Disciplinary Process

Academic misconduct is unacceptable and includes plagiarism, collusion and cheating. Specific definitions are available in the Definitions Policy

Minor academic misconduct is defined to occur where the academic misconduct is manifest in less than five percent of a student's response to an assessment item and where the academic misconduct is the student's first offence. All other academic misconduct is defined to be major academic misconduct and is regarded seriously by the University.

What to do if you suspect plagiarism

If you suspect plagiarism has occurred there are a number of strategies available for checking a suspect, hard copy sample of a student's work:

  • Retain the student's assignment, make a photocopy of the original and return to the student
  • Check any websites listed in the student's bibliography. If they are not accessible, the student may have copied the work
  • Check any journal articles listed in the bibliography on the USQ Library Electronic Database Services
  • Conduct a phrase search using a suspect phrase from the assignment on a search engine or on the USQ Library Electronic Database Services. This can be done using an "advanced search" on search engines such as Google or by enclosing the phrase in inverted commas 
  • Conduct a keyword or phrase search on a search engine or on the USQ Library Electronic Database Services
  • Use a Boolean search on a search engine or on the USQ Library Electronic Database Services to access sites that contain all of the words you are seeking
  • Copy any original sources and highlight the copied passages both in the copy of the original source and the assignment.

It may help in locating an original document to put yourself in the shoes of the student.  If they used the Internet, what key words or phrases might they have used? If it were a fruitful search for them, and you were to identify the likely key words or phrases used by the student, you may create a greater chance of locating the original document in a short time, since the very act of plagiarism suggests a lack of thoroughness in the student's work and they may not be inclined to spend very long on the search.

Please refer to the Student Academic Misconduct Policy.