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What is academic integrity: Home

Academic Integrity is at the centre of all the work you do at university.


This list is from the Information for Students section of Academic Integrity in the Quality Handbook

Academic integrity means conducting all aspects of your academic life in a professional manner. It involves:

  • taking responsibility for your own work;
  • respecting the rights of other scholars;
  • behaving with respect and courtesy when debating with others even when you do not agree with them;
  • fully acknowledging the work of others wherever it has contributed to your own thereby avoiding plagiarism;
  • ensuring that your own work is reported honestly;
  • following accepted conventions, rules and laws when presenting your own work;
  • ensuring that you follow the ethical conventions and requirements appropriate to your discipline;
  • if you are studying on a professionally-recognised vocational programme, maintaining standards of conduct which are appropriate to a practitioner in that area;
  • supporting others in their own efforts to behave with academic integrity;
  • avoiding actions which seek to give you an unfair advantage over others;
  • following the requirements of the University Ethics Policy;
  • complying with and undertaking your research responsibly, following all necessary regulatory, legal and professional obligations.

As a member of the academic community at Southampton, you are expected to work in accordance with these principles.

See the Academic Integrity Tool Kit to find out more about academic integrity, good practice and your responsibilities. The current position of the University on the use of GenAI is outlined in our Artificial Intelligence and Academic Integrity SharePoint - this will be regularly updated as we review our policy on GenAI.

Introduction to Academic Integrity

Click below to go to a short learning activity which will help you to understand what academic integrity is.

This learning activity has been created to introduce you to academic integrity.

The activity will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

A Word document highlighting all of the key information from the learning activity is available [Word]

If you find an accessibility issue please contact

[Click on the image to go to the activity which will open in an new browser tab]


Academic Integrity Checklist: helping you to avoid making breaches of academic integrity.

Breaches of Academic Integrity (click to see a definition) Ways to avoid them                                                                                                                 

Make good quality notes. Look at the Making notes while reading section of Skills for Study (S for S) and our Notemaking guide.

Reference accurately in the correct referencing style. See Citing and Referencing

Avoid overusing direct quotations. See Quoting without plagiarising (S for S). Note: this applies to text cut and pasted from online sources as well as quotations from print sources.

Where you have paraphrased or summarised another person's work, acknowledge this through correct citing and referencing. See Ways of using other writers' texts (S for S) for examples.

Complete the Understanding plagiarism section (S for S) for further guidance on different ways of using academic sources without plagiarising them.

See this helpful plagiarism infographic created by the University of Connecticut for a straightforward guide to avoiding plagiarism.


Exams are an important part of University education. Allow yourself sufficient time to revise for your exams so that you are not tempted to cheat. See the exams guide for advice and guidance on how to plan and prepare. 

Make sure that you are familiar with the exam regulations (the web page includes information about use of approved calculators and dictionaries).


Ensure all the work you submit is distinctly your own, for both individual and group assignments.The collaborating or copying activity from Skills for Study (S for S) will help you to understand how you can work with others on group projects.

Understand the difference between getting help and collusion. The guidelines for collaborative work section (S for S) gives advice on how you may collaborate and which activates that would be considered as collusion.

Allow sufficient time to complete your assignments so you are not tempted to take ‘short cuts’ such as copying the work of another student. Use the Assignment Planner to help you manage your time.

External authorship

External authorship/assistance is where you present work as your own that has been created using unauthorised input from another person or service. This may include asking for unauthorised assistance with assessments, engaging with essay mills, or using artificial intelligence tools in an unauthorised way to generate or alter the content or wording of academic work. The University recommends that you must not use artificial intelligence tools to generate content for any of your assessments unless such use has been specifically authorised. See the following Student Hub Knowledge Base article for more detail. 

Only submit your own work – presenting other peoples’ work as your own is cheating. Avoid the need to take ‘short cuts’ by careful planning and good time management. Try using the Assignment Planner. Ask for help from your Faculty Office if unexpected circumstances mean you need an extension to a deadline. 

Falsification Allowing sufficient time to complete your assignments will mean you are not tempted to take ‘short cuts’ such as making up experimental results or falsifying data. Try using the Assignment Planner to help you manage your time.

Work submitted for an assignment should be new and original, unless you have specific permission to re-use material. If you have permission to submit previous work in a new context you must state this and include an appropriate citation.  Cite Them Right provides guidance on how to cite your own work

See our Getting Started website for more guidance on the topic of using your own words/ideas from a previous piece of writing. To test your understanding of recycling or 'self-plagiarism' you can complete a short activity here. You can also find a brief explanation of the topic here

Misconduct in research

Avoid this by ensuring you comply with any legal, regulatory or professional obligations, respect the Intellectual Property (IP) of others (this online tutorial from the Intellectual Property Office explains more about IP), take due care of research participants and personal data (see our Research ethics page for further guidance).

Breaching ethical standards

Obtain ethics approval for your research if necessary, see our Research ethics page for further details or check your student handbook.

For more guidance and information take the Referencing and avoiding plagiarism module of Skills for Study


Good academic practice

Watch our top tips to good academic practice video with embedded links (best viewed in Chrome) or see the text only version with links [PDF] version.

[Click image to open the interactive video in a new browser tab - best viewed in Chrome]

Related resources:

'What is academic integrity?' From Future Learn

'How can I avoid plagiarism?' From Palgrave Macmillan

Academic Integrity Guidance, by University of Southampton - download document from this page [PDF].

Top tips for good academic practice, by University of Southampton [PDF]

Turnitin page, by Southampton University.

Regulations Governing Academic Integrity, by Southampton University.

Academic Integrity handbook, by MIT.

Artificial Intelligence and Academic Integrity SharePoint - details the current position of the University on the use of GenAI. This will be regularly reviewed and updated.