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5 questions with... an SSLC Vice-chair

Benjamin is a 2nd year Accounting and Finance student. He is Vice-chair of the Student Staff Liaison Committee at WBS where matters relating to academic integrity are often discussed.

What is academic integrity?

Benjamin sitting in a restaurantIn my opinion, academic integrity is all about honesty and respect throughout your work – and is one of the cornerstones of academia. Having a moral code is important - trying not to be dishonest or deceive throughout anything you produce inside, or outside, of university. Without academic integrity, scholarly literature could not be fully trusted.

What’s the best way to avoid academic misconduct?

There are many different types of academic misconduct and it's important to work actively to avoid them all. My best advice would be:

  • Don't share your assignments with others or request to see other course mates' work. This doesn't mean you can't try to help each other out, but copying work doesn't help anybody in the long run and may negatively impact both of you.
  • Keep track of all the sources you use and cite correctly - you wouldn't want to forget to attribute something correctly.
  • Make sure not to plagiarise your old work (submitting something you have already submitted for another assignment).
  • Be honest in your work and while writing – don’t try to mislead the reader.

What are your top tips for referencing?

Keeping a rough list of in-text references as I go is most helpful for me. Creating the final reference list at the end of an assignment can be painful, but if you keep track of where they have all come from (as well as the page number, link/location, and any other information you may need) citing should be easy. This is better for me than ‘citing as I go’ as it allows me to keep focused on my writing – and is much better than searching for the references you use after your work when you might miss some.

Where can students get advice when it comes to academic integrity?

Academic Support Librarians can provide students with guidance on lots of different topics (ranging from referencing to plagiarism). You could also send any queries or concerns to the tutor who set the assignment (they will be able to offer help and advice).

How can students get involved in this week’s focus on academic integrity?

I found the sessions that were held during my first year in regards to using the library (and proper citation), were extremely beneficial in terms of making sure I show academic integrity throughout all the work I do - so find your department's notes and look back over them. You can also take a look at the resources online and familiarise yourself with practical tips for academic integrity.

Five cheeky bonus questions

What’s your favourite meal to cook?

I'm not the keenest on cooking but am an avid baker - I love creating my own recopies ranging from pastries to cakes! If I had to pick a meal it would probably be pizza (I love to make it from scratch when I have free time).

Do you have any pets?

No, I don’t ):

What’s your dream holiday destination?

I’ve not put too much thought into this in the past, but Iceland has always looked beautiful – their waterfalls look amazing.

What's your most used app?

My most-used app is probably WhatsApp - it's where I spend most of my day, especially at the moment when I have group work due and need to be in contact with my team! My most-used non-university-related apps are Snapchat and Instagram; they allow me to keep up with what people are doing at university and give me a sense of community during times when I'm busy with work.

Where is your favourite place on campus?

This question is easy – the ‘National Trust’ forest between main-campus and the science buildings is beautiful! If anybody ever wants anywhere to have a picnic, or have a walk, then I would truly recommend this, I had some great times with flatmates there last year. A close second would be the lake running by Lakeside. It's beautiful at night - I'm sad I've not seen it much this year while living away from campus in Canley.

Take a look at our handy explainer, which is full of top tips and advice, resources and support regarding academic integrity.