Academic integrity means being honest, careful, ethical and responsible in your academic work. For students, it comes down to three main rules:
- All the work you submit must be your own. This includes exams, tests, reports, essays, seminars, art work, lab notebooks, thesis research and presentations.
- When you use existing knowledge in your work – for example, if you quote from an academic article in an essay – you need to acknowledge and reference it properly.
- Any research you carry out must follow ethical rules and principles that protect your research subjects.
Academic integrity can seem daunting at first – especially if you’re new to university study, or joining Massey from a country where scholars follow different rules. It’s important to know exactly what we expect from you, and how we can help you meet our standards.
Why academic integrity matters
Massey has a reputation for high academic standards. These standards mean people trust our teaching and research. They're what will make future employers and other academic institutions value the qualification you get from us.
Doing your own work means you’ll develop the subject knowledge and critical skills that make university study worthwhile. We want you to get the full value out of your education.
Breaches of academic integrity
When you or your work don't meet our expectations, it's called a breach of academic integrity. There are four main ways you can breach academic integrity.
Plagiarism means presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own. Examples of plagiarism include:
- copying someone’s work without crediting them – for example, by copying words you've found in an article, a book or on the internet into your work, unless they’re quotations and you reference them properly
- paraphrasing or summarising someone’s work without crediting them
- handing in work based on answers you've found on homework sites
- handing in work that is yours but has already been published or assessed at Massey or another institution, unless you have permission to do this
- submitting work that relies too heavily on model answers you find in your course materials.
Learn to credit existing work
When you write essays and other assignments, you’ll often discuss and quote from other people’s work. To avoid plagiarising, you need to know how to show the difference between your words and ideas, and those of others. You’ll do this using a system of academic referencing.
Plagiarism isn’t always deliberate – it can happen when students don’t know the scholarly rules they’re expected to follow. But it’s your responsibility to make sure you use and credit sources properly.
Cheating is acting dishonestly to get better grades in an exam or assignment. Some examples of cheating are:
- taking notes, a mobile phone or calculator into an exam or test, if they’re not allowed
- handing in an assignment written partly or completely by someone else
- paying a person or company to do an assignment for you
- copying or falsifying data in a lab, experiment or survey
- helping another student cheat, for example by doing their work for them
- not being honest about how much each person contributed to a group project
- misrepresenting your academic record or achievements.
Our exam and assignment rules might be different to those at other places you’ve been a student, so make sure you know what we expect.
As a researcher, you have a responsibility to protect the people, animals, nature or works you're studying. If you conduct research as part of your qualification, you must:
- only use data that was collected with permission from the university and your subjects
- only use data that was gathered after approval was granted by an ethics committee
- follow the guidelines in Massey’s Code of Responsible Research Conduct.
Note: Code updates
We're currently updating our code of Responsible Research Conduct. This document will be valid until we publish the new one.
Sharing other people’s intellectual property online
Your course coordinators create the material they use in your lectures and assignments, and this means it’s their intellectual property.
It’s a breach of academic integrity to post your course or assignment content in internet forums or on social media. If the material is protected by copyright, it’s also illegal. This includes:
- recordings of your university lectures
- notes, presentations or handouts from your courses at Massey
- assignment questions or instructions.
Where to get help to meet academic integrity standards
We have lots of people and resources available to help you understand academic integrity and learn how to meet our standards.
Your course coordinator can explain the rules about academic integrity in their subject.
Learning Advisors and Writing Consultants
Our Learning Advisors and Writing Consultants can help you learn to use sources and improve your academic writing skills.
They're based in the Centres for Teaching and Learning on each Massey campus. You can book an appointment to see an Advisor or Consultant online or on campus.
Book an hour-long appointment with a Learning or Writing Consultant (login required)
Online Writing and Learning Link (OWLL)
OWLL is an online resource to improve your academic writing and study skills.