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AIT Plagiarism Policy

AIT Policy on Academic Integrity and Plagiarism


This policy is aligned with two key stakeholders in mind: the institution and the student. It recognizes that academic behaviour is based on the behavior of both the enrolled learner and the enrolling institution.

From the enrolled learner perspective, Academic integrity is based on the principles of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. From the institutional perspective, Academic integrity is nurtured through academic leadership which embeds the principles of Academic integrity in its teaching, learning and assessment policies and practices.

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.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the commitment to and demonstration of honest and moral behavior in an academic setting by the enrolled learneri1. It assumes that all interaction with the Institution are approached with honesty. This includes all documentation submitted to the institution for academic purposes. Responsibility for demonstrating Academic integrity lies with the enrolled learner and this “includes compliance with ethical and professional principles, standards, and practices by individuals or institutions in education, research, and scholarship”2.


Academic integrity is relevant to all areas of academic endeavor undertaken by the enrolled learner. This includes but is not limited to, all activities related to the achievement of academic credit for awards; all methods of learning practice including in the classroom; research; online, distance and work-based learning; in all methods of assessment; and in academic scholarship.

The purpose of assessment, both formative and summative, is to ascertain the learner understanding and demonstrate the achievement of specific learning outcomes by the learner. It is the responsibility of the enrolled learner to ensure that all submitted work for assessment and research purposes in an academic setting, which includes but is not limited to, text, graphics, tables, formulae, or any representation of ideas in print, electronic or any other media format, in addition to artefacts, computer software, or algorithms, correctly acknowledges the source of any data which is not original to the learner.

If the academic work submitted by the learner does not acknowledge the source of any work or data that is not original to the owner then the procedures outlined in this policy will address such cases as potential academic misconduct.

Academic misconduct covers all behavior which contradict academic integrity. Academic misconduct is any attempt to seek unfair advantage in relation to any academic activity. Academic misconduct includes but is not limited to: plagiarism, cheating in any forum or form, cheating by way of falsification or fabrication; contract cheating; or purchasing others’ academic work.

1 ENAI 2018, pp.7-8 in the European Network for Academic Integrity (2018) Glossary for Academic Integrity  (

2 In Ireland, academic integrity is protected by Section 43a of the Qualification and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Act 2019. In the legislation which commenced in November 2019, “providing or arranging the provision of an assignment that an enrolled learner is required to undertake as part of a programme, without authorisation from the person making the requirement” is an offence. It is also an offence under the legislation to provide, advertise or publish advertisements for cheating services.

Scope of the Policy

The reputation of Athlone Institute of Technology and of its graduates depends upon upholding the highest standards of teaching, learning and research. Students have a right to be assessed on the quality of their own work and the corresponding duty to submit only their own work for assessment, which can contribute to earning an award or credits.

This policy and the associated procedures apply to all enrolled learners in Athlone Institute of Technology engaged in academic work, which contributes to an award or credits. Cases of academic misconduct that will be addressed by the committee include: plagiarism, cheating in any forum or form, cheating by way of falsification or fabrication; contract cheating; or purchasing others’ academic work and presenting as their own.

Where academic misconduct is detected the Institute, it is the intention of the Institute that it be dealt with fairly, consistently, and in accordance with the principles of natural justice, which ensures that a person receives a fair and unbiased hearing before a decision is made that will negatively affect them.

Specifically, plagiarism is the inclusion in any form of assessment of material without acknowledging the original source.

Plagiarism is a form of academic misconduct and may include, but is not limited to the following:

• Presenting as your own work material that was written by a third party, including other students, friends, or family (with or without permission) or work through any source or given to you by a third party.  This is not limited to written or electronic documents, it may also include but not limited to other mediums, such as video or audio.

• Presenting ideas, theories, concepts, methodologies, representations, or data from the work of another without acknowledgment

• Presenting text, digital work (for example, computer code, programs or data sets) music, videos, or images copied with only minor changes from sources such as the internet, books, journals or other media without due acknowledgment

• Paraphrasing (i.e. putting text or an idea from another source into your own words) without due acknowledgement of the source

• Falling to include appropriate citation of all original sources

• Representing collaborative work as your own

• Self- plagiarism. Presenting work for assignment which has been submitted (in part or whole) for another assignment at AIT or another institution.

Plagiarism includes:

• Verbatim copying of another’s work without clear identification, appropriate reference, and acknowledgement

• Unauthorised use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work

• If a learner provides work to another learner knowing that it will be used for an ssignment submission, he/she may be implicated in the suspected offence.

Avoiding Plagiarism

AIT commits to a pro-active approach to the prevention of academic misconduct and/or plagiarism through the development of good academic practice.

The institute employs the following preventative measures in order to meet this outcome:

• Development of an Academic Integrity Ethos

• Provision of Guidelines for staff and students about their responsibilities in Academic Integrity, including Plagiarism

• Development of AIT Library Referencing and Plagiarism LibGuides

• Provision of training to both staff and students at the commencement of the academic year, or as required, in the practices of referencing and citation and in the use of sourcematerial(s)

• Provision of training in the use of the detection software to both staff and students,as required

• Introduction to the concepts of academic integrity and plagiarism at the Faculty induction sessions

• Support from AIT Library to provide in class referencing training sessions, as well as individual consultations for staff and students

• Provision of reference guides, standardisation of acceptable referencing systems via the library

• Actively dissuading academics and lecturers from using custom or bespoke onstandardised referencing instructions

• On-line resources available through the library website and the Academic Writing Skills Moodle page

• The facility to submit assignments to Turnitin is also available on the Academic Writing Skills Moodle page. Students are encouraged to use this resource to check their work but should discuss the results with theirlecturer

• Referral to this policy in all assessment instructions provided to students

• There is a requirement on all students, in respect of all work submitted, to include a plagiarism disclaimer declaring that their work has been completed in accordance with AIT’s policy on plagiarism. This Student Plagiarism Disclaimer (Form A1) can be found in the Appendices to this policydocument and must be completed when submitting a hard copy of the assignment. For electronic submissions, students are required to tick box on Moodle, which acknowledges that they have read the AIT policy on Plagiarism and the submission statement prior to uploading their assignment.

Detection Software

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 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. It is important to note that while usually accurate, detection software is limited. For example, if a paper was purchased or written by another party they may produce something that has not plagiarised sources. The lecturer may be suspicious even though the Turnitin software does not flag a warning.

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

NOTE: AIT's full Plagiarism policy, including discipline procedures and the plagerism penalty grid are available here

Avoiding Plagiarism Checklist