Academic integrity is a set of values that shape the goals, expectations, and rules in universities. It can be defined in many ways, but most definitions of academic integrity emphasize the importance of honesty, responsibility, and fairness in all academic activities. Everyone at CUE—including students, instructors, and staff—play a valuable role in protecting academic integrity.
Academic honesty involves acting ethically and fairly, and all CUE students are expected to follow the academic honesty policy outlined in section 9.2.5 of the Academic Calendar.
At Canadian Universities, there is a strong emphasis on respecting the work of individuals, so academic honesty policies tend to include two connected expectations:
- Whenever you use someone else’s ideas, words, or work in your exams, assignments, papers, projects, etc., you openly and clearly acknowledge their contribution
- Anything that you do not attribute to someone else is your own work
According to the academic calendar, students have the following responsibilities:
|What’s in the Academic Calendar:||What it means|
|a. To follow the guidelines for appropriate use and acknowledgment of the contributions of others in their assignments and projects.||a. You can only use other people’s words, images, or ideas when your instructor permits it. When you use someone else’s work in your assignment or project, you need to be open about it and cite the sources you used.|
|b. To manage their work to allow sufficient time for review, editing, and scrupulous documentation.||b. If you run out of time or forget to document your sources correctly, it is still considered academic dishonesty. You are responsible for academic dishonesty even when it is an accident.|
|c. In group projects, to take individual responsibility for the trustworthiness of the group’s work.||c. Each member of a group project is responsible for the work they submit. If one member does something academically dishonest in an assignment, everyone is accountable for it.|
|d. To act honestly and in keeping with the instructor’s guidelines in tests and other comparable situations.||d. You are expected to follow the rules your instructor has set for exams and other activities. You also need to be honest in your interactions with your instructor (e.g., don’t lie about being sick to get more time to study for an exam).|
|e. To seek the guidance of the instructor in uncertain cases.||e. You are responsible for your actions even if you didn’t know something was academically dishonest. If you are not sure whether something is permitted, ask your instructor.|
|f. To refuse to aid or abet any form of academic dishonesty.||f. You cannot help someone else be academically dishonest (e.g., by telling them the answer to an assignment question or giving them one of your old papers).|
|g. To bring to the attention of the instructor evidence of academic dishonesty by others.||g. If you know that someone else has been academically dishonest, you have a responsibility to tell the instructor.|
Types of Academic Dishonesty
Academic dishonesty can take many different forms. The academic calendar lists five types of dishonesty: cheating, plagiarism, collusion, unauthorized submission of previously graded work, and misrepresentation.
Cheating involves getting unauthorized help with your work. It includes:
- Communicating with others during an exam or not following other rules your instructor has set
- Using material your instructor has not permitted, such as cheat sheets or answer keys
- Copying another student’s work or allowing a student to copy yours
- Having someone else make substantial changes to your assignment, or substantially changing someone else’s assignment for them
- Submitting an assignment or project that was partially or entirely completed by somebody other than you, such as a friend or family member, someone who shared assignment answers online, or someone you paid to do the work for you
Plagiarism is the use of the ideas, structures of argument, or phrases of others without appropriate acknowledgment. It includes:
- Submitting a paper or project that was partially or entirely written by someone else
- Copying and pasting from another source without indicating it is a direct quotation and providing an accurate citation
- Paraphrasing or summarizing someone else’s ideas without accurately citing them
- Citing the ideas or words you used but doing so incorrectly
Collusion involves more than one individual cooperating to cheat, plagiarize, or misrepresent. A student who assists someone else in academic dishonesty is equally guilty of the dishonesty. Collusion includes:
- Working with classmates on an assignment or project when your instructor has not allowed you to work together
- Not following the rules your instructor has given you about how to share the work in a group assignment
Unauthorized Submission of Previously Graded Work
This offence occurs when a student submits for credit something they have already received credit for in another course.
- Even though it is your own work, you cannot submit it in another course because you have already received a grade for it
- In some cases this can be allowed, but only if you get the written approval of both the original and current instructors before submitting the assignment.
Misrepresentation includes a broad range of other modes of academic dishonesty, such as:
- Providing false statements, for example lying about being sick to get an extension on an exam, or saying you submitted a missing assignment when you didn’t
- Impersonating another student, either in person (e.g., writing an in-class exam for them) or online (e.g., using someone else’s student account to participate in an online class or send emails for them)
- Falsifying data, for example by changing your recorded lab results to match your classmates’
All members of the Concordia University of Edmonton community are responsible for maintaining academic honesty and integrity. If you engage in academic dishonesty, whether on purpose or accidentally, you could face a range of penalties that would affect your assignment, course grade, and/or degree. Some possible penalties are outlined insection 9.2.5 of the Academic Calendar.
- Requirement to redo an assignment, with a grade penalty.
- Requirement to do another assignment
- Failure in an assignment
- Notation of Academic Dishonesty on the student’s transcript
- Suspension – The student is required to withdraw from Concordia University of Edmonton for a specified period of time
- Expulsion – The student is required to withdraw from Concordia University of Edmonton for more than three years or indefinitely
In many cases, these consequences have financial effects as well, such as:
- The cost of repeating a course
- Extension of your program because you have to complete coursework again
- Cost of starting a new program if asked to withdraw because of too many incidences
As a study permit holder, there are a number of conditions you need to meet. One of these conditions is that you are making academic progress. Because academic dishonesty can affect your grades and academic standing, it can impact your academic progress and therefore your study permit.
Students who commit academic infractions are not able to make academic progress because the penalty for committing academic infractions may be that you receive a zero on your assignment, that you are asked to withdraw from the course or, in some cases, that you are asked to leave the university.
If Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) finds you haven’t met your study permit conditions, you may be asked to leave Canada. You might also have to wait 6 months before you can apply for a new study permit (or for a visitor visa or work permit). Not following your study permit conditions or studying in a way IRCC hasn’t authorized, could also negatively affect any future applications you submit.
What to Keep in Mind:
Academic integrity and academic honesty are not simple ideas, and many people feel confused about them at first. If you’re not sure whether something is academically dishonest, ask!
There are several people and services who can help you better understand how to be academically honest:
- Your instructors
- The Library
- Writing Centre
- Registrar’s Office
- Learning Services
- International Office