Academic Integrity

The pursuit and dissemination of knowledge ethically, honestly and fairly

What is academic integrity and why is it important?

As you critically inquire, research and learn, it is important to respect the academy, other scholars and yourself.

Working with integrity means:

  • Makes you a reliable and trusted source of knowledge in and outside academia
  • Protects the value of your degree
  • Strengthens your skills for your future academic and professional endeavours

(The International Center for Academic Integrity)

Improve your skills

Maintain academic integrity by developing and improving your research and writing skillsets

Attend a workshop and join the community

The Student Success Centre offers a variety of workshops including the graduate writing community throughout the year to help strengthen your critical thinking and scholarly writing

Find a workshop

Academic Integrity Week

Attend Academic Integrity Week, usually in Mid October, to learn more about writing, studying and researching with integrity with fun and interactive workshops

Learn more

See an advisor

Get writing support on using sources and effective reading strategies by connecting with a Student Success Centre advisor

Learn more

Get ethics approval

If you are doing research with animal or human subjects and/or biohazards, ensure you have ethics approval before moving forward

Learn more

What is academic misconduct?

A part of maintaining academic integrity is to avoid misconduct. Academic misconduct is any behaviour that compromises the proper assessment of a Student’s Academic Activities. Academic misconduct includes (but is not limited to) self-plagiarism, academic fraud, cheating, fabrication, falsification, plagiarism and inadequate acknowledgement and unauthorized assistance. For a full list (with definitions) see the academic misconduct policy.

Some examples:

  1. Self Plagiarism: This includes getting multiple course credits for the same piece of work by submitting it in multiple courses. You can also self plagiarize by re-publishing previously published work or part thereof, or data, in the same or another language, without adequate acknowledgment of the source, or justification. If you are doing a manuscript based thesis ensure that you get permission from the journal that parts of your thesis may be published in or the coauthors of the work.
  2. Academic fraud and fabrication: This includes creating and using false records such as citing work that does not exist, making up data, source materials, methods or findings including graphs and images.
  3. Falsification: This includes manipulating, changing or omitting source material, data, methods or findings and students impersonating another student.
  4. Unauthorized Assistance:  This includes cooperating, collaborating or otherwise giving or receiving assistance in completing academic activities without the Instructor’s permission. If you are collaborating ensure that you check in with your supervisor and acknowledge collaborators in your thesis.
  5. Plagiarism and Inadequate Acknowledgement: Avoid presenting ideas, expression of ideas or work of another individual as your own. This includes (but not limited to) algorithms, code, data, method, design, formula, indigenous oral teachings, art and ceremonies. Make sure to acknowledge the contributors to your thesis including the methods used. 

What happens when there is an allegation of academic misconduct?

It’s the student’s responsibility to operate in scholarship with integrity. Allegations of misconduct are taken very seriously. There are a wide array of penalties ranging from going to an academic integrity workshop or seminar to expulsion or having your credential revoked.

When there is an allegation, both for committing academic misconduct and for helping another student engage in academic misconduct:

  1. Allegations will be brought to the Dean of the teaching faculty and/or the Dean of FGS. If there is sufficient merit to the allegation, the student will get a letter describing the allegation with an invitation to meet with the Dean for their voice to be heard.
  2. After meeting with the Dean, the student will receive a letter with the decision or request for more info/supporting docs.

For more information, read the student academic misconduct procedure and Investigating a breach of Research Integrity policy

You can appeal a sanction imposed in response to academic misconduct. Read the academic misconduct appeals policy.