Uploader Beware: Shady Sites Are Stealing Assessments

Have you ever received an unsolicited email from someone promising to double check your assessment for plagiarism? Maybe you’ve been targeted by a social media advertisement offering to check your work for errors? Shady companies and sites are using marketing tactics like these to get their hands on your assessments and sell them to other students.

Keep reading to find out how to protect yourself from assessment harvesting…

Never share your assessment work with another party

Even with the best intentions, sharing your work with another party, other than your CQUniversity teaching team or learning support staff, is a breach of academic integrity.

Don’t be misled by companies and sites offering ‘homework help’, ‘plagiarism checks’ or ‘professional writing services’. These are dishonest and disreputable companies and sites using sophisticated marketing methods to steal assessments, blackmail students and boost their profits.

Offers may ask you to upload your assessment to Turnitin. Turnitin is used by CQUniversity but this doesn’t mean it’s safe to use outside of Moodle. Assessments uploaded to other sites risk being stolen and breaching academic integrity. You should only use Turnitin through Moodle.

CQUniversity blocks these companies and sites from marketing to our students whenever possible. If you’ve been contacted, please let us know at academicintegrity@cqu.edu.au and we will investigate.

Contact us if you’re unsure about plagiarism or referencing

It’s normal to feel unsure about plagiarism and referencing, especially during your first year. CQUniversity offers learning support services to help you better understand plagiarism and reference correctly.

Services like the Academic Learning Centre and Studiosity are free to students, and some are even available after hours. Subject matter experts are available for face-to-face, phone or online consultations.

Looking for help with academic writing, referencing, maths, computing or science? Need some additional motivation to get you through the term or advice on time management? Check out all the learning support services and resources on the MyCQU Student Portal.

Understand academic integrity

Academic integrity is behavior underpinned by the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility and courage. All students have a responsibility to uphold academic integrity when undertaking education, training and research as part of their course or unit. Put simply, this means acting honestly when you undertake and present assessable work for review and assessment.

Breaches of academic integrity, particularly academic misconduct, pose a serious threat to CQUniversity’s culture and values. CQUniversity implements measures to inform students about their responsibilities, provide advice to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain academic integrity, and detect, investigate and address academic integrity breaches.

One form of academic misconduct that is considered a serious breach of academic integrity is contract cheating. It occurs when a student submits work that has been completed by a third party. This can be paid or unpaid, and the source may be a contracting service, fellow student, graduate, friend or family member.

Using a contract cheating service may seem like a victim-less act, but these services use sophisticated business models to blackmail students and boost their profits. Unfortunately, issues often arise after graduation and graduates found to have cheated may lose their qualification.

Contract cheating can ruin your future, tarnish your professional standing, and reduce job prospects. Don’t risk your career or your future by doing the wrong thing. Be honest and authentic, and excel with academic integrity.

The Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure sets out your responsibilities for upholding academic integrity. Find out more.

Mae Swarbrick (https://cqunilife.com)

Mae Swarbrick is a current student, studying part-time in the Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Arts, and working full-time as Student Communications Officer. Mae's ongoing experience as a current student is invaluable in her role as leader of the Student Communications team. Combine this with practical experience in the call centre, Admissions and Student Communications teams, and she’s ready to share some first-rate uni hacks for new students. Follow Mae on #How2Uni.

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