Accounting is a profession and as such, along with the ACCA as a global accounting body, are both base on the clear principles of honesty, integrity and proper ethical conduct. These important principles are ingrained within the assessing of every ACCA exam, and integrally within the OBU degree requirements.
The student should know that their research work and preparation of the RAP falls under the OBU academic regulations. This includes the OBU regulations on cheating that can be seen on the ACCA and the OBU websites. If any ACCA member or an ACCA student is caught and found guilty of such infractions, this leads to permanent expulsion from the OBU and a disciplinary action by the ACCA.
This means that the submitted RAP needs to be the student’s own work and the research to be done specifically for the purposes of the RAP. The student is not allowed to take a workplace research or a consultancy report and repurpose it to be fit for the RAP. Also, the student should not use or submit a research that has been previously submitted to another educative institution for a different academic purpose.
It is mandatory for the student to use a proper referencing system citing all the used sources in the Research Report. The proper referencing is a part of the graduate skills that the student needs to demonstrate while making the Research Report. The correct use of references is important from several reasons:
- Acknowledgement of the other people’s idea and work;
- Allowing the reader of the project to easily find the cited referenced sources, and easily evaluate the student’s interpretation on the used ideas;
- Avoidance of plagiarism (taking other people’s ideas, thoughts and work and using them as own);
- Showing evidence of the extent of the student’s reading material.
The student needs to use the Harvard Referencing System in their Research Report, or an equivalent of this system. The Harvard Referencing System and the manner of its application to separate references in the Research Report and the preparation of the List of References at the end of the Report are explained in detail in the Oxford Brookes Business School guide to citing and referencing found in Appendix 3 of Information Pack.
All students should read and examine this document. The student needs to comply to the outlined requirements in order to demonstrate their graduate skills in gathering of information and proper referencing. If the student identifies the correct reference for every used source, after identifying the source, it will be very simple and straightforward to prepare a list of references that will contain all the necessary references at the end of the project.
The student may use sources that are not originally in English, and these sources need to be translated versions and this should be noted in the Research Report. The student needs to highlight any area that they found difficult to translate or explain, and how they have overcome these problems.
Mary Davis from the Oxford Brookes International has created an online plagiarism test which any student may use so they will see how well they understand referencing and plagiarism, before the student marks the field that says they confirm that the submitted work is their own and not plagiarised.
Davis, M. (2011) Plagiarism quiz for Bailey, S. ‘Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students’ 3rd Ed [Online]
The OBU requires from all its students that are taking a research, that they need to comply to the University’s Code of Practice ‘’Ethical Standards for Research involving Human Participants’. Before the research for the Research Report commences, the student needs to consider these questions:
Does your proposed research involve any of the following?
- Deception of participants,
- Financial inducements,
- Possible psychological stress,
- Access to confidential information,
- Any other special circumstances?
If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of the issues identified above, how will you deal with these issues?
Are you likely to need to preserve participants’ anonymity and/or confidentiality? If you have answered ‘yes’, how do you intend to do this?
If the student selects a topic that only uses secondary sources of information and do not involve staff interaction within the selected company, they are still encouraged to read the University’s Code of Practice so the students are familiar with the possible ethical issues that are associated with research.
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