What does it mean to study with integrity?

The Brock University Faculty of Graduate Studies supports graduate students in their pursuit of a higher standard of scholarship, teaching and research. Academic integrity means upholding a strong personal and professional ethic within our own work, and that of our colleagues. In upholding the principles of academic integrity, graduate students are expected to demonstrate respect and acknowledgement of others’ words and ideas when conducting research, writing, publishing, and teaching.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is submitting material, in whole or in part, that is not your own work without citing the source. Plagiarism can occur in writing, art, music, computer codes, mathematics and scientific work.

Is paraphrasing plagiarism?

No. But you need to do more than just use a thesaurus to substitute words. Find the main ideas and rewrite them in your own words. You still must cite the source in the body of your assignment and in a reference list.

What constitutes cheating?

Deceptively trying to improve your performance on a piece of academic work by receiving credit in a dishonest way, constitutes cheating. Cheating behaviours are amongst the most egregious forms of academic misconduct and may include: lying, copying from another’s work/exam, discussing/circulating answers of an exam without permission; writing another person’s work/exam for them; stealing a copy of an exam/assignment or using unauthorized informational devices without permission.

What is inappropriate collaboration?

Unless your instructor has given explicit permission for you to work with other students, you should complete the assignments on your own. Inappropriate collaboration can include dividing questions among group members, posting answers online, sharing research sources and ideas, and using previous years’ labs or assignments for guidance. If you have questions about your assignments, see your instructor for clarification.

What is data falsification?

A fundamental principle of research integrity is treating data (yours, a colleague’s or a supervisor’s) with scholarly rigor, respect and acknowledgement. Misrepresenting research results, altering processes or manipulating material to better suit your goal rather than reflect the honest findings are examples of data falsification and are considered fraudulent behaviour.

What is fabrication?

At the graduate level, students are expected to conduct research, report findings and present information with the use of rigorous methods, procedures and analysis. Making up data/results and then reporting them as authentic, is fabrication. Inserting references where they do not belong to appear as though your work/theory is more widely accepted than it is, is another form of fabrication that violates research integrity.

Why can’t I submit my own work for another assignment?

While the work is your own, you have already received credit for it and cannot submit it for credit in additional courses. You are not demonstrating what you have learned as part of the process of learning.

How do I safeguard my own work?

Keep copies and drafts of your work that are time stamped. Use a password on your documents and your computer. Never leave your work in public places.

What can I bring to my exams?

You can have the items you need to write the exam (i.e., pen) with you, as well as any approved materials such as cheat sheets or books as directed by the instructor. Please note that use or possession of unauthorized materials, including phones, will now result in a charge of academic misconduct. However, underneath your desk in the exam bag would not be seen as in your immediate possession. If you must bring your phone or last minute study notes to the exam, turn your phone off and place it, and your study notes, face down in the bag underneath your desk.

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