What is Academic Integrity?

Academic integrity is honest and responsible study and is a foundation of educational success.  At Central Programs & Services, we encourage the exchange of ideas, but all work submitted must be the student's own.  It is important for students to maintain academic honesty and integrity.  Breach may result in disciplinary action.

There are many resources available to students to maintain academic integrity.


The University of BC FAQ s of Academic Integrity


What is Plagiarism?

When you make research your own, your writing will sound like you. That is exactly what you want.  But what you don't want is to mislead people into thinking that all these ideas are your own.  If you do, you may be guilty of plagiarism - the act of presenting someone else's ideas as your own.

  • In word-for-word plagiarism, a researcher repeats the exact words of a source without giving the necessary credit.
  • Paraphrase plagiarism occurs when a researcher says basically the same thing as an original source with just a few words changed.
  • In spot plagiarism, a researcher uses only a source's key words or phrases as his or her own without giving credit.

You owe it to your sources, your readers, and yourself to give credit for the ideas you use, unless the ideas are widely accepted as "common knowledge."  Information is considered common knowledge if most people already know it or if it can be found in nearly any basic reference book on the subject. (The fact that there are 365 days in the year is common knowledge; the fact that it rained 210 days in Seattle during 1990 is not)  (Sebranek, Meyer and Kemper 179).

What is a student's responsibility?

When submitting assignments students are required to follow standard guidelines for proper citation and cite resources responsibly.  It is the student's obligation to inform herself/himself of the standards of CPS academic integrity.  Not knowing the rules, misunderstanding the rules, or mismanaging time are not acceptable excuses of disregarding academic integrity. 

 What is citation?

"Citation" refers to the process of precisely documenting evidence gathered from various sources.  These sources are usually print-based, but they may also take other forms, such as an oral interview, a video, or a painting/image.

When to cite?

Students MUST document where they found their evidence.  This does not mean that you have to document every sentence in your essay or assignment, but you must document the following:

  • direct quotations
  • paraphrased information
  • information that is not "common knowledge" or that could not be found in a standard reference book.

For example, the fact that the North-West rebellion took place in 1885 is a standard piece of information and need not be cited.  But information that does not seem to be standard --i.e., that the rebellion was a conspiracy engineered by the Tories - does need to be documented if found in a reference because it is not common knowledge and is not your own idea.

If in doubt, a student should consult with their teacher or consider an online resource. 

What are some online citation resources?

  1. Online tool for creating citations http://www.citationmachine.net
  2. The Writer's Handbook - University of Wisconsin - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_F1ZYYiAYs
  3. Online Writing Lab (Owl) Purdue https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/01/
  4. Small SEO Tools - a free plagiarism checker http://smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker/

What are the consequences of plagiarism and cheating?

The consequences of academic dishonesty whether intentional or unintentional can vary and may include all or part of

Within a class, the instructor determines what action is appropriate to take. Such action may include:

  • requiring the student to redo the assignment for a reduced grade.
  • requiring the student to redo the assignment with supervision.
  • requiring the student to write a research paper on plagiarism.
  • requiring the student to write an alternate assignment.
  • assigning the student a failing grade for the assignment.
  • assigning the student a failing grade for the class.
  • assigning the student a "N" work habit score.

Consequences will vary at educational institutions.  For example, the disciplinary measures at the University of British Columbia include…

Disciplinary Measures UBC

Academic misconduct often results in a one-year suspension from the University and a notation of academic discipline on the student's record. However, disciplinary measures which may be imposed, singly or in combination, for academic misconduct include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. a letter of reprimand
  2. a failing grade or mark of zero on the assignment or in the course in which the academic misconduct occurred
  3. suspension, cancellation, or forfeiture of any scholarships, bursaries or prizes
  4. suspension from the University for a specified period of time1
  5. expulsion from the University
  6. denial of admission or re-admission to the University for a specified or indefinite period of time
  7. a notation of academic discipline on the student's record in the Student Information System, which will appear on the student's Transcript of Academic Record
  8. revocation of a degree or other academic credentials dishonestly or improperly obtained

(Source:  http://www.calendar.ubc.ca/vancouver/index.cfm?tree=3,54,111,960)

Last modified: Saturday, 13 August 2022, 11:21 AM