What Is Academic Integrity?

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Honesty and morality are the cornerstones of integrity; when applied to one’s academic life, these form the foundation of Academic Integrity. This means applying your own personal ethics that guide your own life to what you do, how you communicate, and how you represent yourself in your university or college activities. Frequently, people think of academic integrity in terms of what not to do, but focusing on what TO DO is a much more successful way for you to make decisions about the way you put your sense of who you are into your behaviors and actions as a student.

Every institution has its own way of defining what it means by “Academic Integrity.” You can find your institution’s approach by locating the relevant sections of your student handbook, your institution’s policy that explains the boundaries of what is considered acceptable, and, possibly in other statements made formally on your institution’s website, or informally in the ways expectations are conveyed to you by your professors. You are most likely to see information in your course syllabus that outlines academic integrity policy and other very important information for you to understand the requirements for each course. You might also see specific information in some assignment guidelines.

To consider what aspects make up Academic Integrity, you will learn about applying the six fundamental values put forth by the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI). Each of these can help you think about how you apply each of these values in different aspects of your own life, especially in your academic pursuits.

Suggested Readings and Resources

This guide provides information and insight on the six fundamental values behind strong academic integrity. International Center for Academic Integrity. (2021). Six Fundamental Values https://academicintegrity.org/images/pdfs/20019_ICAI-Fundamental-Values_R12.pdf

For building your ethical strengths as you progress through your education, consider participating in some of the activities outlined in this reading: Ten Ways to Encourage Ethical Values in Beginning College https://naspa.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.2202/1940-1639.1239

Module 1 of this shareable Academic Integrity Tutorial reinforces what academic integrity is https://www.umgc.edu/current-students/learning-resources/academic-integrity/tutorial/index.cfm

This book addresses plagiarism and academic integrity with acknowledgment that these are “tough topics.” Eaton, S. E. (2021). Plagiarism in higher education: Tackling tough topics in academic integrity. ABC-CLIO.

This free textbook, Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom, provides insight into strategies for navigating student and academic life that can help foster integrity. https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/textbooks/foundations-of-academic-success-words-of-wisdom