Maintaining the values and traditions of the University is the responsibility of everyone, including students. During your studies, you must conduct yourself in a way that is consistent with the Student Charter or the Higher Degree by Research Candidate Charter.

Academic integrity is a way of describing the ethical principles that underpin academia and student life. These include the values of honesty, responsibility, transparency, respect and trust.

Academic integrity forms a central part of your intellectual and personal development. It teaches you how to uphold values, develop proper skills in research, thinking and writing, and how to conduct yourself in an ethical manner.

All of these are lifelong skills that will serve you well in your future life and career.

You must commit yourself to the tradition of academic integrity that underpins the pursuit of knowledge at the University.

All members of the University community, including students, have a responsibility to support and uphold the University's values and our academic reputation.

From a practical point of view, this means you have a duty to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity in your work and you must avoid cheating, plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct.

The values UQ students should aspire to are set out in the:

Academic misconduct is a disciplinary offence. It involves a range of unethical behaviours that are designed to give a student an unfair and unearned advantage over their peers.

Academic misconduct includes:

  • cheating,
  • collusion,
  • plagiarism,
  • falsifying data,
  • research misconduct,
  • grade tampering,
  • accessing examination materials without consent,
  • impersonating another student,
  • falsifying documents for academic advantage (e.g. a medical certificate, a bibliography), or
  • changing the work of another student in a group without their consent.

All of these devalue the standards of the University and the degrees we award.

A full definition of academic misconduct is outlined in section 6.1 of the Student Integrity and Misconduct Policy.

Your obligations and responsibilities

All students should aim to produce rigorous work that upholds the University's values and avoids academic misconduct.

During your time at the University, you must ensure you have a complete understanding of both academic integrity and academic misconduct. 

To ensure you understand your obligations and responsibilities, read the:

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a form of academic misconduct that frequently causes confusion or difficulty for students. It is also the form of academic misconduct most frequently reported for disciplinary proceedings.

The University has developed a compulsory online tutorial to help you understand our expectations and the practical steps you can take to avoid plagiarism.

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to understand the principles of academic integrity and best practice from your first year, and apply these principles throughout your degree.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the act of presenting other people's ideas, words or work as your own, without proper credit or acknowledgement.

Plagiarism not only applies to books, journal articles and published academic sources, but also to:

  • websites,
  • online material,
  • topics discussed in lectures and tutorials,
  • unpublished documents,
  • designs,
  • music,
  • sounds,
  • images,
  • photographs,
  • computer code, and
  • ideas developed through group work etc.

Plagiarism can be deliberate, or unintentional.

Most plagiarism can be avoided if you simply use appropriate referencing to acknowledge where you got your ideas, words or work from. The following are examples of plagiarism:

Direct copying (or cut and pasting) of paragraphs, sentences, a single sentence or parts of a sentence.
Use appropriate referencing when quoting sources in your work. You must identify quotations with quotation marks, or with an indentation. Ensure you understand the referencing conventions (e.g. author, page, year) for your course or discipline.


Direct copying (or cut and pasting) of paragraphs, sentences, a single sentence or parts of a sentence with an end reference, but without quotation marks around the copied text.
Use appropriate referencing when quoting sources in your work. You must identify quotations with quotation marks, or with an indentation. Ensure you understand the referencing conventions (e.g. author, page, year) for your course or discipline.


Copying ideas, concepts, research results, computer codes, statistical tables, designs, images, sounds or text – or any combination of these.
If you didn't come up with an original idea, concept, research result, code etc. – don't give the impression that you did. Reference all sources and other people's work.


Paraphrasing, summarising or rearranging another person's words, ideas, etc. without changing the basic structure and/or meaning of the text.
Changing a single word in a sentence, or making slight adjustments to a sentence, paragraph or section (e.g. a literature review) is still plagiarism if you don't acknowledge the author you are using. Instead of paraphrasing part of an author's work, try summarising their entire argument in your own words and then reference properly.


Presenting an idea, or an interpretation that isn't your own, but failing to identify whose idea or interpretation it is.
If you didn't come up with an original idea or interpretation – don't give the impression that you did. Reference all sources and other people's work.


A cut and paste of statements from multiple sources.
Your work should not be a jumble of other people's statements. As a university student, you must develop your intellectual independence and learn how to think for yourself. Aim to evaluate arguments and evidence, develop your own ideas, and reach your own conclusions. Do not simply list the opinions of others – especially if you list them without proper referencing.


Presenting work done in collaboration with others as completely your own.
You must properly attribute work from lectures, tutorials, other students, laboratory technicians etc. You must clearly reference all ideas, information, arguments etc. and where they came from.


Copying, adapting or submitting another student's original work, or another person's original work.
You must not submit an assignment that is substantially based on another student's work or that has been written by a professional agency. This is a very serious form of plagiarism, because it suggests a deliberate decision to engage in academic misconduct.

Doesn't referencing make my work look unoriginal?

The knowledge in your discipline has taken years – sometimes centuries – to evolve.

During your first few years at university, while you are getting to know the intellectual debates and discoveries that underpin your field, you will have to meticulously reference all your work, so you can demonstrate to other people that you have read widely and that you understand what you have read.

This strengthens your work, because it clearly shows your reader how your own ideas have taken shape and the basis from which you are making your own argument or claims.

After all, you can only think outside the box once you understand what was in the box to begin with.

How can I avoid plagiarism?

Plagiarism is often a consequence of underdeveloped study, time-management and writing skills.

For this reason, we encourage all students to attend workshops run by Student Services that cover:

  • study skills,
  • time management,
  • assignment writing, and
  • referencing correctly and avoiding plagiarism.

Workshops are held during semesters.

Other sources of help include:

  • A compulsory online tutorial about academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism.
  • The Library, which has a collection of major referencing style guides. Librarians can also answer questions about referencing and how to avoid plagiarism.
  • Schools or faculties, which can offer information about referencing and plagiarism relevant to your discipline.

All students must be familiar with the Student Integrity and Misconduct Policy and Guidelines.

What happens if a student plagiarises?

Plagiarism is usually classified as unintentional plagiarism or intentional (deliberate) plagiarism.

Penalties range from losing marks to being expelled from the university.

  • Unintentional plagiarism includes careless or inadequate referencing, or a failure to reference properly. It is treated as "poor academic practice" or negligence, rather than intentional deception. In these cases you may be given academic counselling. If your work is repeatedly careless, you will be reported for academic misconduct.
  • Intentional plagiarism is treated as academic misconduct. Disciplinary proceedings, including an investigation and a hearing, will be arranged. The disciplinary process is explained in the Student Integrity and Misconduct Guidelines.

Can I report suspected academic misconduct?

Yes. You are not required to report the misconduct, but we strongly encourage you to.

Please report the suspected misconduct to your course coordinator, Head of School, Executive Dean, the Dean of the Graduate School, or a relevant senior academic.

Plagiarism undermines the honest work of other students, the value of your degree and the values of the University. It is in the interests of the entire University community to foster high standards of academic integrity.

How is plagiarism identified?

Your tutors and lecturers have spent years studying their field and are capable of identifying the arguments, claims and writing of other people.

The University has also invested in plagiarism-detection software, including:

  • Turnitin,
  • MOSS software, and
  • Cadmus Software (trial stage only).
Cadmus software trial

The University is presently trialling Cadmus Software.

Cadmus is designed to assess the authenticity of a document by analysing keystroke patterns.

During the trial, the University may collect the following information:

  • Blackboard ID.
  • University email address.
  • Mobile device ID.
  • IP address of mobile device / computer.
  • Operating system.
  • Keystroke latency.
  • Browser type.

All information is encrypted, anonymised and de-identified – meaning data is separated from your ID when it is stored in Cadmus.

All information is stored in Amazon Web Services centres in Australia.

Personal information is not given to the University unless it is needed to establish the authenticity of a piece of assessment, or to aid in teaching and learning research.

The University will not use Cadmus to:

  • Aid or influence marking. No information from Cadmus will be made available to lecturers or course coordinators.
  • Launch investigations into student behaviour.
  • Change the burden of proof in matters of academic misconduct. This will always remain with the University.

The University may use Cadmus to:

  • Supplement any investigations that would otherwise have taken place.

For enquiries please contact the University's Right to Information and Privacy Office or Cadmus at support@cadmus.io

The misconduct process – help and advice

If an allegation of academic misconduct has been made against you, there are several sources of help, advice and support:

The University of Queensland is an academic community dedicated to the pursuit and creation of knowledge.

The foundation of our community is a set of shared values, which are expressed in the:

Our values create a common bond between students, academics and other members of the UQ community, and provide us with a framework for ethical behaviour.

General misconduct

Your university career comes with expectations about how you will conduct yourself as a UQ student.

General misconduct is a disciplinary offence. It involves a range of unethical behaviours that damage or hinder the rights and freedoms of others to reasonably pursue their research, studies, or work at the University.

General misconduct also includes the improper use of University facilities, resources or information, or the improper use of other people's belongings on University property.

Specific examples of general misconduct include:

  • engaging in unlawful or criminal activity on University land or sites,
  • engaging in improper behaviour during a course placement,
  • accessing inappropriate or obscene material on a UQ computer (e.g. pornography, hate sites etc.),
  • downloading movies or music on a UQ computer,
  • damaging or destroying University property (e.g. library books, computers, data etc.),
  • harassing, vilifying, bullying, abusing, threatening, assaulting or endangering staff, students or other members of the University's community directly, or by email, social media, online feedback etc.,
  • altering or falsifying documents or evidence (e.g. a medical certificate, other supporting evidence etc.), and
  • using taped or recorded lectures, tutorials or classes in a way that violates another person’s privacy or intellectual property rights (e.g. by publishing or distributing images or recordings without permission).

A full definition of general misconduct is outlined in section 6.2 of the Student Integrity and Misconduct Policy.

This policy doesn't replace the laws of Queensland or Australia, which you have to obey along with everyone else.

Other relevant policies or sources of information include:

What happens if I'm accused of general misconduct?

If someone makes an allegation of general misconduct against you, the University will conduct a preliminary investigation.

Once evidence has been collected, a decision will be made to either:

  • take no further action,
  • counsel and warn you, or
  • issue you with a formal allegation notice and commence disciplinary proceedings, including a hearing.

Penalties for general misconduct range from a written warning to expulsion from the University.

The full process for dealing with general misconduct is outlined in sections 7 and 8 of the Student Integrity and Misconduct Policy.

Can I report suspected general misconduct?

Yes. You are not required to report the misconduct, but we strongly encourage you to.

Please report the suspected misconduct to your course coordinator, Head of School, Executive Dean, the Dean of the Graduate School, or a relevant senior staff member.

If you have a complaint about discrimination, harassment or bullying, please contact a Discrimination and Harassment Contact Officer who can provide you with advice about your options and the best way to proceed.

The misconduct process – help and advice

If an allegation of general misconduct has been made against you, or if you are experiencing stress or anxiety because of your involvement with misconduct proceedings, there are several sources of help, advice and support: