Academic Integrity

What is Academic Integrity?

It’s a commitment to honesty that is demonstrated in your academic work. Academic integrity requires a commitment to the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. It is expected all members of the University community adhere to these ethical values in all activities related to learning,

teaching, research and service (University of Victoria Academic Calendar).

Why does academic integrity matter?

Universities are responsible for conferring undergraduate and graduate degrees. A mark of successful graduates are their ability to progress in careers and further research. If the university leaves academic integrity violations unchecked, the level of credibility of teaching and the opportunities for graduates to obtain successful careers is jeopardized.

Many studies have found that people who engage in academically dishonest practices in school are significantly more likely to be dishonest, cheat, or even commit crimes like fraud or stealing in the workplace (Crittenden, Hanna & Peterson, 2009, p.339; Sims, 1993; Nonis and Swift, 2001; Lawson, 2004; Harding, Carpenter, Finelli, et al., 2004; Preiss, 2013).

Examples of Plagiarism:

  • Submitting the work of another person in whole or in part as your own
  • Failing to cite, believing info is “common knowledge.”
  • Using graphs, charts, figures, or images from a source without citing.
  • Changing the words of an original source and using the
  • ideas without citing.
  • Plagiarizing yourself, by submitting your work previously submitted in another class without permission!
  • Altering or falsifying documents.
  • Using, obtaining or possessing unauthorized aids or assistance.
  • Purchasing academic work and submitting it as yours.

I’ve been accused of plagiarism. What do I do?

  • Consult your course outline/syllabus and the undergraduate or graduate policy on academic integrity.
  • Consider the concerns raised by the instructor or chair/director: did you do something contrary to the policy?
  • Think about what to say to the instructor or chair/director.

Know your rights!

Students are entitled to a fair process. Cheating and plagiarism offenses must be fully documented by the instructor; the department must provide notification of the offense to the student; and the student must receive a reasonable opportunity to be heard.

Students are entitled to bring a support person to the meeting with the instructor or chair. The support person is NOT there to act on your behalf but to be there if you need some feedback or suggestions.

The ombudsperson can:

  • review the allegation with you;
  • help you understand the situation better;
  • explain how the university defines and deals with concerns of academic integrity, and clarify your rights and responsibilities.