Staff Guidance

for dealing with allegations of assessment misconduct

Information on how to investigate plagiarism allegations for LSE staff

On this page you will find information about how to investigate allegations of assessment misconduct. The School’s Regulations on Assessment Offences can be found here. Assessment offences can include but are not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, exam cheating, falsifying data, collusion and commissioning a third party to write/contribute to the assessment (e.g. contract cheating/essay mills) and the use of Artificial Intelligence software to complete a summative assessment submitted to the School.

It is important to note that no agreed marks can be adjusted in any way as a result of suspicions of assessment misconduct. The only way marks can be adjusted as a result of assessment misconduct is through making a formal allegation and applying a formal penalty.

A quick guide to the School's Assessment Offence Regulations can be found here.

The School’s Turnitin Policy can be found here.

It is recommended best practice Departments/Institutes provide their students with detailed information about local and School level rules/policies around ensuring the academic integrity of their work such as:

  • how to correctly reference the work of others/published sources
  • avoiding plagiarism
  • the extent of permittable use or limitations around expanding upon previously submitted work to the School
  • Whether the use of AI tools is permissible (and within what limitations) or strictly prohibited 
  • referring your students to the School's student-facing guidance on Academic Discipline
  • Requiring students to read and complete the following assessment coversheet here (or that you use this content in your own Departmental coversheets), that students should upload with their assessment to confirm they have read and understood the School’s Academic Integrity Statement (updated to include reference to AI tools). You should provide Department specific guidance around the assessment rules in the space provided in the Annex.

A quick guide to the School's Assessment Offence Regulations can be found here

Conducting a Randomised or Selective Interview 

The below guidance is for use where students have been notified in advance of the submission that their work may be subject to randomised interviews. You will have chosen their submission at random and the intention is to check the originality of their work.

Randomised interviews

The below guidance is for use where, after marking, one or more examiners have some concerns about the originality of the work. These principals should be applied regardless of the type of allegation (e.g. plagiarism, falsifying data, collusion, contract cheating, the use of Artificial Intelligence software etc). The type of allegation will frame the type of questions you ask. See the Guidance Notes for more details. Conducting an interview is part of the evidence gathering stage and can be conducted before any formal allegation is made. It is an opportunity for the student to clarify any issues with their work.

Selective interviews

Before inviting a student for interview please check whether they have any MyAdjustments and whether any adjustments need to be made to the process. Being invited to interview can cause distress and anxiety so please try to avoid sending requests for interviews (or making any formal allegations) before non-working days so that you may respond as soon as possible to any queries and to ensure other support services are available. 

Guidance for considering assessment misconduct allegations

Detailed Guidance Notes for investigating allegations (including those related to suspected use of contract cheating or AI software), raising formal allegations, applying penalties or dealing with cases that must be referred to an Assessment Misconduct Panel can be found here.

If you have any questions about this process please get in touch. Our contact details are as follows: