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Academic Integrity SOP

To be read in conjunction with

Academic Integrity Policy

Approval Date
24 November 2020
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
30 November 2022
Deputy Chief Executive: Learner Experience


Minimising plagiarism in an educational context requires the development of a robust policy and a collaborative effort by management, academic staff, and learners to implement and adhere to it. Each group could have specific responsibilities, for example.


  • Develop a policy which clearly defines plagiarism and describes the responsibilities of Otago Polytechnic Ltd’s academic staff, and learners
  • Purchase plagiarism detecting software and monitor referencing practices
  • Adopt a specific referencing system such as American Psychological Association (APA) for internal Otago Polytechnic Ltd documents
  • Model appropriate referencing protocols.

Academic Staff:

  • Provide accurate information in the Programme Handbook and facilitate understanding of plagiarism to learners to ensure the long-term benefits of learning how to express information in their own words
  • Provide learners with copies of or hyperlinks to Otago Polytechnic Ltd’s Academic Integrity policy
  • Engage learners in discussions about the institution’s policy
  • Explain the institution’s attitude towards plagiarism
  • Discuss the consequences of plagiarising material, including material from the web
  • Each programme should give learners a copy of their programme’s guidelines on referencing, explicitly outlining the consequences of plagiarism
  • Make clear the difference between intentional plagiarism and just not properly acknowledging your paraphrased source.
  • Teach learners how to reference both print-based and electronically accessed material
  • Model appropriate academic referencing systems such as APA and show examples where references increased grades.
  • Assign marks to referencing in assessments, reports, etc
  • Reference all sources used in all learning and teaching resources including but not limited to: personal and course handouts, overhead transparencies, and PowerPoint presentations, pictures/images
  • Introduce a peer monitoring system which focuses on referencing  practice
  • Explain the difference between authorised and unauthorised collaboration during assessment activities


  • Know and always observe the rules and expectations regarding the use of other people’s work to ensure the academic integrity of your own work this may include but not limited to: quotes and paraphrases from books, reports, newspapers, magazines, journal articles, conference proceeding, brochures, and other learners’ work and the world wide web.
  • If unsure always refer to the Programme Handbook and guidelines, Cheating Policy or academic staff member.


At the conclusion of the teaching year, academic staff will be surveyed to report on the incidents of cheating that they have personally observed. What follows is a categorisation of the various incidents reported on the surveys:

This type of cheating was typified by the learner obtaining work from another source.

a. Copying from the web

b. Sharing one’s work with another learner

c. Taking work left on the computer and/or network

d. Copying from the textbook and associated CD ROM and/or website

e. Stealing someone else’s work

f.  Obtaining program code fragments from several sources and putting them together as one program.

This type of cheating was typified by the learner cheating  in exams:

a. Using cheat sheet, lecture notes, and/or textbooks on a closed book exam

b. Talking in a foreign language during an exam

c. Using a computer for a programming problem on an exam when the problem was intended to be a paper exercise

d. Looking at a neighbour’s paper

e. Printing or e-mailing online test questions when not permitted

f.  Stealing an exam paper from an academic’s office


This type of cheating was typified by when learners  collaborated to an extent that was forbidden in the assessment.

a. Splitting the work of one (1) assessment among several learners and all submitting the combined work as their own

b. Cooperating on writing computer programs which were meant to be individual effort

c. Receiving professional assistance from off campus

d. Swapping assessments.

This type of cheating was typified by the learner attempting to deceive their assessor about their circumstances to achieve an unfair advantage.

a. Obtaining an extension by faking illness

Detecting Plagiarism
There is a range of web-based mechanisms, including Turnitin, which can be used to assist in detecting alleged plagiarism.




Approved by:
Dr. Megan Gibbons
Chief Executive