Academic integrity

Academic integrity is doing your own work and giving credit to others for their work. Academic integrity requires all of us to follow good academic practice, which involves reflecting on how you research and take notes, and making sure you are familiar with all the university's rules and regulations about the work you submit. It is a more complex subject than you might think, so we recommend that all new students complete the university's Academic Integrity online module. 

In addition, please scroll down for our recommended strategies and resources. 

Engage your own thinking

Thinking critically about what you read allows you to develop the confidence to draw your own conclusions instead of simply repeating what others have written.

Take good notes

It is easy to forget where you got something from so when taking notes write down all the details you might need including page numbers. If you had to read it to know it, you'll need to reference it!

Show the sources that have influenced your thinking

You are part of an academic community and need to show how what you have read has influenced your thinking and developed your ideas.

Reference accurately and fully

Whenever you use the ideas and thoughts of someone else, you must include a reference.

Use AI tools cautiously

Your responsibility to do your own work and give credit to others for their work applies to whatever is used in the production of assignments, including sources or Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT.

From January 2023, if you use any AI tools for your assessment, you need to state your use in a declaration form in Moodle when you submit your work. This is similar to referencing your sources in your bibliography. The university is using a form for this to help understand how students are using AI in their learning and assessment. In the declaration, you need to specify which tools you have used and how you have used them in your assignment (for example, what you asked the tool to do). You should also check your module guidance or with your Module Leader to see if AI tools can be used for your assessment(s) as there may be some assessments where AI tools cannot be used. 

There's more on this on our Artificial intelligence page.

Familiarise yourself with Brookes’ principles of academic conduct

It is really impoortant that you understand the variety of academic breaches that can happen so that you can work in a way that avoids them.

You need to avoid

Submitting other people’s work as your own - it’s really important that the work you do is a result of your own efforts and not something that someone else has done for you. That means that no one should do your work on your behalf (whether paid or unpaid).

Plagiarism this means presenting or submitting someone else's work (words or ideas), intentionally or unintentionally, as your own. It is important to demonstrate that your work builds upon the range of sources that you have looked at so to avoid plagiarism, you need to develop your referencing skills.

Collusion - this means working with others but submitting the assignment as your own individual work. At Brookes we think it’s really valuable to develop group work skills but unless you have been asked to submit work as a group, it is advisable not to work too closely with others on your assignments.

Duplication - this means submitting work for one module which has been assessed and passed in another. Imagine you are writing an assignment and you remember that you wrote a paragraph on this topic last semester for a different module. You might be tempted to copy and paste it. To avoid duplication, resist that temptation!

Falsification - this means including false data in assignments, e.g. quotations that no one actually said, statistics that are invented, or inventing sources that don’t actually exist.

Use of custom writing services - this means using services that produce work for you. Sometimes, custom writing services have websites that look like study skills sites, but if someone is doing your work for you, whether paid or unpaid, it is never a good idea and it means you are not developing the skills and qualities that your course is intended to give you.

Assisting others to cheat - this would be considered a form of academic misconduct, even if it was an unsuccessful attempt to assist others to cheat.

Unethical practices - this means failing to obtain ethics approval for a research project you are working on. The most common area where this comes up is around projects involving human participation, for which there are departmental, faculty and university procedures that need to be followed. You can explore more about research ethics at Brookes below.

What to do if you are informed of an academic conduct procedure

Familiarise yourself with the Academic Conduct procedure. The Student Investigation and Resolutions Team will write to you with this information but the process is also outlined in section 5 of the Academic Conduct Procedure document, which you can find on the Student conduct page linked below. The Student Information and Resolutions Team will also advise you on sources of support and advice, which includes the Centre for Academic Development.