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Academic Integrity

What is academic impropriety?

Academic Impropriety is when anyone tries to get an unfair advantage for any kind of academic work or tries to give others an unfair advantage (NAIN, 2021, p.3).

Examples of this included plagiarising information, cheating, paying someone else to do your work, doing someone else’s work for them, copying notes, and sharing course material.

Types of academic impropriety

Plagiarism is the use of another person or organisation's work/research in your assignment without giving them proper acknowledgement.

Plagiarism can be done on purpose, when a person tries to pass off someone else's work as their own.

Plagiarism can be done accidentally, when a person does not know how to correctly give credit for someone else's work and fails to do so.

When writing any assignments, essays, exams, or group work, you can avoid plagiarising material by ensuring that you are referencing properly. Be aware that you can also self-plagiarise; that is, reusing older work that you have submitted for grading in another assignment, or using the same assignment for different modules and courses. This should also be avoided as it is not good academic practice.

Please see our referencing guide for more information:

Collusion is working with someone else on an assignment or task that is supposed to be done by yourself (NAIN, 2021, p. 12).

Sharing your notes or essays with other students is a kind gesture but if they directly copy your work, you will both be considered as having committed academic impropriety. You can look at your classmates' notes but you can't use them when doing your own work- stick to your own notes, your lecturer's slides and your academic resources!!

Contract cheating is a "form of academic misconduct when a person uses an undeclared and/or unauthorised third party, online or directly, to assist them to produce work for academic credit or progression" (NAIN, 2021, p.14).

Getting someone else to do your work for you, whether by a friend or by a company that you pay for the work (what is known as an essay mill), violates the rules of academic integrity. All of the work you submit must be made by you.

Fabrication is making up or altering data you have gathered in order to present a false result (NAIN, 2021, p. 15).


National Academic Integrity Network (2021) Academic Integrity: National Principles and Lexicon of Common Terms, QQI [Online]. Available at: