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Academic Honesty & Integrity

What is Academic honesty and Academic integrity?

Academic Honesty and Academic Integrity are key concepts that are the foundation of what it means to ‘be academic’. Like it or not, as students at University we must aspire to be academic! We need to practise being academic in our thinking, our ways of working and presenting and definitely, in our academic writing. It does take practise to get it right and a lot of learning is involved. No one can be academic without being taught how and introduced to the concept of Academic Honesty and Integrity.  Universities are increasingly highlighting just how important it is - for both students and staff.

The connection between promoting awareness and understanding of ‘academic good conduct’ that makes up Academic Honesty and Integrity increase awareness of it and reduce all forms of academic misconduct has become a priority for many Universities and teaching staff.

In the past much emphasis was placed on making students aware of the perils of academic misconduct and students were simply told: Don’t do this! Don’t do that! There was no discussion of explanation of what constitutes good academic practise or – very importantly – WHY it is necessary to be academic. We hope this website will make the WHY and HOW clearer.

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Below are some attempts to define academic honesty and integrity:


WELCOME – you’ve joined an academic community!

Closely linked to discussions of academic honesty and integrity is the idea that, by becoming a student at University, we must recognise we are becoming a member of an Academic Community (sometimes referred to as a ‘Learning Community’).

The notion that as students we are joining an academic/learning community, is a critical one. It means for example that instead of thinking: I’m coming to University to learn from the experts or I need this qualification; I just want to pass the course; get the work in on time or I’ll get my qualification and then get-the-hell-out’, we need to think and realise that coming to University is not just about function and processes. We need to actively participate, actively become part of the academic community by contributing to discussions, questioning what we are taught in an enquiring manner. Part of being academic is also absorbing the wisdom of experts and internalising this to make sense of it in a way that gives us a full understanding of the concepts.

Like it or not, coming to University to study means we need to think carefully about what it is to ‘be academic’, for this is exactly what our tutors and assessors will be looking for in our work, and be looking to develop in us. 

The notion of our aspiring to ‘Be Academic’ should underpin everything we attempt to do while at University, it should substantially inform the way we think, the way we engage with our classmates, tutors, assignments, the library and more.

Academic Integrity Policy, University of East London (http://www.uel.ac.uk/wwwmedia/uel/migratedcontent/qa/documents/Academic-)

These themes are explored in greater detail in the section on Building YOUR argument

Developing a clear understanding of academic integrity and honesty and what is required of ‘being academic’, are essential to truly being successful in one’s studies; with this clear understanding, we can reduce the prospect of our ever inadvertently committing academic crimes such as cheating, plagiarism and collusion.

Read the sections carefully: you may think you understand these, but are you fully aware of the ‘grey areas’ into which we may unintentionally slip and so inadvertently compromise our own academic integrity?

Likewise, in other sections of this website we address the core understanding that ‘being academic’ is fundamentally about how we ‘build our argument’, via our utilisation of the ideas of others (fully acknowledged) [Building YOUR argument: key concepts to ‘being academic’], while the section on time realism – Allowing sufficient time to do justice to your assignments & revision – addresses our need to do develop a truly realistic understanding of the time necessary to effectively plan, research multiple perspectives and positions, write-up or work fluently and proofread effectively our assignments and projects.

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Watch this short video

Watch our students talk about their Academic Honesty and Integrity


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Further Essential Resources, Support and Advice

Click on the pdf on the left to access more information about Academic Honesty & Integrity

This information gives detailed information about 'Responsibility' and 5 key fundamental values that are essential to uphold.


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Links to other university resources

StudyHub icon   Library Matters icon   Clued Up   Heroes & Villains
The StudyHub - The one stop shop for all your learning support material.   Library Matters is an open resource that will help you learn how to find and use information you need for your studies and assessments. (You need to be logged into Weblearn to access)   Clued Up! Digital skills for the 21st Century Student, are you clued up?   Heroes &Villains - An Academic Honesty and Integrity website - This is where you are!