AIT Policy on Plagiarism
Athlone Institute of Technology aims to foster and maintain an ethos of honesty and academic integrity. All staff and students have an obligation to act in an ethical manner, consistent with the requirements of academic integrity.
Academic integrity is underpinned by the academic trust that develops between academic staff and students, and fostered by the provision of a positive modern learning environment, coupled with AIT’s proactive approach to the development of good academic practice. The institution is responsible for the provision of a fair and transparent policy and process.
The purpose of this document is to provide a definition of plagiarism and to outline the institute’s policy and procedures for dealing with alleged plagiarism. The institute will address this in the first instance through advice and through its approach to assessment. Where plagiarism is detected, it is the intention of the institute that it be dealt with fairly, consistently, and in accordance with the principles of natural justice.
This policy applies to all programmes of study leading to an Athlone Institute of Technology award. This includes both taught and research programmes. Athlone Institute of Technology has adopted policy on collaborative and transnational provision; this plagiarism policy will also inform such provision.
Plagiarism is when one presents as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source. It is defined as the unwarranted use of the ideas, words, arguments, concepts, or designs of another. To avoid the charge of plagiarism, learners need to take care to credit and/or reference those from whom they borrow and quote.
Plagiarism is a serious academic offence. While plagiarism may be easy to commit unintentionally, it is defined by the act, not the intention. It is the responsibility of all students to familiarise themselves with the institute’s policy on plagiarism and are encouraged if in doubt, to seek guidance from an academic staff member.
If a learner provides work to another learner for him/her to copy, he/she may be implicated
in the suspected offence.
AIT commits to a pro-active approach to the prevention of plagiarism through the
development of good academic practice.
The institute employs the following preventative measures in order to meet this outcome:
The institute employs detection software under license to assist in ensuring that material is original. This product is an application that helps support the development of the student’s skills and is available in order to check that the work proposed for submission is not open to the charge of plagiarism. It allows staff and students to check the academic integrity of work by searching for improper citation or potential plagiarism by comparing it against continuously updated databases. Training on the use of this product is provided for staff by The Learning and Teaching Unit at various times throughout the academic year, or as requested. Training will be scheduled for first year students as part of their programme of study. Students in subsequent years may request training by contacting their lecturer. 
Procedures for dealing with incidents of plagiarism
All allegations or suspicions of plagiarism are dealt with ultimately by the Registrar. However, the process is stepped in nature and allegations are considered and dealt with initially at department and faculty levels. A record of all cases of plagiarism upheld will be maintained in the Quality office. The Plagiarism Committee shall ensure consistency in the handling of all cases of plagiarism across the institute.
A Representative from the Academic Staff within each Department will be appointed to an Institute Plagiarism Committee whose remit is as follows:
The following outlines the procedure to be followed when dealing with incidents of plagiarism:
Examination Boards may not overturn the decision or change the penalty which has been applied by the Plagiarism Committee.
Where plagiarism has been discovered in a group project, wherever possible the individual(s) responsible for the plagiarised sections will be identified and treated in the normal manner. If it is not possible to identify individuals responsible, the case will be treated as a serious offence and whatever penalty is imposed will apply in full and equally to all members of the group.
 This currently is the Turnitin software which is an internet-based plagiarism-prevention service that checks documents for unoriginal content. The results can be used to identify similarities to existing sources or can be used in formative assessment to help students learn how to avoid plagiarism and improve their writing.
 This proprietary product is currently Turnitin. See previous footnote.
NOTE: AIT's full Plagiarism policy, including discipline procedures and the plagerism penalty grid are available in the main library on the 2hr shelve under 030 ATH; please ask at the library desk to consult this policy.