Academic Integrity Rule 2021 - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Learners

Below are the questions that are frequently asked regarding the Academic Integrity Rule, process and outcomes.

General

What is the Academic Integrity Rule?

The Academic Integrity Rule is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle.

 

What is the academic integrity principle?

Under the Rule, section 7, it is the principle that every student (including Higher Degree Research candidates) of the University:

(a)is committed to engaging in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity; and

(b)upholds this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

 

What is conduct that breaches the academic integrity principle?

Under the Rule, section 12 (2), a student breaches the academic integrity principle if they:

  • cheat
  • impersonate another person
  • engage in plagiarism
  • collude with another person
  • improperly share material with another person
  • contract cheat/improperly engage another person to prepare, or assist in preparing, work for the student
  • submit/publish anything that fails to correctly/appropriately acknowledge the work of another person/otherwise improperly appropriating the intellectual property / contribution of another person
  • pass off the work of another person as the student’s own work
  • improperly recycle work/improperly submit or publish work that is not original
  • take a prohibited item into an examination or other assessment venue/ breach the University’s directions in relation to an examination or other assessment
  • fabricate/falsify any document, data/other information, or anything else (e.g. intentionally omitting data to obtain a desired result/by falsely representing observations as genuinely held)
  • intentionally or recklessly engage in conduct:
    • that impedes the progress of research
    • that risks corrupting research records/ compromising the integrity of research practices
    • that uses research data from another person without appropriate acknowledgement
    • that breaches a research protocol approved by a research ethics committee/a statutory licence condition applying to research
  • engage in conduct with the intention of gaining/assisting another person to gain, an unethical, dishonest, unfair/unjustified advantage
  • engage in conduct/assisting another person to engage in conduct, that is unethical, dishonest/unfair
  • engage in any conduct declared to be academic misconduct by the orders
 

Who can make a report on a potential breach of academic integrity principle?

Any staff or student with reasonable grounds to believe that a student has engaged in conduct that has breached the academic integrity principle can make a report.

For example, if a student knows that another student appears to have engaged in conduct that may breach the academic integrity principle, they can make report to the course convener or to ASQO at integrity@anu.edu.au.  Please ensure to provide any supporting documentation in the report, i.e. Screenshots, email trails, etc.

 

Can I lodge a report anonymously?

Yes, you can choose to lodge a report anonymously. Please note that we will only be able to hold an inquiry into an anonymous complaint if there is sufficient information to demonstrate a student has engaged in conduct that may breach the academic integrity principle.

Please contact ASQO at integrity@anu.edu.au with supporting documentation such as screenshots, email trails, etc.

 

How quickly do I have to lodge a report?

You can still lodge a report even if the incident has occurred some time ago. Please contact ASQO at integrity@anu.edu.au with supporting documentation if available.

Make sure to include details such as time, location and a description of events.

 

Reviews and Inquiries

What is a review?

If a course convener believes that a student may have breached the academic integrity principle, they can choose to hold a review. A review is an opportunity for the student to meet with the course convener to discuss the conduct the course convener has concerns with.

Students have the option of attending the review and provide written statements, or provide written statements instead of attending. If neither attending nor providing a written statement, the course convener will decide on an outcome based on the materials available to them.

 

What is an inquiry?

If the case is deemed to be serious in nature, it can be referred to another decision maker, an inquiry officer, as Potential Academic Misconduct. The decision maker can choose to hold an inquiry with the student to discuss the conduct.

An inquiry is similar to review: it is an opportunity for the student to meet and discuss the conduct. The difference is the decision maker, at this stage, will be an inquiry officer. The inquiry officer is usually the Associate Dean of the college or their nominee.

Students have the option of attending the inquiry and provide written statements, or provide written statements instead of attending. If neither attending nor providing a written statement, the decision maker will decide on an outcome based on the materials available to them.

 

Who are the decision makers?

At a review, the decision maker is your course convener.

At an inquiry, the decision maker will be an inquiry officer. The inquiry officer is usually the Associate Dean of the college or their nominee. In more serious cases, the Vice Chancellor or their nominee could be an inquiry officer.

 

I have been notified that my case has been referred to an Inquiry Officer. Can I contact the course convener to provide explanations?

As the case has been referred, the course convener will no longer be the decision maker. If you would like to provide a written response, you may contact the Inquiry Officer directly.

 

I have not been contacted to go through a Review, but I have been notified that my case has been referred to an Inquiry Officer. Is this normal?

Yes, course conveners are able to refer a case to the Registrar without holding a Review if the conduct appears to be Potential Academic Misconduct. The Registrar will refer the case to an Inquiry Officer.

The Inquiry Officer will consider all the documents and get in touch with you if they would like to proceed with an inquiry.

 

What happens at a review/inquiry meeting?

The review/inquiry can be held in person or via teleconference/video-conference.

You will have the opportunity to talk about your case and the decision maker can ask you some questions. You may also ask questions if you have any.

If you have a support person at your meeting, they are allowed to speak only with the approval of the decision maker.

 

Should I attend the review/inquiry meeting?

Attendance at the meetings is not compulsory, but highly recommended.

Students are highly encouraged to attend the review/inquiry if possible as the meeting is an opportunity for you to respond and provide more information about your case.  

You can also bring a support person to accompany you.

If you don’t want to attend, you are able to provide a written statement with supporting documents (if any).

 

What kind of supporting documents can I provide to the decision maker?

The documents you provide will give the decision maker a clearer picture on why you may have engaged in conduct that may breach the Rule.

Documents that can be provided can include, but are not limited to:

  • Reports
  • Certificates
  • Screenshots relevant to the issue. The time and date must be included
  • Other documents you deem relevant

If you would like to provide supporting documentation that is in a language other than English, the document will need to be accompanied by a complete English translation from an accepted organisation. For more information, please see our Documentation requirements on ‘Translating your documents into English’.

Please note that withholding relevant information may impede the outcome of the review and inquiry. If this documentation was available to you at inquiry stage but only provided at the appeal stage, it may not be considered.
 

Can I bring someone with me to attend the meeting? Could I submit a written statement from someone else for my case?

Yes, you can bring a friend or support person to accompany you at the review/inquiry. The person you bring will be able to observe. If another person has provided a written statement regarding your case, you can provide this to the decision maker.

The person may only speak on your behalf with the express approval of the decision maker.  Please let the decision maker know prior to the review/inquiry if you wish to bring someone and whether you wish for them to speak on your behalf.

If you would like someone to attend the review/inquiry with you, you can consider contacting ANUSA (for undergraduate students) and PARSA (for postgraduate students) for support. Their services are free for students.

Please note that you cannot bring legal representation to the review/inquiry.

 

I am currently overseas, do I need to return to campus to attend the review/inquiry?

If you are overseas and would like to attend the review/inquiry meeting, you can let the decision maker know so they can set up a meeting with you online so that you may participate remotely. The online meeting platforms used include Zoom and Teams.

 

How can I prepare for the review/inquiry?

If you are attending the review/inquiry meeting, it can be helpful to:

  • Prepare a written statement/notes, and understand the main points you would like to raise;
  • Think about whether there is any additional/new information you wish to present;
  • Get in touch with ANUSA/PARSA/Dean of Students if you would like advice on how to prepare your written statement/notes or if you need a support person to attend the review/inquiry meeting with you. You can get in touch with them at:

If you need initiatives, programs and resources to support your physical, social, spiritual and mental health, you can visit the Health, safety & wellbeing page.

 

Who will be attending the review/inquiry meeting?

At the review meeting, the course convener will be present and the student will be provided the option/opportunity to attend. If the student chooses to attend the review meeting, the course convener and the student will be present. If at any stage of you would like to have a support person with you, please let the course convener/inquiry officer know before the meeting so the support person can attend the review/inquiry meeting. If the student is not attending the review meeting, the course convener can proceed with conducting the review in the student’s absence and make a decision based on the material before them.

At the inquiry meeting, the inquiry officer will be present and the student will be provided the option/opportunity to attend. If the student chooses to attend the inquiry meeting, the inquiry officer and student will be present. There may be a secretary to the inquiry officer who will take notes of the main conversation points in the meeting. If at any stage of you would like to have a support person with you, please let the course convener/inquiry officer know before the meeting so the support person can attend the review/inquiry meeting.

If the student is not attending the inquiry meeting, the inquiry officer can proceed with conducting the inquiry in the student’s absence and make a decision based on the material before them.

 

What types of questions will they ask me at the review/inquiry meeting?

The decision maker may ask you some questions during the meeting to understand more about what has happened. Potential questions may include, but are not limited to:

  • How are you going?
  • Do you want to talk about what has happened?
  • Do you have access to the Turnitin report?
  • Do you think there was an issue with the amount of similarity?
  • What is your research process?
  • Do you take notes separate to the essay?
  • Have you heard of Academic Skills? You can take a draft of your assignment to them and they can help check it.
  • Have you heard of/Do you have an Education Access Plan (EAP)?
  • Do you have any questions for me?
 

Will the review/inquiry be like a legal court hearing?

The focus of the review/inquiry is to find out whether the conduct breaches the academic integrity principle under the definitions of the Academic Integrity Rule. The review/inquiry is held in an informal manner and which means that courtroom rules and procedures do not apply. Rather, the decision maker will make a decision based on the information available to them.

 

I'm worried that I won't be able to express myself clearly during the review/inquiry. What happens then?

It can be stressful to talk about your case at the review/inquiry meeting.

You can consider preparing a written statement/notes beforehand and you can refer to them during the meeting. If you have a support person attending with you, they may speak on your behalf with the approval of the decision maker.

 

Will a decision be made at the review/inquiry meeting?

In most instances, a decision will not be made at the review/inquiry meeting. You will be contacted by the decision maker through your ANU email account when a decision has been made.

 

If I have past breaches of academic integrity, would they be considered at this review/inquiry?

The decision maker may take into consideration any other matters considered appropriate, which may include prior breaches.

 

Where are the outcomes recorded? Will external parties be told if I have had breaches of academic integrity?

Once a decision regarding the case has been made, the outcome of Poor Academic Practice or Academic Misconduct will be recorded on the student’s unofficial transcript for internal record keeping. Please note that the outcome will not be listed on the official transcript.

One of the actions available upon receiving a Poor Academic Practice or Academic Misconduct finding is to tell any relevant professional, government or other organisation or agency about the finding and any action taken in relation to it. For law graduates who are to be admitted as lawyers, the Board will usually ask if the student has had prior breaches of academic integrity. You can get in touch with the ANU College of Law for further information regarding this.

 

What can I do if I disagree with the outcome and/or action?

You may appeal the outcome and/or the action. Your appeal rights will be listed in the outcome letter of the review/inquiry.

 

Outcomes and Actions

I have been asked to do an undertaking as part of an outcome. What does this mean?

An undertaking is a written agreement that you will complete an educative task(s) with the view to mitigating behaviour that breaches the academic integrity principle. Examples of undertakings could include, but are not limited to:

  • Attending an individual appointment with the Academic Skills team;
  • Writing an essay on academic integrity

In the outcome letter, you will receive instructions on what you are required to do for the undertaking. After you have completed the undertaking, you will need to send confirmation and any supporting documents to the contact details in the outcome letter by the specified deadline.

 

What happens if I do not complete the undertaking by the deadline?

If you do not complete the undertaking by the specified deadline, this will be considered as a breach of undertaking. The decision maker is able to revoke the decision previously made and make a new decision.

For example, the action given with the original outcome was for the student was to undertake academic integrity training with Academic Skills. If the student fails to do so, the decision maker can change the undertaking action to another action, such as mark reduction on the assessment.

 

I've been asked to make an appointment with the Academic Skills team as an action in the outcome letter, but all appointments have been booked out and there are no appointments available before the deadline given. What can I do?

Please kindly get in touch with the Academic Skills team at academicskills@anu.edu.au or +61 2 6125 2972 and advise them of the deadline specified in the outcome letter. The Academic Skills team will endeavour to assist you with booking an appointment within the specified deadline.

 

What happens if I do not comply with the requirements and/or conditions specified in the outcome letter?

If you do not comply with the requirements and/or conditions, this will be considered as a breach and the decision maker is able to revoke the decision previously made and make a new decision on the actions.

For example, the action given with the original outcome was that the student was required to submit material for re-assessment. If the student fails to do so, the decision maker can change the action to another action such as mark reduction on the original assessment.

 

I have previously received an email regarding ptentially breaching the academic integrity principle and my grades for that course are at Results Pending (RP). What does this mean?

This means that the academic integrity process is not yet finished. Once you receive the official outcome letter, your grade will be updated accordingly. Please allow for 5 working days for the change to be processed.

Please feel free to get in touch with the academic college directly if the course results remain as Results Pending after 10 working days of receiving the outcome.

 

I withdrew from the course, so why is the review/inquiry still proceeding for that course?

The academic integrity process will continue even if you withdraw from a course. The process makes you aware of the importance of academic integrity and the correct conduct regarding assessments.

If Poor Academic Practice or Academic Misconduct has been found as a result of the academic integrity process, even if you have withdrawn from the course, the finding will be recorded on your unofficial transcript.