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ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT

WHAT IS ACADEMIC INTEGRITY?
 

  • Academic integrity is intellectual honesty – it is an ethical principle key to the teaching and research activities of a university.
     
  • Intellectually honest learners do not pass off another person’s work as their own, and do not take advantage of any unauthorized aids.
     
  • Grades are fairly earned and reflect true learning.
     
  • Research Misconduct is any research practice that deviates seriously from the commonly accepted ethics/integrity standards or practices of the relevant research community and includes but is not limited to intentional fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism as defined by the University’s Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters. However, in determining whether conduct deviates from relevant research community standards or practices, due regard is given for honest errors, honest differences in methodology, interpretation or judgement, or divergent paradigms in science; what is at issue are genuine breaches of the integrity of the research process.

OISE STATS

Chart of Academic Misconduct at UofT, 2015-2016

from the Provost’s Annual Report on Cases of Academic Discipline


 

PROCEDURES UNDER THE CODE OF BEHAVIOUR ON ACADEMIC MATTERS

This flowchart has been created from the procedures outlined in the University of Toronto's Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters. For more detailed information, please reference the Code directly.

Flowchart of procedures under code of behaviour

PREPARING AN ACADEMIC CASE FILE
 

If potential academic misconduct comes to an instructor's attention, the instructor should immediately inform the student and invite him or her to discuss the matter.

Two points are worth noting at this stage:

  • first, nothing the student says (including confessing to an offence) can be used in evidence against him or her;
  • and second, it is not the instructor's role to decide if the student has committed an offence or determine the appropriate sanction(s).

If after the discussion the instructor believes that the student has committed an academic offence, he or she must make a report to the Chair. If the potential case of misconduct comes from a thesis or program examination (e.g., comprehensive exam), it may be the supervisor who reports the case to the Chair. 

In the case of an assignment worth 10% or less of the final mark for a course, the Chair may deal with the matter if the student admits to the offense and the sanction is not more severe than a mark of zero for the assignment. Otherwise, the Chair will refer the allegation to the SGS Dean.

When an allegation of academic misconduct is referred to the SGS Dean, it is helpful to provide full information (a checklist and a template letter for making the referral is available). The allegation will then be considered at SGS.

 

For a more detailed explanation please see "Process and Procedures"

TIPS FOR PROMOTING ACADEMIC INTEGRITY
 

  • Use these templates when producing your course syllabus to ensure information regarding academic integrity gets to all students in your courses.
  • Talk to your students about Academic Integrity
     
  • Distribute Margaret Proctor’s “How not to Plaigiarize” document
     
  • Don’t assume your students know what plagiarism means
     
  • Ensure that rules for the final exams are also enforced in all term tests too
     
  • Use Turnitin.com & follow the University’s rules to use this tool.
     
  • Include information in your course package or syllabus
     
  • Consider using more than one version of multiple choice tests/exams
     
  • Scramble questions and use different coloured paper
     
  • Group Work – make expectations clear
     
  • Let students know you will be in the classroom
     

*These have been taken from from OSAI & UTSC documents on academic integrity

 

When discussing academic intergrity in your classes, here are some examples of academic misconduct you may choose to discuss: 

  • Purchasing work
  • Recycling work -  ‘double dipping’
  • Plagiarism
  • Personating another person or having another person impersonate you
  • Resubmitting of altered work for re-grading
  • Electronic devices or any unauthorized aids
  • Altered medical certificates and UofT documents
  • Submitting work containing false/concocted references

RESOURCES AND CONTACTS
 

 

Need Further Information or Advice?

  • Ask the Departmental Chair
  •  

TYPICAL SANCTIONS
 

Imposed by the Departmental Chair (for assignment is worth ten percent or less of the final grade)
 

  • Penalty is limited to at most a mark of zero for the piece of work, and only if the student admits guilt. 

 

Imposed by the Dean (One or more of the following sanctions may be imposed, if the student admits to the commission of an alleged offence):
 

  • an oral and/or written reprimand;
  • an oral and/or written reprimand and, with the permission of the instructor, the resubmission of the piece of academic work in respect of which the offence was committed, for evaluation (first offence only) 
  • assignment of a grade of zero or a failure for the piece of academic work in respect of which the offence was committed
  • assignment of a penalty in the form of a reduction of the final grade in the course in respect of which the offence was committed;
  • denial of privileges to use any facility of the University, including library and computer facilities;
  • a monetary fine to cover the costs of replacing damaged property or misused supplies in respect of which the offence was committed;
  • assignment of a grade of zero or a failure for the course in respect of which the offence was committed
  • suspension from attendance in a course or courses, a program, an academic division or unit, or the University for a period of not more than twelve months.
  • record sanction imposed on the student's academic record and transcript for such length of time as he or she considers appropriate.

 

*For more details, please see the Code of Behaviour.