Plagiarism policy | Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) skip to content

Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)

What is plagiarism?

The University defines plagiarism as, “submitting as one’s own work, irrespective of intent to deceive, that which derives in part or in its entirety from the work of others without due acknowledgement; or, in the case of self-plagiarism, unless explicitly permitted by regulation, submitting one’s own work that has already been submitted for assessment to satisfy the requirements of any other academic qualification, or submitted for publication without due acknowledgement. It is both poor scholarship and a breach of academic integrity.”

For the University’s full guidance on plagiarism, including examples of plagiarism and resources and support, please see www.plagiarism.admin.cam.ac.uk/.

Acceptable means of acknowledging the work of others (by referencing, in footnotes, or otherwise) may vary according to the subject matter and mode of assessment, so you should always refer to the guidance materials available on the ICE VLE (vle.iceonline.cam.ac.uk) that relate to the relevant scholarly conventions for submitting work in a particular subject area of study. If a paper copy of this guidance is required you should contact your Course Director.

You are responsible for ensuring that you have read and understood the University’s plagiarism definition and guidance and follow it in all work submitted for assessment.

If, after reading the guidance, you have any outstanding queries you should seek clarification at the earliest opportunity from the Course Director.

Turnitin UK text-matching software: ICE terms of use

Introduction

The University of Cambridge subscribes to Turnitin UK text-matching software, which is widely used in UK universities and matches text of submitted work to sources in its database, which is made up of internet content, selected journals, and previous student submissions.

All assignments submitted for assessment are screened using Turnitin.

The software makes no judgement about whether a student has plagiarised; it simply shows the percentage of the submission that matches other sources and produces an originality report which highlights the text matches and, where possible, displays the matching text and its immediate context.

In many cases the software highlights correctly cited references or ‘innocent’ matches. Therefore, all originality reports will be carefully reviewed to determine whether matches may indicate wider concerns around poor scholarly technique or an attempt to gain unfair advantage, and whether any further action should be taken.

How will Turnitin be used by ICE?

Work submitted to ICE for assessment will be subjected to blanket screening. The originality report issued by Turnitin UK is then scrutinised by the marker for your course, to determine whether further action may be necessary. We have chosen blanket screening as the fairest process. The resulting originality report will normally only be referred to the Chair of the Examiners if there is evidence of suspected academic misconduct (see below).

Students will be permitted to submit draft assignments prior to the submission deadline in order to view their originality reports for formative feedback purposes. Guidance on how to obtain an originality report is available in the Help Files section on the VLE.

Will Turnitin UK affect a student's intellectual property rights or copyright?

Use of Turnitin UK complies with UK Copyright and Data Protection Laws. Submission to Turnitin does not affect your ownership of the work; the copyright and intellectual property of all work remains with the original owner (normally the student, with the exception of some sponsored research projects). No personal or sensitive data will be transmitted.

Will a student's personal data be retained by Turnitin UK?

Materials submitted to Turnitin UK will be identified by a Turnitin reference number, course details and institution. Therefore, personal data, such your name, will not be used.

What will happen if the text submitted by another student matches a student's work?

If a report generated by another institution identifies matches with a student's work the report will only show the extent of the match and the contact details of the University of Cambridge's Turnitin UK Administrator. If approached, the Turnitin UK Administrator may attempt to contact you about the matter. The content of your work will not normally be revealed to a third party outside the University of Cambridge without your express permission.

If a match is found with material submitted from within the University, the reviewers can obtain the full text without your permission.

How do students apply for their work to be removed from Turnitin UK?

Work submitted to Turnitin UK will be stored indefinitely on the Turnitin UK database unless a student specifically requests that it be removed. Retaining your work on the database will help to ensure that your work remains protected from future attempts to plagiarise it; will help maintain the integrity of the University of Cambridge’s qualifications; and will maximise the effectiveness of the software, therefore it is hoped that such requests will be kept to a minimum. However, once moderation has been concluded, students may at any time contact the Head of Academic Centre Administration for their course, to request that their work be removed.

Queries about ICE's use of Turnitin UK should be addressed in the first instance to the Course Director or Academic Director.

You are reminded that Turnitin is only one method of checking the originality of your work. Examiners may initiate the standard investigative procedures if they have unresolved queries about the originality of your work.

Students are responsible for ensuring they have read and understood the University's policy on plagiarism and the information on Turnitin.

Suspected academic misconduct

Academic misconduct includes any practice that may unfairly advantage a student’s academic assessment. One type of academic misconduct is plagiarism, defined as submitting as one’s own work that which derives in part or in its entirety from the work of others without due acknowledgement (see above). The University outlines many potential forms of academic misconduct within the University Discipline Regulations, for example:

  • Copying someone else’s work, both words and ideas
  • Quoting or paraphrasing someone else’s work without due acknowledgement
  • Buying or commissioning work from others, or not attributing research contributed by others
  • Self-plagiarism, using one’s own work submitted for publication or assessment elsewhere without due attribution

Whilst all academic misconduct is a breach of the University’s disciplinary regulations, it is accepted that in some cases students may have attempted to acknowledge a source but that this has not been done correctly, or that they may have misunderstood the referencing requirements or breached them in a minor way. These cases are viewed as a minor breach of the regulations and this will be taken into consideration within the marking process (without a punitive sanction). 

If academic misconduct is suspected in a piece of your work (i.e. if a Turnitin originality report, or a marker identifies unacknowledged material in an assignment) then the University’s academic misconduct procedure will be followed.

The marker of the assignment will determine the extent and significance of any suspected academic misconduct within your assignment.

If academic misconduct is suspected, the maker will discuss the case with the Course Director /Academic Director before referring the case to the Chair of the Examiners or Chair of the Degree Committee along with the following evidence:

  • A copy of the assignment
  • A copy of the Turnitin originality report (if relevant)
  • A copy of any source material (where not included in the Turnitin originality report)
  • Guidance and information provided to students undertaking the course and assessment – including any declaration to confirm that the work was your own
  • A copy of the marking criteria for the assessment

The Chair will consider all of the information and may choose to hold an investigatory meeting with you. The purpose of the meeting is to provide you with an opportunity to respond and answer questions regarding the suspected academic misconduct; it does not have a punitive or disciplinary element.

For full guidance and on the University’s academic misconduct procedure, including further information on the investigative meeting and the possible outcomes of the meeting, please see www.plagiarism.admin.cam.ac.uk/information-staff/procedures-and-policy-investigating-plagiarism.

If you have any questions regarding academic misconduct please contact your Course Director.

Course type: 
Part-time Master's Degree
Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma
Undergraduate Certificate/Diploma
Topic: 
Assessment
Plagiarism
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