Skip to content
RMIT University Library - Learning Lab

Academic integrity


Why is it important?

Academic integrity is an essential value in academic and professional environments. All publications are the intellectual property of the authors. Representing other people’s ideas as your own is a breach of intellectual property, known as plagiarism.

You are expected to use the ideas of published authors, but you must also show where the information in your writing comes from. This is important so that the reader knows:

  1. what knowledge already existed
  2. what knowledge you have added
  3. how and why you have come to your conclusions.

How do you do it?

When you use information and ideas from published works, you can:

  1. summarise and paraphrase; or
  2. quote directly.

In all cases where you use information from elsewhere, you must include a reference. Information to be referenced includes:

Anything you don’t reference is assumed to be either your own idea or common knowledge (generally or in your field of study), e.g. the fact that Melbourne is the capital of Victoria does not need a reference.

Continue to the other sections in this tutorial for practice recognising plagiarism, and appropriate referencing and paraphrasing.

For more information, see the RMIT academic integrity website.