Notice to Students: COPYING
Copying another person’s work and presenting it as your own is a very serious offence.
- Just as it is wrong to copy in examinations, so it is a serious offence to copy someone else's solution to an exercise and submit it as your own. Allowing someone else to copy your work is just as bad.
- General discussion of exercises with your colleagues is a healthy part of your educational experience and is not discouraged. But general discussion of a solution to a programming problem does not lead to identical code. It is one thing to obtain a hint for a small part of an exercise, or to invite an opinion on a difficulty you’ve encountered, quite another to copy a solution. If you are in doubt as to when that line is crossed, ask a lecturer.
- Collusion is also wrong. It is not permissible for a solution to be developed jointly by two or more students when it is set as an individual exercise.
- Sharing or obtaining solutions to assessed exercises by e-mail, floppy disk, file sharing, web access, or by any similar mechanism opens the door to copying and you should never do it, even if your motives are good. Similarly, taking computer printouts that are not your own may bring you under suspicion.
- There are circumstances in which you may reasonably use another person’s work, such as when you incorporate a publicly available component into a program, or when you write an essay or term paper that draws on the writing of others. Apart from where the exercise explicitly requires you to do this, you must unambiguously acknowledge the extent to which your work incorporates that of others. The writings of others must be paraphrased in your own words and sentence structures unless you are quoting directly (in which case you must indicate this with quotation marks or similar).
- The School does not treat incidences of copying lightly. University policy requires that allegations of copying be referred to the University’s Disciplinary Committee. Quite apart from being denied credit for the exercise, those found guilty of copying are liable to severe penalties. This may include a student’s entire examination results being declared void, or the student being refused an award with honours.
- Remember that a reference request from a prospective employer may well ask about your integrity, and our response will inevitably refer to your honesty in doing assessed coursework. Copying is cheating, and should have no part in your approach to your work.