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What is Academic Integrity?

What is Academic Integrity?

Academic integrity is a fundamental principle governing how work is done in the academic community.  The concept of academic integrity can be thought of from two different perspectives:

  1. As a personal value or ethical standard that all students must cultivate and uphold

  2. As a set of behaviors that all students must practice in the course of completing assignments and examinations

As a personal value, academic integrity involves doing work in an honest, ethical, and honorable way, and not attempting to misrepresent oneself or one's work to others.  Saint Anselm College expects its students to develop and exemplify this value throughout their four years of study.  Academic integrity is everyone's responsibility—students need to be honorable about the work they produce, while faculty need to be honest and transparent with their assignments and grading.  When all students and faculty exhibit academic integrity, it fosters a climate of mutual trust and respect among them.  Failing to maintain academic integrity causes harm to the community in several ways:

  • The student's learning experience is diminished
  • Other students or scholars fail to receive credit for their own words or ideas
  • Faculty's trust in student honesty is compromised
  • When a classmate's dishonest work receives a good grade, students who work hard and follow the rules feel like their efforts were devalued
  • If the violation goes unpunished, other students may consider cheating the next time

As a set of behaviors, academic integrity can be demonstrated by adhering to a few simple rules when producing papers or presentations.  Charles Lipson outlines three principles that all students should follow:

  • "When you say you did the work yourself, you actually did it.
  • When you rely on someone else's work, you cite it.  When you use their words, you quote them openly and accurately, and you cite them, too.
  • When you present research materials, you present them fairly and truthfully.  That's true whether the research involves data, documents, or the writings of other scholars." (Lipson 3)

Works Cited:
Lipson, Charles.  Doing Honest Work in College.  2nd ed.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.  Print.

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