What is Academic Misconduct?
Work at LSE is checked via the Turnitin software, which is a similarity checking software. If a significant amount if your work displays as being similar to other sources, such as online sources or previous essay submissions, this will be flagged by the software and the department will look at your work. If, after proper referencing is removed, there is still significant portions of your work which appear to be unattributed or incorrectly referenced, the department can make an allegation of Academic Misconduct.
In instances of collusion or exam offences, the department could be made aware of the offence from a variety of people including tutors, course professors or exam invigilators.
Academic Misconduct guidance(Opens in a new tab)
Generally the department will contact you via email explaining their concern and allegation. Remember, this is just an allegation not a final decision! You will have the opportunity to respond either via an email or a face-to-face meeting. If, after your response, the department still believes that an Academic Misconduct offence has occurred, they will email you with a decision and proposed penalty. You can either accept this penalty or appeal it via an Academic Misconduct Panel.
Possible outcomes could include a formal warning, re-mark the work with the plagiarised material removed, a zero mark for the paper or for the year among others.
An important thing to be aware of is that accidental plagiarism is still plagiarism. The school will look solely at the words on the page when making these determinations. Your circumstances will be taken into account when deciding on a penalty however.
What can you do?
There are a few ways that you can prepare for both the allegation email/meeting or Academic Misconduct Panel. You will usually be asked what you understand about plagiarism or academic integrity as well as being asked how you usually take notes and reference. You may also be asked about the content of the work to ensure that you have an understanding of it. It would be a good idea to familiarise yourself with your work to make sure you can answer these questions, it might be a while since you last looked at the work!
If at any stage you would like some support, please do reach out to our advisers in the Advice Service.
If you would like to speak to someone about referencing to ensure that you are doing things correctly, we would suggest contacting LSE Life as they provide workshops and one-on-one study sessions covering a range of study skills.
What can we do?
Our advisers can attend departmental or panel meeting with you as a silent attendee. We can also provide you advice and guidance on the process itself along with answering any questions you may have about the procedure.
Where to find us
Saw Swee Hock Student Centre