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'Academic Integrity' is floated around a lot recently, but what does it mean and why is it important to students?
The National Academic Integrity Network (NAIN) uses this definition:
"Academic integrity is the commitment to and demonstration of honest and moral behaviour in an academic setting"
This means that everyone in our academic community is approaching their work/contributions in an honest, respectful and fair way.
Check out this helpful video from the QQI:
The opposite of Academic Integrity is called ‘Academic Misconduct’, this is when someone breaches or acts outside of Academic Integrity.
The Network has defined academic misconduct as: “Morally culpable behaviours perpetrated by individuals or institutions that transgress ethical standards held in common between other individuals and/ or groups in institutions of education, research, or scholarship.”
TU Dublin have listed examples of what is considered Academic Misconduct. Remember: Misconduct can be committed on purpose OR by accident, but that is no excuse so stay vigilant.
Submitting work as your own for assessment, which has, in fact, been done in whole or in part by someone else or submitting work which has been created artificially, e.g., by a machine or through artificial intelligence. This may be work completed for a learner by a peer, family member or friend or which has been produced, commercially or otherwise, by a third party for a pre-agreed fee (contracted);
it may be work in which the learner has included unreferenced material taken from another source(s) (plagiarism);
it may be use of a ghost writer to carry out assessed work which is then submitted as the learner’s own work;
it may be using a previous assignment as submitted by a peer claiming it to be your work;
it may be that references have been falsified to give credibility to the assignment and to show evidence of research;
it may be a claim for authorship which is false;
Cheating in exams (e.g., crib notes, copying, using disallowed tools, impersonation);
Cheating in projects (e.g., collusion; using ‘essay mills’ to carry out the allocated part of the project);
Selling or simply providing previously completed assignments to other learners; Misrepresenting research (e.g., data fabrication, data falsification, misinterpretation);
Bribery, i.e., the offering, promising, giving, accepting or soliciting of an advantage as an inducement for an action;
Falsification of documents;
Improper use of technology, laboratories, or other equipment;
Helping a peer to do their assignment which develops into the helper doing some or all of the assignment; and,
Sharing or selling staff or institutional intellectual property (IP) with third parties without permission.
If you are found to have committed Academic Misconduct there are serious repurcussions. TU Dublin note the following penalties that could be applied.
Penalties for breaching academic integrity can include:
- having to repeat the assessment task or unit of study
- failing the assessment task, unit of study or course
- being expelled from your institution, which may impact your student visa
- facing criminal charges.
Remember: Lecturers and academic staff are able to spot misconduct relatively easily and they have to report what they see so don't take the risk it's not worth it!
- Make sure you are familiar with what constitutes Academic Misconduct you can find more information here: Academic Integrity | TU Dublin
- Keep Academic Integrity in mind when undergoing your work.
- Ask for Help! There are so many services within the University that can help you out, you are never alone. From your lecturer/Faculty staff to the services that are provided by the Univerity. However always remember to use the appropriate services. If you are in doubt check out our list of recommended resources below, this list of services to avoid by the QQI or just get in touch!
If you have been accused of Academic Misconduct get in touch with your Students Union as soon as possible, if you are a TU Dublin Student you can get in touch with us to arrange a meeting, representation or support by emailing: Advice@tudublinsu.ie
The earlier you speak to someone the better!
The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill http://writingcenter.unc.edu/esl/resources/academic-integrity/
Academic Integrity Guidelines, NAIN, academic-integrity-guidelines.pdf (qqi.ie)
Academic Integrity | TU Dublin
The Students Union Advice Centre
TU Dublin Academic Integrity
TU Dublin Library Service
Academic Writing & Learning Centre | TU Dublin
Mathematics Learning Centre | TU Dublin
QQI Academic Integrity Update: April 2023