Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct refers to any breach of the University regulations including prohibited and /or unethical actions for the purpose of obtaining credit, achieving higher grades or avoiding a fail grade. Examples of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to, cheating and plagiarism.


Cheating amounts to an abandonment of one’s own right to learning and will result in a student’s disqualification from study at APU. As a university providing scholarships and other forms of support from both internal and external sources, APU cannot permit activities such as cheating. Acts regarded as cheating that will be strictly punished and other strictly enforced rules for examinations are listed on the Academic Office website.

Consequences of Cheating

Students found to be cheating may be punished in several ways, including the following:
  1. Receive an F grade
  2. Punishment pursuant to the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University Regulations on Punitive Measures for Students


Plagiarism is the use of a copyrighted work without acknowledgement and /or proper citation. Plagiarism is against global academic rules and ethics. Plagiarism is an illegal act and offenders may be fined or imprisoned.

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to “plagiarize” means:

  • to use the words or ideas of another person as if they were your own words or ideas
  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own: use (another's production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft: present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

Common forms of plagiarism are:

  • turning in someone else’s work as your own
  • copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
  • failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
  • giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
  • changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
  • copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not

(extracted from, Feb. 19th, 2014)

At APU, cases of plagiarism will be handled in the same manner as cheating. Students caught plagiarizing will be disciplined severely. Questions regarding plagiarism or citation of sources may be directed to your course instructor.

Copyrighted Work

“Copyrighted work” refers to all works as defined by the Japanese copyright law. This includes written / verbal works such as dissertations and lectures, and also includes broadcastings, music, performances, works of art, architecture, maps, technical drawings, models, movies, photographs, programs etc. Online documents, data and images are also considered copyrighted works. You must cite all sources and acknowledge any copyrighted work in your reports to avoid plagiarism.


“Quoting” is the act of using contents of an existing copyrighted work for your own use in line with the rules below. Although there are a number of ways to quote, students should use the method taught in class or as directed by individual instructors.