What is academic integrity?
Joining the academic community
At the University of York, you are part of a community of students, lecturers, researchers and professionals who have come together to pursue knowledge in an environment of shared research, skills and expertise. As part of this academic community, you will be expected to abide by the community's values. Academic integrity represents a set of values which operate as the foundation of academic practice and through which members of the community can develop knowledge that the whole community can trust.
These core values are:
- Honesty – for example: acknowledging what is your own work and what ideas you have sourced from others, as well as what is your independent work and what is the product of legitimate collaboration;
- Trust – for example: ensuring that others can trust that the work you produce is your own, and that the data and findings you produce are the product of well-conducted research;
- Fairness – for example: knowing that the grades and award you achieve will be the product of hard work within the rules of the University and that you have not employed unfair means to gain an advantage;
- Respect – for example: you respect the hard work and contribution of your fellow students and members of the wider academic community by acknowledging their research and ideas in your work;
- Responsibility – for example: you take responsibility for ensuring you understand the academic conventions you need to follow in order to demonstrate the authenticity of your work, for example by managing your research and accurately using a referencing system.
The values of academic integrity are identical to those that you will need to live by outside of University and in your professional life.
If you do not uphold the values of academic integrity and conform to these academic conventions, you may be accused of academic misconduct. Therefore, academic misconduct means breaking the rules of academic integrity and this is why academic misconduct is viewed as a very serious offence in a university.
We would think that no-one would want to be accused of plagiarism or cheating of any kind. To avoid this it is best to follow some sound academic practices and to take your own original approach to your work:
What is good academic practice?
- Independent learning : you will have to motivate and direct your own studies
- Developing your study skills : improving your note-making and essay writing skills
- Respecting other people’s ideas : acknowledge your sources by knowing how to reference correctly
Does my work have to be completely original?
- Tutors are looking for evidence of independent thought, rather than complete originality
- You must think critically, comparing other people’s theories and evaluating evidence to reach your own conclusions
- You must show clearly where other people’s ideas come from and therefore implicitly show that everything else is your own
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