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Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct: Investigation - PI091422

The University of Salford

We reviewed a complaint from a student at the University of Salford about the way the University had dealt with allegations of academic misconduct and his subsequent appeal. The student was accused of collusion. Part of his complaint was that members of the Academic Misconduct Panel had been made aware of a previous occasion on which he had plagiarised work. This made no difference to the current case as the student admitted the collusion offence.

We found the complaint Not Justified and suggested to the University that it "may wish to consider its approach (the fairness and relevance) to the disclosure of previous findings of academic misconduct against a student where that student is later accused of a further offence. If the University is to present details of previous findings of academic misconduct to a panel, before a decision is made regarding a further offence, then in our view the University’s regulations should make it clear that a previous offence is relevant, and what exactly it is relevant to." So, for example, the fact that a student had previously been found guilty of plagiarism might be relevant to a subsequent plagiarism allegation, but not to an allegation of collusion.