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Academic Integrity

Acting with integrity is at the heart of all Melbourne Polytechnic’s operations. Everyone associated with the Institute is expected to uphold moral and ethical standards in their day-to-day conduct to ensure that decision-making and actions are conducted with integrity and transparency.

(source: Melbourne Polytechnic Academic Integrity Policy)

The Academic Integrity website aims to promote awareness of academic integrity, to provide access to relevant Melbourne Polytechnic policies and procedures, and to highlight support services available to assist with academic integrity compliance. 

Click on the links below for more information about the following topics:

What is academic integrity and why is it important?

Academic integrity is:

‘The expectation that teachers, students, researchers and all members of the academic community act with: honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility.’ 

Breaching academic integrity is also known as ‘academic misconduct’ or ‘academic dishonesty’.

(source: TEQSA 2022, What is academic integrity? Tertiary Education Quality & Standards Agency)

Essentially, academic integrity is about taking responsibility, and acting honestly, in the preparation and submission of your academic work. 

Academic integrity is equally critical in the workplace as failure to submit your own original work, (such as when preparing a report or delivering a business presentation) or acknowledging the work or input of others, could affect your professional reputation and credibility.

How to comply with academic integrity requirements

As a student, it is your responsibility to support academic integrity by:

  • Submitting your own original work (not work written by someone else)
  • Selecting quality and credible scholarly sources of information when gathering information for your assignments
  • Accurately referencing (citing) all sources of information used in your assignment including text, images, video, and data
  • Adhering to copyright regulations when using information and resources
  • Completing your own exams and tests without cheating
  • Contributing fairly to group assessments
  • Asking for help from Melbourne Polytechnic support services, teachers or lecturers

Note that the use of contract cheating websites is in breach of Melbourne Polytechnic academic integrity policies.

TEQSA’s definition of contract cheating is: “when students outsource their assessments to a third party, whether that is a commercial provider, current or former student, family member or acquaintance.”

For more information on contract cheating please refer to the TEQSA document What is contract cheating and methods to reduce it.

Contract cheating also includes the use of artificial intelligence tools (such as ChatGPT) that can generate responses to essay and exam questions.

Examples of behaviours that do not support academic integrity

The following behaviours breach (do not support) academic integrity:

  • Plagiarism
    • Submitting work that is not your own without acknowledging, citing or referencing the original source of the work
  • Collusion
    • This involves engaging in illegitimate cooperation with one or more other students to complete assessable work
  • Contract cheating
    • This is a type of illegal commercial cheating. It involves getting someone else to complete part or all of your work and then submitting the work as if you had completed it yourself
  • Fabricating information
    • This involves making up information for research-focused assessment tasks, such as experimental or interview data
  • Recycling or resubmitting work
    • This involves submitting (or resubmitting) work that has already been assessed, without your teacher’s permission

The above examples and definitions have been sourced from the TEQSA website.  For more information about these behaviours, and detailed definitions of the terms, please refer to the TEQSA resource What is academic integrity?

Watch these short videos from TEQSA about why cheating is never the right answer.

What are the penalties for not complying with academic integrity?

Melbourne Polytechnic has clear and scaffolded actions for investigating suspected breaches of academic integrity. The responses to academic misconduct vary depending on several factors including:

  • the extent of the suspected breach
  • the type of course in which the student is enrolled
  • whether the misconduct has been repeated
  • the student’s understanding of academic integrity

The penalties for suspected breaches of academic integrity include:

  • having to repeat the assessment
  • failing the assessment or course
  • being suspended or expelled from Melbourne Polytechnic

Further information about processes, actions and penalties to support and manage breaches of academic misconduct are explained in the Academic Integrity (Students) Procedure (

TEQSA resources on academic integrity

TEQSA (Tertiary Education Quality & Standards Agency) is the Australian regulatory body that ensures that higher education programs are delivered to high quality standards and support compliance.  TEQSA have developed several resources on academic integrity that answer may questions that you have about your obligations as students and teachers. 

See TEQSA's Understanding Academic Integrity resource to find out more.

The website also provides answers to frequently asked questions including

  • will I get caught if I cheat?
  • I’m struggling with my assessment. How can I get help?
  • Can cheating impact my future career?
  • A family member or friend has offered to help with my essay – is this okay?

For answers to these questions, and more, visit TEQSA’s Understanding Academic Integrity: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) resource.

Referencing supports academic integrity

Referencing is a series of rules and practices that enable you to correctly acknowledge the work of others which you’ve used to create work of your own.

Referencing is important to ensure that you

  • Avoid plagiarism
    • reference sources of information used in your assignments
  • Add support to your paper
    • Other people’s ideas provide evidence that back up the arguments you make in your assignments
  • Help readers to follow-up on the points you’ve made
    • Readers of your work may wish to consults your information sources
  • Display courtesy and respect
    • Respect the work of others that you’ve used in your assignments

Referencing both text-based resources as well as visual and audio sources including videos, music, and images is required to support academic integrity.

You need to reference when you are using text or ideas from sources including

  • Internet (websites)
  • Books and journals (including ebooks and ejournals)
  • Films, videos, television programs
  • Government reports, statistics

Specific text that needs to be referenced includes

  • Quotes
    • When you use another person’s exact words
  • Paraphrases
    • When you use your own words to express another person’s ideas
  • Copies
    • When you made an identical version of another person’s work
  • Summaries
    • When you write a description or summary of another person’s ideas

You need to reference when you are using images (photographs, drawings, pictures, graphs) or audio (sound recordings) from sources including

  • Internet (websites)
  • Youtube, Spotify, social media sources
  • Books and journals (including ebooks and ejournals)
  • Artworks, exhibitions

The Melbourne Polytechnic Library has several resources to support students’ understanding of referencing:

ERNI citing & referencing tool

The Library has created a citing and referencing tool, called ERNI, which serves as a style guide for referencing at Melbourne Polytechnic.

ERNI provides examples of citing and referencing in both Harvard and APA7 referencing styles.  Your teacher will advise you of the referencing style required for your course.

Watch this video to find out more about ERNI or click here to access ERNI.

Academic Integrity Module (Moodle)

Students and staff have access to an Academic Integrity Module in Moodle.  This module is a comprehensive resource which provides both information and activities to help you understand what academic integrity is and your obligations as students.

In addition to academic integrity concepts, the module contains eight topics including referencing and Turnitin.  The module aims to be an educative tool that you can refer back to throughout your studies.

Contact your teacher or lecturer for information on how to access the academic integrity module.

Turnitin (similarity checking software)

Some courses require students to use Turnitin to support academic integrity and to ensure that assessments submitted by students is their original work and/or correctly references sources of information used to draft their assessment.

What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is text-matching software which matches text-based assessments with internet websites and other students’ work from around the world. It identifies sources of text (eg. quotes) that have been taken from the internet.  In addition, the Turnitin database contains over 300 million student papers that have been submitted from students around the globe.

Why is it used?

Turnitin is used by academic staff to check that assessments submitted by students are either their original work or, where information has been taken from other sources, that correct citing and referencing has been used.

How does it work?

  • If required for your course or assessment, a teacher or lecturer will create a link in Moodle to which students will upload their assessments to Turnitin
  • Once the assessment is uploaded, it will be checked against the Turnitin database and a report will be generated which will indicate what percentage of the assessment includes information from either websites or other student papers
  • The teachers will review the Turnitin report, and your assessment, and determine whether academic integrity standards have been met (eg. correct citing and referencing)
  • The acceptable percentage from Turnitin will be determined by your teacher, and will depend on the type of assessment submitted
  • Students will also receive a copy of the Turnitin report via their MP student email

How do I access Turnitin?

Your teacher will create a Turnitin link in your course Moodle site if needed.

Can I make changes to my assignment, and resubmit, if needed?

It is at the discretion of your teacher as to whether you can make changes to your assessment and resubmit.  For example, if you have realised that you’ve forgotten to add references or a reference list, you may have the opportunity to make these corrections and resubmit your assessment to Turnitin.  Your teacher can advise you of this process.

For more detailed information about Turnitin, click here to see the guide on the Library website.

Individual support & information guides

Do you need further help with understanding academic integrity or referencing?  Don’t worry, there’s lots of free support and help available!

Individual support

Your teacher or lecturer is always a great place to start if you need help.  There are also free services available if you need additional help:

  • Library staff
    • for help with referencing, copyright, finding information for assignments and technical support
    • the Book a Librarian service allows students to book a time (on campus or via Zoom) for support
  • Learning Skills teachers
    • for assistance with literacy and numeracy support, and academic writing
    • book a time online or on campus that suits you
  • Studiosity
    • 24/7 free support for essay writing, literacy and numeracy support, and referencing
    • Accessible from Moodle
    • Services include live chat with a tutor, and an essay writing service which helps with grammar and punctuation, and referencing
    • Watch the Studiosity video

Information guides

The Library has several information guides that can be accessed from the Library’s website at any time.

Academic integrity resources

Academic skills and assessments

Subject guides

Other library guides are also available on subjects that support courses delivered at Melbourne Polytechnic. Go to the Library Guides website to see what guides are available.

Contact us

Do you have questions or would like further information about academic integrity?

Contact the Melbourne Polytechnic library:

Melbourne Polytechnic Academic Integrity policies and procedures

Melbourne Polytechnic’s policies and procedures relating to academic integrity, student discipline and student code of conduct are accessible from several access points including

  • This webpage
  • The Library’s webpage
  • Moodle
  • Staff and student portals

Links to the relevant policies and procedures are below.

Academic Integrity Policy (

Acting with integrity is at the heart of all Melbourne Polytechnic’s operations. Everyone associated with the Institute is expected to uphold moral and ethical standards in their day-to-day conduct to ensure that decision-making and actions are conducted with integrity and transparency.

The purpose of this policy is to:

  1. promote a positive culture of academic integrity across the Institute that aligns with Melbourne Polytechnic’s vision and values
  2. describe the roles and responsibilities of students, staff and contractors that support academic integrity
  3. describe actions that are considered potential breaches of academic integrity and the procedures to be followed to address these.

Academic Integrity (Students) Procedure (

The purpose of this procedure is to:

  1. promote a culture of academic integrity in learning, teaching, scholarship, and research.
  2. describe processes to support and maintain student academic and research integrity and prevent academic or research misconduct.
  3. describe actions and consequences for suspected breaches of academic or research integrity.

Student Discipline Policy (

This policy describes:

  1. This policy the powers and processes by which a student of Melbourne Polytechnic may be disciplined by Melbourne Polytechnic for engaging in misconduct; and
  2. the processes by which a student can appeal Melbourne Polytechnic’s decisions regarding discipline.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the Student Code of Conduct Guidelines (pdf).