Academic Integrity


Integrity matters to your academic and professional career. The following behaviours are indicators that you are acting with integrity:

Trust: Being transparent and being genuine

Fairness: Treating others equally, and applying ethical rules to yourself and others without bias

Responsibility and Courage: Being accountable for your actions, doing the right thing even when it is easier not to

Respect: Listening to others, and recognising their contributions to research by referencing

Honesty: Be truthful and give credit to others where necessary


Academic Misconduct

In higher education, academic misconduct encompasses a range of unethical behaviors that undermine the principles of honesty and integrity in the academic environment. These behaviours include plagiarism, contract cheating, collusion, cheating in exams or quizzes, and falsification.

Avoiding Academic Misconduct

  • Plagiarism – always reference other’s work when you use it in your assignments.
  • Contract Cheating – write your own assessment, don’t buy, sell, or lend your work to others.
  • Collusion – work on individual assessment by yourself, don’t have others do it for you.
  • Cheating in exams or quizzes – use your own knowledge to complete all assessment items.
  • Falsification – create your own data and report it truthfully.

What is Plagiarism?

Put simply, plagiarism is the practice of using another person's ideas or work, and presenting it as your own work. It means to attain credit for work you have not done yourself. Using referencing is a good way to avoid plagiarism.

What is Plagiarism?

What happens if you are accused of Academic Misconduct?

There are a number of policies and procedures in place that clearly outline how academic misconduct is determined, and the steps that need to be followed to investigate it. These include the Academic Misconduct Procedure and the Coursework Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. The Student Code of Conduct highlights your responsibilities as a member of the JCU community to conduct yourself in accordance with Academic Integrity standards.

What happens if you notice Academic Misconduct?

If you notice Academic Misconduct you can report it to your lecturer. If you notice a cheating service or someone selling work you can report it here.

Academic Integrity in the context of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI)

GeneAI uses complex algorithms to produce distinctive data, images, texts, sounds, and videos by drawing on pre-existing information.

It is likely that AI tools will play a role in your future workplace. Therefore, it is crucial that you engage in the ethical use of GenAI. As a JCU student, you will have opportunities to use these evolving technologies with a focus on ethical use, developing general capabilities, critical thinking, and discipline specific expertise.

GenAI and Integrity at University

GenAI can be beneficial to assist with time consuming tasks like data processing, or background information and ideas gathering. However, there are some things you need to consider:

  • AI output data is synthetic. It is not new information or independent research.
  • Output is not always reliable, nor is it always correct. It must be used intelligently by human users.
  • If you use AI you must declare it on your assignment coversheet. Check the information here.
  1. Check the assignment information in your Subject Outline. This should make it clear if you are permitted to use an AI in your assignment. If you are still unsure, check with your Subject Coordinator or lecturer.
  2. Use GenAI to unpack your assignment. It can help to simplify complex concepts. For instance, if the assessment is about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, you can ask GenAI about that concept.
  3. Use GenAI as a starting point to brainstorm ideas.
  4. Use GenAI for editing your work and provide instant feedback on your work. Don't use AI to generate text for your assessment.
  5. Declare the use of AI in your assignment. Check your referencing libguide on the library website for more information.
  1. Use GenAI to clarify concepts when studying.
  2. Use GenAI to create practice questions.
    1. Write specific prompts. Generic prompts may generate practice questions that are not relevant for you. Prompting GenAI to "create questions about disability policies" may lead to questions outside your context (e.g. different country), or question formats that are not relevant for the quiz/exam you are preparing for (e.g. short answer questions).
    2. Better examples:
      1. "create 2 short answer questions about disability pension policies in Australia." You could add: "Please also write a 50-60 word answer for each question".
      2. "Create 5 multiple choice questions about cognitive behaviour therapy with 4 possible answers. Also tell me which answers are correct."
  3. Remember that AI is just a tool to help your study. Regular class attendance (including tutorials or synthesis sessions) is very important to help you to familiarise yourself with the types of questions the lecturers may ask for the quiz and exam.
  4. Be critical about the practice questions GenAI generates. They may be irrelevant, wrong, or misleading.

DO NOT present GenAI generated content as your own work. This is unethical and can be considered Academic Misconduct.

ONLY USE GenAI as a starting or referencing point for your work, or to prepare for quizzes and exams.

More information about GenAI is available here.

Checklist for Students to Avoid Academic Misconduct

  • Understand JCU's academic integrity policy.
  • Organise and manage time effectively to avoid last-minute pressure, which may lead to unintentional misconduct.
  • Ensure that you cite all sources (including GenAI) used in your work according to the specified citation style.
  • Clearly distinguish between your own ideas and those of others to avoid plagiarism. Properly paraphrase and cite when using someone else's work.
  • Follow guidelines for collaborative work, and give credit to contributors. Be aware of when collaboration is allowed or prohibited to avoid collusion. If an assignment is meant to be completed individually, avoid sharing your work or seeking unauthorised assistance.
  • Ensure that the work you submit is your own and has not been written or edited by someone else.
  • Participate in workshops or engage in online learning resources (Academic Integrity Modules on LearnJCU) on academic integrity to enhance your understanding of ethical practices.
  • Follow exam instructions carefully and avoid any actions that could be considered cheating, such as using unauthorised materials.
  • If unsure about academic integrity guidelines or specific requirements, seek clarification from your lecturer or subject coordinator.

Further information

If you are a JCU student and want to learn more about academic integrity, what is considered cheating, and what the consequences of academic misconduct are, please visit the Academic Integrity Modules on LearnJCU under the Essentials section in your subject overview.