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AI and Academic Integrity

Advice to help you ethically engage with and acknowledge Artificial Intelligence in your academic work.

Academic integrity is an underlying principle of research and academic practice. Through your work and approach to learning you are expected to demonstrate your development as an independent learner, researcher and critical thinker, including maintaining good academic practice. This involves completing your studies honestly and ethically, having respect for the work of others and recognising your responsibility to ensure fair assessment.

Poor research and academic practice or misconduct such as plagiarism, collusion, fabrication, or falsification, undermine the advancement of knowledge and innovation that are at the core of the University’s vision.

The overarching purpose of assessment is to demonstrate your understanding and ability to analyse and apply knowledge gained through your modules to your markers. Passing off someone or something's work as your own, whether this is copying in an exam, getting someone else to write an assignment on your behalf or claiming authorship of machine generated content (including text, code and creative works) means that you are not demonstrating your own skills and learning. As well as limiting your opportunities to develop as a learner, it is highly unethical.

When using AI tools to support your learning and in the development of your work you must maintain good academic practice. This will include:

  • acknowledging AI sources through appropriate referencing where you have used content as an information source alongside your other reading
  • demonstrating critical use of AI tools be acknowledging how, why, and when you used AI to inform your approach to the assessment or as part of the writing process

Acknowledging how you have used AI

Newcastle University's approach to the use of AI technologies to support your learning and assessed work requires you to openly and transparently acknowledge how and why you have used it. The emphasis is on demonstrating critical use of the tools, questioning their value, accuracy, and appropriateness for the task. Articulating how and where AI has informed or supported your work will allow you to demonstrate the development of your own learning while avoiding academic misconduct.  

There are many different ways that you may have used AI tools in the preperation of an assessment. These could be tools built into existing applications or stand alone. While you may not have used content directly as a source of information in a quotation or citation, you may have used it as a digital assistant in the creation of your assessed work. To maintain good academic practice and the fairness of assessment you must acknowledge this contribution. 

Be sure to refer to any guidance provided by your module tutors and read your assignment briefs carefully. You may find that your School or lecturer have specific requirements for how you are expected to engage with and acknowledge AI for any piece of assessed work.

How do you acknowledge the contribution of AI to your work?

It is good academic practice to provide a brief summary acknowledging how, why, and when you have used AI technologies. Describing not only what you did but why will help you be more critical in your selection and use of these tools, consider the role of AI in the learning process, and understand its impact on your work.

This may take the form of a short statement at the end of your reference list that includes:

  • a list of the AI tools used and why you chose them
  • a brief explanation of what you used the tool for (for example to improve the clarity of your writing, to gather information, to aid your understanding of a concept, topic or course materials, to generate new ideas or plan your writing, to check facts, to analyse data, to experiment)
  • an annotated list of any prompts you found helpful, including a comment on why they were useful

Referencing AI generated sources

As with all sources of information you use in your work, you will need to critically evaluate any content generated using AI. In addition to acknowledging how you have used AI more broadly in your work, if you think it is appropriate for the task you have been given to use this material directly in your work, perhaps as a verbatim quotation, embedded image or figure, or by summarising and paraphrasing the materials, you must include an in text citation and reference.