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Academic Integrity

Academic integrity involves following sound ethical, moral, and honest principles in your scholarly work. When you act with integrity, you know that your work is your own, that you earned the grades you received, and that you can be proud of your Laurier degree. Integrity extends beyond the classroom too. By acting with integrity in your academic work, you are practicing a valuable skill that will become a foundation of your professional work as well.

Why Integrity Matters

When you act with integrity – that is, when you are honest, respectful, responsible and fair – you will likely develop a good reputation amongst your peers and colleagues. Others will recognize that you hold these values and are more likely to want to befriend you, hire you, and/or promote you.

The importance of integrity can be seen in a variety of areas. It is critical in the business world, for example, where companies seek to establish trust with their customers. A failure of integrity, however, can have disastrous results. In 2015, it was discovered that Volkswagen intentionally deceived U.S. regulators about their emission rates. This resulted in numerous adverse consequences, not the least of which was the damaged relationship with their customers.

Integrity is also critical within the academic community. Because researchers are attempting to advance our collective knowledge, we trust that our colleagues are honest about their findings. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In 2010, Harvard University found evolutionary biologist Marc Hauser guilty of academic misconduct after it was discovered that he manipulated results in numerous experiments. This resulted in the end of his academic career.

Whether in a professional or academic setting, it is important to give credit to the individuals who contribute to an idea or project. This recognition helps to foster collaborative efforts because everybody feels like their hard work is valued.

Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct, the term used for when individuals do not act with integrity in an academic setting, is defined in the Student Code of Conduct and Discipline:

Academic misconduct is an act by a student, or by students working on a team project, which may result in a false evaluation of the student(s), or which represents an attempt to unfairly gain an academic advantage, where the student either knew or ought reasonably to have known that it was misconduct. Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of academic misconduct. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it.”

Academic misconduct includes (but is not limited to):

  • Plagiarism.
  • Cheating.
  • Submitting the same piece of work for more than one course without the instructor’s permission.
  • Impersonating another person in a test or exam.
  • Buying or otherwise obtaining term papers or assignments.
  • Falsifying, misrepresenting or forging an academic record or supporting document.

These pages provide helpful information and resources to help you understand what academic misconduct is and how you can avoid it.