The Biomedical Teaching Organisation's position on plagiarism, guidelines for good practice, and how we identify it in work you submit.
Plagiarism is the deliberate use of another person's work as if it were your own, without adequate acknowledgement of the original source.
If this is present in work that you submit for assessment, then you are attempting to mislead the examiners. In other words, plagiarism is cheating - trying to claim credit for something that is not your work.
This is a serious offence because it threatens to undermine the value of a University degree. We will impose severe penalties on students who are found guilty of plagiarism.
In the Biomedical Teaching Organisation we use a wide range of methods to identify possible plagiarism, including electronic methods that detect similarities and frequencies of words or phrases. We also keep copies of the work of students from previous years, to ensure that this work is not copied.
For every assessment that you submit, you will be required to declare that the work is your own, and that any contribution from other sources (published works, fellow students' work, items downloaded from the web, etc.) has been properly acknowledged.
Guidelines on good practice
As a student, you are part of a community of fellow students, academics and other people.
We do want you to talk to one another, to share experiences and to discuss problems - including the assignments you have been set. If you find a useful source of information in the library or on the web then you should let other people know about it. That's what being in a community is all about - cooperating and learning together; helping one another to gain the most from your time at university.
But when you come to producing the piece of work that will be assessed, it must be entirely your own work, written by you in your own words, and containing your own interpretations, ideas and approaches.
If you use other people's words or major ideas, then you should state clearly where they come from. If you use diagrams or photos from published works, (as you should do, when appropriate) then you should state where the diagram or photograph came from.
In other words, it is quite easy to avoid plagiarism, while also being a good friend and neighbour. All you need to do is make sure that you put your own effort into the material you submit for assessment.
How the process works
The following section explains how the Biomedical Teaching Organisation operates within the University's Assessment Regulations.
1. Work submitted for assessment is processed electronically. Any plagiarism is generally detected using Turnitin software.
2. Cases where plagiarism is suspected will be sent to the School Academic Misconduct Officer for review; where the SAMO agrees cases will be escalated to the College Academic Misconduct Officer.
3. Students who are suspected of submitting plagiarised work are invited for interview with the CAMO and asked to explain the similarity between their work and another source. For online distance learning students this process will be undertaken by email correspondence.
4. After interview a decision will be made. If plagiarism has been established then a reduction of marks will be applied and in severe cases this can result in a full loss of marks.
5. The Personal Tutor of the student involved is informed of the offence and he/she is required to keep a record.
6. The Convenor of the Board of Examiners for the affected course is notified and the penalty ratified at the Board meeting.
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