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Academic Integrity: What is academic integrity?

An online resource to help you learn about Academic Integrity, why it is important, and how you can practice it in your own work.

What is academic integrity?

Academic integrity, at its core, is honesty in and about your work.

It is about taking credit for your work and giving credit to the work of others.

Ultimately, it is about respecting others and their work and expecting similar respect in return.

The Institutional Policy for the Evaluation of Student Achievement (The IPESA)

To fully understand academic integrity and the role it plays at Marianopolis, you need to know about the Institutional Policy for the Evaluation of Student Achievement, or IPESA. The IPESA outlines:

  • Your rights and responsibilities as a student.
  • The evaluation of student achivement.
  • Academic integrity.
  • Academic accommodations.
  • Certification of studies.
  • Course notations.
  • Appeals and academic complaints.

To read the full IPESA, go to the Policies page on the Marianopolis website.

The section on Academic Integrity gives a definition of Academic integrity. First, it states that:

"In keeping with the principles of fairness and honesty, and consistent with the standards upheld by institutions of higher learning, the College is committed to promoting and protecting academic integrity." (Marianopolis 17)

It continues by saying that:

"Students are expected to submit work that is entirely their own. Any reference (direct quotes or otherwise) to another person's ideas, content, answers, or manner of expression must be cited in conformity with guidelines provided by the teacher." (Marianopolis 17)

And finally:

"Students must be honest and truthful in all matters covered by the IPESA (e.g. provision of medical notes, language-proficiency level, attendance, etc.)." (Marianopolis 17)

In this context, the IPESA sets out the following expectations:

  • Everyone in the College community must uphold the standards of academic integrity and educate and support students in matters related to academic integrity.
  • Teachers must inform students of appropriate academic practices in the context of their course.
  • Students must understand and respect the College's commitment to academic integrity and consult with their teacher if they have questions.
  • Students must follow the instructions and guidelines given by the teachers (can include multiple drafts of work and all notes).
  • Students must comply with the College's Examination Rules.
  • Students must not contribute intentionally or unintentionally to another student's work (unless expressly permitted by the teacher).
  • Students must not copy another student's work.
  • Students must identify all outside sources by the appropriate means of citation (e.g. MLA, APA, Chicago, etc. . .).

The IPESA also notes that claiming ignorance that your actions broke the rules of academic integrity does not excuse your actions. In other words, "I didn't know" is not a valid excuse.

The rules of of the IPESA create a fair and level starting point for evaluating the work of everyone in the class. Ignoring those rules disregards the hard work of others and the expertise of your teacher, and, ultimately, hinders your ability to actually learn the content of the course.

What is considered a violation of academic integrity?

The IPESA defines a violation of academic integrity as follows:

  • Having or using unauthorized material, tools, or services.
  • Obtaining or providing unauthorized assistance.
  • Making or implying false claims about the submission of a work.
  • Plagiarism, or submitting the work of another, in whole or in part, as your own.
  • False claims or false documentation related to evaluation or other academic activities.

Importantly, this also includes attempting to do any of the above. When it comes to academic integrity, the intent is as important a the final results.

What are the consequences of violating academic integrity?

Following the discovery of a violation of academic integrity, the following will happen:

  • The incident is reported to the Associate Dean, Student Success, who will decided on a sanction.
  • Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, a grade of zero on the evaluation, a grade of zero on the course, suspension and/or expulsion from the College.
  • A confidential record is kept of the offense.
  • No rewrites or re-submissions are permitted. Replacement work cannot be assigned or submitted. No adjustments to the grading scheme of the course can be made. Finally, the assignment or test on which the violation of academic integrity occurred, is excluded from the right to grade appeal.

Why is academic integrity important?

As The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity, 3rd edition puts it:

Practicing academic integrity shows that you value the work and opinions of others in the academic community.

It's a commitment to honesty, fairness, respect, and responsibility.

It's showing the conviction and the courage to make decisions that uphold academic integrity, and to stick with those decisions in the face of adversity.

It's important to remember that members of the academic community rely on each other's work. New research builds on what has come before. But, if you can't trust your sources, how can you learn from them? How can you build on them? That's what academic integrity isn't optional. Practicing academic integrity is part of being a member of the academic community, and it is necessary for that community to thrive.

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