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Copying and acceptable and unacceptable collaboration in assessments

This page is a supplement to the main Physics page on plagiarism which must be read and understood by all students, including those from other disciplines.

The following applies to help and collaboration in assessments, not unmarked exercises.

Students are encouraged to help each other by, for example, discussing problems and approaches, explaining technical issues, or finding bugs in each others programs (the latter can be very productive). However, each assessed program must be that students own work and collaboration in actually writing the program, or copying of others programs is not allowed. Nor is copying of programs from other sources such as the Internet. If in any doubt about whether collaboration is acceptable, put the level of collaboration in writing as a comment in your code. Code fragments given in course handouts may be used without attribution; that is what they are for.

There is no conceivable circumstance in which it could be considered proper to take a copy of another student's code or to give another student a copy of one's own code. It is acceptable, and often useful, for a colleague to look at your code for the purposes of helping you with that code, but not for helping them with theirs.

If in doubt, document any collaboration at the comment at the top of your code.


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