Academic Integrity & Plagiarism Policy of London College for Professionals (LCFP)

Introduction

Academic evaluations are designed to facilitate learning and to showcase your knowledge and comprehension. Your grades reflect the extent of your demonstrated understanding and acknowledge your academic efforts.

Engaging in your academic tasks independently and ethically, adopting the correct academic style, and fully attributing all sources as per academic standards, constitutes good academic practice.

When submitting an assignment, you are affirming that the submission is your original work and not written by someone else. While collaborative study is encouraged, presenting work that is copied or co-authored with others is not permitted, unless expressly allowed in the assignment instructions.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism involves the unauthorized use of another’s ideas or work. If your submission includes work not originally yours without proper attribution (acknowledging your sources as per the Harvard referencing style), you are engaging in ‘plagiarism’, which constitutes academic misconduct. Instances of plagiarism can occur in various forms, such as:

  • Utilizing phrases or sentences from another source without attribution.
  • Directly copying text or other materials word-for-word.
  • Paraphrasing or closely translating text from another source.
  • Downloading and using content from the internet, including social networks.
  • Using statistics, facts, figures, photographs, diagrams, or images from another source without attribution.
  • Replicating tutor comments or peer notes.
  • Using materials from essay writing services, organizations, or individuals.
  • Purchasing and submitting work as your own.

Acknowledging the sources that inform your work is crucial to accurately represent your knowledge and skills. Failing to do so is considered academic misconduct due to the potential for gaining an unfair advantage.

The London College for Professionals (LCFP) provides detailed guidance on correct source acknowledgment in the LCFP Guide to the Harvard Referencing Style. Appendix 1 offers preliminary advice on avoiding plagiarism.

Note that the London College for Professionals (LCFP) employs text comparison software for assignment review, detailed in Appendix 2.

Appendix 1: Avoiding Plagiarism

While it’s encouraged to incorporate insights from your readings, failing to credit these sources is plagiarism, which is unacceptable.

Distinguishing between your ideas and those from external sources is essential. When quoting directly, use quotation marks and include an in-text citation. When paraphrasing, acknowledge the source with an appropriate citation.

Understanding academic conventions can be challenging for newcomers. Just as learning about your field is important, mastering how to properly present and reference your work is vital for academic success.

  • Review module-specific guidelines, especially regarding plagiarism and referencing.
  • Use feedback from your tutors, particularly comments on source usage and referencing.

Remember, assignments help gauge your understanding and facilitate learning. Developing your writing style through independent engagement with the module material enriches your learning experience and improves exam performance.

Appendix 2: Text Comparison Software

Plagiarism typically manifests in two ways: i) Misusing information from the web or other sources by directly inserting text into assignments without citation. ii) Collaborating too closely on assessed tasks, leading to a collective response that could provide an unfair advantage, known as collusion.

To ensure fairness and academic integrity, the London College for Professionals (LCFP) utilizes two text comparison tools to detect potential plagiarism in submissions:

  • CopyCatch compares student submissions within the module (and past iterations) to identify collusion and repeated assignment submissions.
  • Turnitin searches the internet for matching text, checking for direct copying or inadequate referencing. It also compares submissions against module materials and commonly used references, producing an ‘originality’ report.

What Happens Next

A degree of similarity in assignments is expected, such as using direct quotes with proper citations or employing common terminology. The teaching team reviews similarity reports from Turnitin and CopyCatch, considering these factors when determining plagiarism instances.

Concerns from the reports may lead to further academic writing support or, for more serious issues, referral to the Academic Conduct Officer.

Data Protection

In using these systems, the London College for Professionals (LCFP) does not share personal information. Submitted work is not stored externally, ensuring privacy and confidentiality.