Your Advice Service

Academic Misconduct -Jargon Busting

Simple explanations of key terms the University uses for academic misconduct.

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The University loves acronyms, so if you are confused about what any terms mean, please contact  Your Advice Service  via the enquiry form at

  • Academic Integrity-being honest about which ideas and words in a piece of academic writing are the author’s and which came from elsewhere.
  • Academic Misconduct-when the university believes good academic practice has not been followed, on purpose or by mistake.
  • ACO/ACE- Academic Conduct Officer, or Academic Conduct Educator (the same role)- an academic who investigates cases of academic misconduct.
  • ACP- Academic Conduct panel- a group of senior academics who look into cases of serious, complex or repeated academic misconduct.
  • ACV/Viva Voce- Academic Conduct Viva- a meeting where two academics ask questions about academic work to find out who wrote it and where the ideas in it came from.
  • Citing- acknowledging the sources used in your work within the text itself.
  • Common knowledge- a fact that’s so well accepted by the average reader that an author can use it in their work without citing a source.
  • Contract cheating- when others complete academic work for you, often for payment.
  • Essay Mill- a business that sells academic work written for students. It’s illegal to provide or advertise contract cheating services in the UK.
  • Paraphrasing- summarising someone else’s idea in your own words.
  • Pre PSP- an informal meeting between two academics and a student to decide whether their case should go to a professional suitability panel or not (most do).
  • PSP -professional suitability panel, a group of senior academics and external practitioners who decide whether students on accredited courses like medical courses, Law courses, or social work courses are fit to practise as members of a professional body.
  • Quotation- a short piece of writing copied by someone who isn’t the original author.
  • Reference lists- a list of who wrote and published the sources used in your work and where to find them, usually in alphabetical order at the end of an essay or dissertation.


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