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NSHCS Plagiarism policy (2020)

This document outlines the process the School will use to consider allegations of plagiarism made against an individual.

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Introduction

This policy applies to all trainees on the Scientist Training Programme (STP) and Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST) programme and Accredited Scientific Practice (ASP).

The policy applies to trainees in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and provides a definition of what is considered as plagiarism. It also outlines the process the School will use to consider allegations of plagiarism made against an individual. The policy does not apply to your academic programme, so you will be subject to the university’s plagiarism policy for all submissions of academic work.

Academic and work-based assessments exist to help you learn and demonstrate your knowledge and understanding. Work-based evidence reviewed by your assessor shows how fully you have demonstrated this and contributes to the completion of the programme to a satisfactory standard.

Good practice is the process of completing your submitted evidence independently and honestly, using the expected professional style and with all sources fully attributed to the originator.

When you submit evidence, you are asked to confirm that the work you are submitting is your own and has not been written or produced by anyone else. Whilst you may collaborate with others in studying, submitted work copied from or written jointly with others is not acceptable. The exception to this, is if collaboration is required in the assignment and the source of contributions is clearly identified in the submission.

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Plagiarism – definition and scope

Plagiarism is using, without acknowledgement, someone else’s ideas or work.

Plagiarism might occur in evidence submitted when:

  • using a choice phrase or sentence that you have come across or translated from another source
  • copying word-for-word directly from a text or other source
  • paraphrasing or translating the words from a text or other source very closely
  • using text downloaded from the internet, including that exchanged on social networks
  • borrowing statistics or assembled facts from another person or source
  • copying or downloading figures, photographs, pictures or diagrams without acknowledging your sources
  • copying comments or notes from a tutor
  • copying from the notes or work-based evidence of a fellow student
  • copying from your own notes, on a text, tutorial, video or lecture, that contain direct quotations from e.g. Training Officers
  • using text obtained from assignment writing sites, organisations or private individuals
  • paying for work from other sources and submitting it as your own
  • using work produced in collaboration with others, without clearly identifying it as such

This list is for guidance and is not exhaustive.

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Principles

If you submit evidence to fulfil the work-based assessments that contains work that is not your own, without clearly indicating this to the assessor (fully acknowledging your sources), you are committing ‘plagiarism’. This is considered professional misconduct as it contravenes the requirements of Good Scientific Practice (GSP), specifically the following section:

GSP Section 1.2 Probity

1.2.3 Be open, honest and act with integrity at all times, including but not limited to: writing reports, signing documents, providing information about your qualifications, experience, and position in the scientific community, and providing written and verbal information to any formal enquiry or litigation, including that relating to the limits of your scientific knowledge and experience.

It is important to understand that if you do not fully acknowledge the sources that have contributed to and informed your work, you are misrepresenting your knowledge and abilities. This is professional misconduct and will result in disciplinary action by your employer under local employment policies, and potential dismissal from the Scientist Training Programme.

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Process

In the event of suspected plagiarism, we will ask the trainee’s department to formally investigate the allegations under their local employment policies and to keep us informed of progress.

The trainee’s employer will report the findings and recommendations of the investigation to the School. Each case will be considered by the School’s Training Management Panel (TMP). The outcomes from this process may include the following:

  • the employer may report that there are no findings of plagiarism and therefore no further action is required by the TMP
  • the employer may report some low-level evidence of plagiarism, for example some evidence of inadequate referencing and make recommendations to remediate
  • the TMP may recommend that some students need further guidance or support to develop their evidence submission skills
  • the employer’s findings may be serious and result in disciplinary action in the form of a verbal or written warning or suspension
  • the TMP may recommend removal from the programme and funding will cease
  • if the local investigation deems the plagiarism to be so severe as warrants dismissal from employment, the trainee will no longer be in contract – they will no longer be a trainee on the Scientist Training Programme and all funding will cease

Any findings of plagiarism will be reported to the Academy for Healthcare Science (for report to the Health and Care Professions Council) and the relevant professional body.

You have the right to appeal against the decision of the TMP within 10 working days of being notified of the decision. The appeal will be considered by the Head of School and the HEE Postgraduate Dean with responsibility for Healthcare Science, or their nominated representative(s), whose decision will be final.

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Appendix 1 - Guidance

For all evidence submitted for assessment, you must make it clear which words and ideas are yours and which have come from elsewhere. If you are using the words that appear in the source i.e. quoting, you must show these words in quotation marks accompanied by an in-text citation/in-text reference.

If you are summarising (sometimes called paraphrasing) ideas in a source, you must acknowledge these by including an appropriate in-text citation/in-text reference.

Particularly when providing evidence for direct observation of practical skills (DOPs), you should consider writing in the first person.

Make sure you use your tutor’s feedback on your assignments, which may include how you are using and referencing sources.

Remember, your evidence:

  • provides a vehicle for assessing your performance in the workplace
  • assists you in understanding your subject and aids your learning
  • when you attempt to use the ideas and terms required to fulfil the requirements of the assessment independently, you learn more thoroughly and develop your own writing style

Last updated on 13th August 2021

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