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It can be a very useful study technique to discuss and share ideas with your peers, but it is important to understand the difference between collaboration with another student and copying each other's work:

  • if you wish to collaborate with another person on your project, you should check with your supervisor whether this might be allowed and then seek permission as appropriate;
  • if you have been authorised to work together with another candidate or other researchers, you must acknowledge their contribution fully in your introductory section. If there is likely to be any doubt as to who contributed which parts of the work, you should make this clear in the text wherever necessary, e.g., 'I am grateful to A. Smith for analysing the sodium content of these samples'.
  • Graduate research students should refer to the Research Best Practice pages of the Cambridge Students site, for information on collusion and Intellectual Property (IP)



Students have overall authorial responsibility for their work, but having an independent proofreader check or comment on your work can be helpful.  It is important that students, supervisors, examiners and proofreaders understand what is and is not acceptable when checking text.  The University has issued Guidance on proofreading which can help to define the roles and responsibilities of students and proofreaders.  Students should note that the use of a proofreader will not be accepted in mitigation of any deficiencies in their work.