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Plagiarism: Academic Integrity and Academic Dishonesty

What is Academic Integrity?

According to the Writing Center at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hil, "Academic integrity is the commitment to and demonstration of honest and moral behavior in an academic setting. This is most relevant at the university level as it relates to providing credit to other people when using their ideas. In simplest terms, it requires acknowledging the contributions of other people. Failure to provide such acknowledgment is considered plagiarism."


Academic Integrity

Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Business and Management provides more detail in their definition
"Academic integrity is an interdisciplinary concept that provides the foundation for every aspect and all levels of education. The term evokes strong emotions in teachers, researchers, and students—not least because it is usually associated with negative behaviors. When considering academic integrity, the discussion tends to revolve around cheating, plagiarism, dishonesty, fraud, and other academic malpractice and how best to prevent these behaviors. A more productive approach entails a focus on promoting the positive values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage (International Center for Academic Integrity, 2013) as the intrinsically motivated drivers for ethical academic practice. Academic integrity is much more than 'a student issue' and requires commitment from all stakeholders in the academic community, including undergraduate and postgraduate students, teachers, established researchers, senior managers, policymakers, support staff, and administrators."

Keywords: academic integrityacademic ethicsacademic misconductcheatinghigher educationplagiarism


What is Academic Dishonesty?

According to the Encyclopedia of Law and Higher Education, Academic Dishonesty is defined as "Broadly stated, academic dishonesty involves the use by individuals in academia of unethical means such as fraud or plagiarism to achieve success in educational and job performance. Academic dishonesty by students, the primary focus of this entry, includes their copying or stealing examinations, cheating on examinations, plagiarizing reports and term papers, buying term papers, using a variety of strategies for crib notes, and, more recently, using cell phones or Internet connections in order to pass exams. Student infringement on copyright and intellectual property rights is especially prevalent when individuals plagiarize term papers.

Examples of faculty dishonesty include falsifying data to gain research grants, plagiarizing materials in their published works, failing to reveal criminal records in employment interviews, exaggerating academic or work credentials, taking credit for articles that are ghostwritten by others, and fabricating or manipulating data to reach conclusions that are threatening to ethical research. Further, excessive absences by faculty members from assigned duties may be considered as dishonest.


Cultural Differences

If you are not from the United States, the concept of plagiarism might be hard to understand because what constitutes stealing someone else’s work in the US may not be considered stealing in other cultural contexts. In some domains outside of the US, it is fine to take ideas and even entire passages of text from other authors without mentioning where the information was obtained. This differs greatly from the US (and several other countries) in which all words taken from another author as well as every idea taken from another author – even if the words are changed – must be accompanied by a formal citation or acknowledgment of the original author.