Academic Misconduct Blog

What is Academic Misconduct?

Academic Misconduct Issues:

The University takes breaches to Academic Integrity very seriously. If you have been sent a notice of initial review, this blog can assist you with what you need to know about the process.

 

With Academic Misconduct issues, there are generally two main steps to the investigation process. Usually, the process will start with an initial review; however, in some circumstances, the course convenor can decide to forego to the Initial Review and request an Inquiry is held instead. The information on this page is in line with the Academic Misconduct Rules.

 

1. Initial Review

The first steps in determining if Academic Misconduct has occurred is to conduct an Initial Review. The course convenor of your course will send you a 'notice of initial review'.

 

In this notice, it should contain:

  • The allegation (whether it is plagiarism, collusion etc.)
  • The proof of the allegation (they should include an attachment of your work, and show clearly where the issue is)
  • The fact that they would like to meet with you to discuss (sometimes, time and date are set in this first notice).
  • Your rights at this review.
  • A copy of the Academic Misconduct Rule

 

Following this notice, you can choose to be present at the meeting, or you can choose to submit a written statement instead of attending the meeting. If you decide not to attend the meeting, nor provide a written statement, the course convenor will make a decision based on the evidence that they have. You are also able to submit a written statement AND be present at the meeting should you feel more prepared this way.

 

If you choose to attend the meeting, you would usually respond to confirm. You also have the option to propose a different time from what they've suggested if you're unavailable.

 

At the Initial Review meeting

 

The aim of the meeting is to determine whether there is substance to the allegation; and if there is substance, whether the alleged conduct constitutes poor academic practice or potential academic misconduct. The course convenor must act fairly and give the student a reasonable opportunity to be heard in relation to the allegation. You are welcome to bring a support person and any supporting documentations you may have.

 

Following this meeting, three potential outcomes can occur, and they are:

 

Initial Review Outcomes:

 

  1. Termination of the process – this is when they believe nothing has taken place, or a very minor breach has occurred. In most cases, no penalty is imposed, and the process ends here.
  2. Poor Academic Practice – this is when the course convenor believes that the conduct is a breach of the Rules, but it is excusable due to mitigating circumstances (including personal, emotional, or health-related circumstances); or was due to unintended, careless, inadvertent or uninformed behaviour.
  3. Escalation to an Inquiry – this is when the course convenor believes that the conduct may constitute as Academic Misconduct, and therefore, further investigation needs to be conducted.

 

The course convenor cannot give you an outcome of Academic Misconduct at this Initial Review stage.

 

Penalties for Poor Academic Practice:

If Poor Academic Practice is found, the penalties can be one or a combination of the following:

(a)        direct the student to resubmit one or more assessment items;

(b)        counsel the student;

(c)        request that the student make an undertaking to attend academic or other counselling;

(d)        reprimand the student;

(e)        direct that the student's marks or grade be changed for the assessment.

 

If the course convenor decides to escalate the matter to an Inquiry, you will be sent an Inquiry Notice following the conclusion of your Initial Review.

 

2. Inquiry

You will receive an Inquiry Notice, and the notice will contain very similar information to what is in the Initial Review Notice above. However, the main difference this time is that the matter is now being reviewed by someone else higher up. This is usually one of the Associate Deans of the College.

 

At the Inquiry Meeting:

The aim of the inquiry is very similar to the Initial Review meeting, where you are given the opportunity to discuss your case with the Assoc Dean of the College. You are able to bring any supporting documentation you may have to support your case, and a support person if you choose to do so.

Inquiry Outcomes:

  1. Termination of the process – this is when they believe nothing has taken place, or a very minor breach has occurred. In most cases, no penalty is imposed, and the process ends here.
  2. Poor Academic Practice – this is when the course convenor believes that the conduct is a breach of the Rules, but it is excusable due to mitigating circumstances (including personal, emotional, or health-related circumstances); or was due to unintended, careless, inadvertent or uninformed behaviour.
  3. Academic Misconduct – this is where the Assoc Dean believes that the breach is serious enough to be constituted as Academic Misconduct.

 

Penalties for Academic Misconduct

It can be one or a combination of the following:

 

(a)        order a re-assessment in a program or course to which the alleged misconduct is related (which may include, for example, requiring the student to re-sit an examination for a maximum pass grade of 50% or determining that an alternative form of examination be completed by the student);

 

(b)        order that a denial of access imposed under this instrument does not affect the student's academic progress;

 

(c)        reprimand the student;

 

(d)        award a reduced mark for any piece of assessment;

 

(e)        award a fail mark for any piece of assessment;

 

(f)         record a fail ('0') mark for the entire course;

 

(g)        determine the conditions under which the student may attend classes or lessons or use any facility or otherwise continue in the student's studies or research program of the University;

 

(h)        require the student to undertake relevant research integrity training;

 

(i)         request an undertaking from the student to attend relevant academic or other counselling;

 

(j)         require the student to make the relevant corrections to the student's research findings or publications;

 

(k)        require the student to apologise or take other action the inquiry officer thinks appropriate with a view to mitigating the effect of the misconduct;

 

(l)         suspend the candidature or enrolment of the student in a program of study or course in which the student is admitted or enrolled and prohibit resumption of candidature or enrolment for a period not exceeding 12 months;

 

(m)       accept an undertaking from the student;

 

(n)        refer the matter to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for action if it appears to the inquiry officer that the student has previously been found to have committed academic misconduct.

 

Appeals

 

You are able to appeal any of the outcomes that occur. This appeal would be in line with the ANU Appeals Rule. If you are looking to appeal your case, it is best for you to seek help from an ANUSA Student Assistance Advisor.

 

Things to keep in mind:

The proceedings and its outcomes will be recorded in your ANU Unofficial Transcript. This Unofficial Transcript is only accessible by academics and administrative staff at ANU.

The outcomes of Poor Academic Practice or Academic Misconduct will not be in your official transcript when you graduate.

However, some Universties or employers may require you to disclose this in your application, and if it is requested, you would have to disclose it to them.

 

Contact us:

If you need more assistance, require a support person, or someone to review your statement you are welcome to contact the Student Assistance Team on sa.assistance@anu.edu.au

                                                                  

 

 
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