teaching staff that suspect any student’s work, which is not examination-based and is plagiarised should deal directly with the issue. If a student repeatedly offends the issue should be reported to the Curriculum Manager and Teacher. The Curriculum Manager will see the student and make them fully aware of the penalties imposed by the exam board and monitor the student’s work. If the plagiarism still continues the Awarding Body should be further informed.

4.3 The outcomes of Turnitin analysis is used as a guide for the appropriate stage of the Student Disciplinary Procedure. Individual tutors will investigate the plagiarism further and act as per the disciplinary procedures below:

  • Stage 1: If plagiarism is detected, the tutor will meet with the student to discuss the findings. If the plagiarism would have altered the result obtained by the student if it had been undetected then at the very least the student will be penalised within the marking process. If it is clear that the plagiarism was minor and did not constitute intentional cheating, then guidance and support should be provided to address any underlying issues. This might include revision of appropriate referencing practice. The student should also be informed clearly of the unacceptability of plagiarism and the need to abide by accepted practice.
  • Stage 2: Re-offending behaviour: formal hearing with the Programme Manager, which could result in a referral to the Awarding Body
  • Stage 3: Persistent reoffending; the case is referred to the awarding body plagiarism board

 

Students plagiarism procedure