Cheating Infractions & Process

Topcoder is a competitive platform filled with people who love to learn, show their skills, and work with some of the best companies around the world. We know our community members feel strongly about the importance of the processes, the platform, and individual challenge results.

As part of this, we take cheating very seriously at Topcoder, and employ a few different tools to root out cheating during and after our contests.

What constitutes cheating?

  • If you make a submission (code, algorithm, user interface design) that was not written or designed by you. In some cases, such as third party libraries, starter packs or open source code, there are exceptions. Find out more about usable code in dev challenges here.
  • If you make a submission (code, algorithm, user interface design) and the idea was not solely yours. All code must be wholly original and the idea must be yours only.
  • If you collaborate with another person on a submission. In some cases, teams and or collaboration are allowed - check the contest specification for additional details. In most cases, teams and or collaboration are NOT allowed.
  • If you make a submission that is in violation of or infringes third party intellectual property rights including, but not limited to copyrights and trademarks.
  • If you make a submission that has been entered in previous contests and won an award / prize. Please remember that you need to make an original submission - this rule does not apply if your submission did not receive an award / prize. 
  • If you create more than one Topcoder handle and register both of the handles for a contest.
  • If you provide any false information (Name, Address, Tax information, etc.)

What methods do we use to detect cheating?

  • Code sniffers
  • IP detection
  • Manual review (during the submission review process)
  • Additional methods for cheat detection that remain proprietary
  • Copyright review

What happens if you’ve been found to be cheating or accused of cheating?

  • An investigation will be opened by Topcoder Support (support@topcoder.com).
  • Topcoder Support will allow you to appeal any decision by providing information to back up your claim.
  • Any decision made by Topcoder Support can be considered final.
  • Please note that cheating can result in a forfeiture of a cash prize.
  • If you are found to be cheating, you may either be:
    • removed from the contest.
    • forfeit the prize.
    • banned from participating in any topcoder.com contest for a specified amount of time.
    • permanently banned from Topcoder.

 

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