Safeguarding Academic Integrity

What is Academic Integrity?

According to The International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI), academic integrity is “a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to six fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage.” 

Source: https://www.academicintegrity.org/fundamental-values

Joins us for this years’ European Academic Integrity Week, organized by ENAI and Uppsala University. Fun Fact: Uppsala University is actually one of Urkund’s first customers. Urkund is one half of what makes Ouriginal and together with PlagScan, we are the new European voice of Plagiarism Detection Software. 

What you can do at your own institution to safeguard Academic Integrity

At Ouriginal, we want to provide an environment in which fairness sparks personal development and enables people to strengthen their original voice. Part of that is to provide a solution that supports Academic Integrity. Additionally, there are multiple ways you as staff can contribute to protecting Academic Integrity at your institution.

Step one: Lay the Groundwork

Confirm your official practices and standards, and evaluate whether they are effectively implemented and followed. List what works, what needs to be improved and what eventually is missing. ENAI has an amazing list of self-assessment tools for institutions which is a great exercise for seeing where you stand. 

Step Two: Understand Your Students

Once you have assessed how Academic Integrity is followed at your institution: Talk, Discuss, Listen. A lot of research points out students cheat when they don’t feel Academic Integrity is taken seriously or has serious consequences.

As studied by a group of researches from TEQSA, there are many controllable reasons as to why students plagiarize and cheat.

  • Lack of understanding (Curtis & Vardanega 2016)
  • Perceived seriousness (Curtis & Popal 2011)
  • Perceived norms (Curtis et al. 2018; McCabe & Trevino 1993)
  • Lack of language proficiency (Bretag et al. 2018)
  • Poor time management and procrastination (Siaputra 2013; Wallace & Newton 2014)
  • Opportunities (Baird & Clare 2017; Bretag et al. 2018)
  • Lack of institutional support for academic integrity (Husain et al. 2017)
  • Student perception of staff apathy, knowledge and dedication (Husain et al. 2017)
  • No fear of detection and consequences (Deikhoff et al. 1999)
  • Student dissatisfaction with L&T environment (Bretag et al 2018; Park 2003)
  • Pressures and life complexity (Brimble 2016)

However, according to the same research group from TEQSA, some students cheat and plagiarize due to psychological reasons.

  • low conscientiousness (Siaputra 2013)
  • anxiety (Tindall & Curtis in press)
  • low self-control (Curtis et al. 2018)
  • competitive mindset (Barbaranelli et al. 2018)
  • impulsivity (Moss et al. 2018)
  • low confidence (Moss et al. 2018)
  • poor resilience (Moss et al. 2018)
Step three: Support Your Students

A lot of these issues can be addressed by the faculty if made aware. Create a focus group, and discuss these points to discover which ones apply, which ones are working well and which should be improved. Do you offer psychological support at your institution? Is there anyone students can talk to when experiencing anxiety or stress? If students feel valued, they most certainly will value your institution too and give back by studying hard. 

Step four: Take Action

A great opportunity to enhance the understanding of Academic Integrity is to organise events that focus on it. Some Universities even have entire Academic Integrity weeks where students pride themselves (rightly so) for their efforts and Academic Honesty.

Resources

Download our Academic Integrity Tool Kit in our Newsroom

Register to ENAI’s webinars on Academic Integrity here

Find out more about the International Day Against Contract Cheating here

Get involved with the Global Ethics Day here.

Download our Plagiarism Handbook

Enter your details and get a link to the handbook! 

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