Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity

SUMMARY

The Academic Integrity Policy establishes the University's Academic Integrity Principles and Values of Academic Integrity. The Policy is supported by two Schedules:

  • Schedule 1: Shared Responsibility for Academic Integrity articulates the collective and individual responsibilities that underpin a transparent and holistic approach to academic integrity.
  • Schedule 2: Definitions of Academic Activities provides definitions and, where relevant, examples of acceptable and unacceptable academic activities.

POLICY

1     PURPOSE

This Policy:

  • defines academic integrity;
  • establishes the University’s Academic Integrity Principles and Values of Academic Integrity;
  • reflects that the pursuit of academic integrity is a shared responsibility and articulates collective and individual responsibilities;
  • articulates the University’s definition and position on types of academic activities; and
  • identifies the disciplinary process to be undertaken if there is an allegation of a breach of this policy.

2     BACKGROUND

The University is committed to:

  • transformative education, learning, research, and discovery, all of which advance knowledge and have a positive impact on our community[1];
  • creating a work and study environment where all members of the University community can flourish[2]; and
  • developing an institution-wide approach to academic integrity[3].

3     SCOPE

This Policy applies to all staff and students.

It does not replace the requirements specified in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (Australian Code) or the Macquarie University Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (Macquarie Code).  Staff and students engaging in research activities must read and comply with these codes in conjunction with the Academic Integrity Policy.

4     DEFINITIONS

Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

Academic integrity: acting with the values of honesty, respect, trust, responsibility and support in learning, teaching, and research

Academic exercise:  

a) An examination, that is, a time limited assessment task conducted under invigilation including tests, practical assessments, and final examinations; and

b) the submission and assessment of a thesis, dissertation, essay, practical work or other coursework, and any other exercise (including in the case of graduate students transfer and confirmation of status exercises) which is not undertaken in formal examination conditions but counts towards or constitutes the work for a student academic award or for admission to the University or enrolment in any unit or program of study or research at the University and includes related research.

Misconduct: conduct prohibited by any University Regulation and any corrupt conduct in connection with the University.

Academic misconduct: any misconduct relating to an academic exercise.

Research misconduct: constitutes a failure to comply with The Macquarie Code, the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007) or specific provisions of University policies governing the conduct of research by University researchers. Research misconduct includes intent and deliberation, recklessness or persistent negligence; and/or seriously deviates from accepted standards within the research and scholarly community for proposing, conducting or reporting research; and may have serious consequences.

University Regulation: the by-laws, rules, codes of conduct, policies and directions from time to time of the University.

5     POLICY STATEMENT

All staff and students are required to adhere to the principles and values of Academic Integrity as a shared responsibility across the University.  Alleged breaches of the Academic Integrity Policy will be dealt with seriously by the University and may result in disciplinary processes.

PART A: ACADEMIC INTEGRITY PRINCIPLES

The Academic Integrity Policy is underpinned by three equal principles:

  1. Academic integrity is fundamental to transformative education, learning, teaching, research, and discovery at the University, all of which advance knowledge and have a positive impact on our community and the world.
  2. The University is committed to fostering a collective culture of awareness and development that empowers all staff and students to become champions of the academic integrity values.
  3. Academic integrity comprises active engagement with the five interconnected values of honesty, respect, trust, responsibility, and support.
PART B: VALUES OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

The values of academic integrity provide an overarching declaration that informs University staff and students involved in learning, teaching and research.  The following explanations describe what each of the values of academic integrity mean at Macquarie University:

Honesty is being truthful, maintaining transparency, encouraging openness, and acknowledging other’s work.

Respect is valuing diversity, being inclusive, listening to understand, and treating others fairly in a context of academic freedom.

Trust is being reliable, building trustful relationships and demonstrating trustworthiness.

Responsibility is being proactive, taking ownership, and holding one self and others accountable.

Support is communicating clear expectations, delivering accessible resources, being approachable, building capacity and resilience and providing training.

PART C: ACADEMIC INTEGRITY MODULE

The University has an Academic Integrity Module. All staff and students are encouraged to complete the module.

PART D: SHARED RESPONSIBILITY FOR ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

The pursuit of academic integrity is a shared responsibility across the University.  All members of the University community have a role in maintaining a positive culture that supports the values of academic integrity.

Schedule 1: Shared Responsibility for Academic Integrity articulates the collective and individual responsibilities that underpin a transparent and holistic approach to academic integrity.

PART E: ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES

When engaging with or setting an academic exercise, the pursuit of academic integrity is supported by understanding acceptable and unacceptable academic activities in learning, teaching and research.

Schedule 2: Definitions of Academic Activities provides definitions of acceptable and unacceptable academic activities.

PART F: ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY BREACHES

In an academic exercise, the detection, management and notification of possible breaches of the academic integrity policy is fundamentally a judgement made by a member of staff or a student who is familiar with the academic exercise.

The University has existing disciplinary processes for misconduct, academic misconduct, and research misconduct.

The table below identifies the disciplinary processes relevant to the individual and the activity:

Staff or students engaged in research activities

An alleged breach of this Policy, the Macquarie Code or the Australian Code may amount to research misconduct.

Research misconduct will be dealt with according to the provisions in the Macquarie Code.

Academic staff

An alleged breach of this Policy may amount to a breach of the Staff Code of Conduct.

The provisions set out in the Macquarie University Academic Staff Enterprise Agreement may be used to manage academic staff misconduct allegations.

Academic staff (MUIC)

An alleged breach of this Policy may amount to a breach of the Staff Code of Conduct.

The provisions set out in the Teaching Staff Greenfields Enterprise Agreement may be used to manage Macquarie University International College academic staff misconduct allegations.

Professional staff

An alleged breach of this Policy may amount to a breach of the Staff Code of Conduct.

The provisions set out in the Macquarie University Professional Staff Enterprise Agreement may be used to manage professional staff misconduct allegations.

Students

An alleged breach of this Policy may amount to a breach of the Student Code of Conduct and/or a misconduct allegation.

Misconduct and academic misconduct allegations are handled and resolved in accordance with the Student Discipline Rules and Procedure.

6     RELEVANT LEGISLATION

  • Higher Education Standards Framework
  • Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

7     KEY RELATED DOCUMENTS

Supporting documents:

  • Schedule 1: Shared Responsibility for Academic Integrity
  • Schedule 2: Definitions of Academic Activities

Other related documents:

Documentation from the following Universities was reviewed in developing this policy and is gratefully acknowledged:

  • University of Sydney
  • University of Wollongong Australia
  • University of Queensland.

[1] Adapted from the University’s Academic Integrity Values Statement http://www.mq.edu.au/about/about-the-university/governance/academic-senate/resources

[2] http://www.mq.edu.au/about/about-the-university/strategy-and-initiatives/strategic-initiatives/diversity-and-inclusion

[3] Learning for the future, Learning and Teaching Strategic Framework, 2015 - 2020

8     NOTES

8.1

Contact Officer

Chair, Senate Learning and Teaching Committee

8.2

Implementation Officer

Associate Deans, Learning and Teaching

8.3

Approval Authority / Authorities

Academic Senate

8.4

Date Approved

20 February 2018

8.5

Date of Commencement

20 February 2018

8.6

Date for Review

February 2021

8.7

Documents Superseded by this Policy

Academic Honesty Policy, approved 13 November 2012

8.8

Amendment History

Nil.

SCHEDULE 1: Shared Responsibility for Academic Integrity

Schedule 1: Shared Responsibility for Academic Integrity

1     PURPOSE

The pursuit of academic integrity is a shared responsibility across the University.   All members of the University community have a role in maintaining a positive culture that supports the values of academic integrity.

This Schedule supports the implementation of the Academic Integrity Policy and articulates the collective and individual responsibilities that underpin a transparent and holistic approach to academic integrity.

2     SCHEDULE

(1) Fostering academic integrity within the University is an essential element of an ethical education and culture. It is the responsibility of all members of staff and students of the University to:

a. demonstrate and uphold the values of academic integrity;

b. be familiar with the policies, procedures and supporting materials that promote and uphold academic integrity; and

c. create and maintain a supportive environment for their colleagues and peers.

(2) To embed a culture of academic integrity, the University is responsible for:

a. providing a supportive and safe environment;

b. providing resources and support to staff to assist them in providing guidance and feedback to students;

c. providing resources and support to students to develop their knowledge and skills; and

d. maintaining transparent rules, policies and procedures regarding the management of alleged academic integrity breaches, including learning and teaching and research.

(3) The University’s Academic Senate and Committees of Academic Senate are responsible for:

a. developing and maintaining transparent policies and procedures designed to promote and uphold academic integrity values;

b. receiving, considering, and appropriately responding to annual reports on academic integrity breaches including those that have amounted to academic misconduct; and

c. making recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellors in relation to academic misconduct trends and appropriate quality assurance mechanisms.

(4) The University Discipline Committee, Macquarie University International College (MUIC) Discipline Committee and the Faculty Discipline Committees are responsible for:

a. ensuring consistency of practice in relation to penalties against academic integrity breaches; and

b. providing annual reports detailing allegations, findings, and penalties for academic integrity policy breaches to the relevant Faculty Board, Academic Senate, and University Council.

(5) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Office is responsible for:

a. developing and maintaining the University-wide academic integrity module that is to be available to all staff and students;

b. making available to all students development resources which build on education provided by the academic integrity module;

c. maintaining resources on the website that are relevant and available to staff and students; and

d. establishing and maintaining University-wide systems and practices for prevention and detection in relation to the maintenance of academic integrity in learning and teaching activities.

(6) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Office is responsible for:

a. developing and maintaining the research components to be embedded in the University-wide academic integrity module;

b. making available to all students engaged in research activities development resources which build on education provided by the academic integrity module;

c. maintaining resources on the website that are relevant and available to staff and students engaged in research activities; and

d. establishing and maintaining University-wide systems and practices for prevention and detection in relation to the maintenance of academic integrity in research activities.

(7) Within their Faculty, Executive Deans and Faculty Boards are responsible for:

a. monitoring the implementation of this policy; and

b. reporting on issues, responding to issues, and providing recommendations in relation to academic integrity to Academic Senate and Committees of Academic Senate.

(8) Within Macquarie University International College (MUIC), the Director and the MUIC Subcommittee are responsible for:

a. monitoring the implementation of this policy; and

b. reporting on issues, responding to issues, and providing recommendations in relation to academic integrity to Academic Senate and Committees of Academic Senate.

(9) Relevant to their portfolio, Associate Deans and Associate Director (MUIC Programs), are responsible for:

a. implementing this policy within their Faculties;

b. promoting good academic practice for all activities offered by their Faculties; and

c. reporting regularly to their Executive Deans via their Faculty Boards on steps taken to support academic integrity within their Faculties, including pro-active and reactive approaches following reported breaches of the academic integrity policy.

(10) Students are responsible for:

a. when engaging with an academic exercise, acting in accordance with this policy and the standards set out in Schedule 2: Definitions of Academic Activities; and

b. notifying suspected breaches of academic integrity in accordance with the relevant disciplinary process.

(11) Academic Staff are responsible for:

a. embedding the values of academic integrity within professional development and review reports;

b. promoting the values of academic integrity in all activities, including establishing clear expectations of students, careful task design, appropriate research supervision, and maintaining high standards of responsible research practice;

c. when setting an academic exercise, acting in accordance with this policy and the standards set out in Schedule 2: Definitions of Academic Activities;

d. regularly reviewing and renewing assessment tasks;

e. distinguishing original work from work obtained through others; and

f. notifying suspected breaches of academic integrity in accordance with the relevant disciplinary process.

(12) Professional Staff are responsible for:

a. embedding the values of academic integrity within professional development and review reports; and

b. notifying suspected breaches of academic integrity in accordance with the relevant disciplinary process.

3     NOTES

3.1

Contact Officer

Chair, Senate Learning and Teaching Committee

3.2

Implementation Officer

Associate Deans, Learning and Teaching

3.3

Approval Authority / Authorities

Academic Senate

3.4

Date Approved

20 February 2018

3.5

Date of Commencement

20 February 2018

3.6

Date for Review

February 2021

3.7

Documents Superseded by this Schedule

Academic Honesty Policy, approved 13 November 2012

3.8

Amendment History

Nil.

3.9

Policy Authorisation

Academic Integrity Policy

SCHEDULE 2: Definitions of Academic Activities

Schedule 2: Definitions of Academic Activities

1     PURPOSE

When engaging with or setting an academic exercise the pursuit of academic integrity is supported by understanding acceptable and unacceptable academic activities (including learning and teaching and research).

This Schedule supports the implementation of the Academic Integrity Policy.  It provides definitions and, where relevant, examples of acceptable and unacceptable academic activities.

2     SCHEDULE

PART A: ACCEPTABLE ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES

Good academic practice refers to the process of completing academic work, responsibly, honestly, and in an appropriate academic style.

Good academic practice is supported by, but not limited to, the following acceptable academic activities (including learning and teaching and research):

Authorship: an author is a person who has made a substantial scholarly contribution to a work and is able to take responsibility for at least part of that work. Authorship recognises the author’s contribution or involvement in that work. (see also the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research especially Section 5 on Authorship and the Macquarie University Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research especially 10.1 on Authorship).

Proofreading: is the process of identifying basic errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation in a work by the author or another.  Proofreading does not involve rewriting the text, changing the words of the author, or rearranging the structure of the text.  A proofreader may identify errors, but it is important that the writer make the actual changes, as this practice will improve academic literacy.  While it is acceptable to have work proofread, the University does not endorse any commercial proofreading services.

Editing: is the process of checking and suggesting changes to a text which exceeds proofreading.  While it is acceptable for a third party to advise on ways to improve a paper, staff and students must make the changes themselves.  Also, it is acceptable for higher degree research students to work with an editor after they have obtained permission from their supervisor.  This process is governed by the ‘Guidelines for Editing Research Theses’ as set out by the Institute of Professional Editors Limited (IPEd). (see: http://www.iped-editors.org/About_editing/Editing_theses.aspx). For the University’s Guidelines see https://students.mq.edu.au/study/my-research-program/before-submission-and-prep

Referencing: is to attribute information and/or ideas to their original source(s) using an appropriate referencing style/system.

Acknowledgment: is to identify the contributions of others that do not justify authorship.

Collaboration: is a form of cooperative learning. For example, this may include where two or more students work together to understand an academic exercise.

Group work: is an academic exercise completed in collaboration with others to produce a single assessment task.  The assessment task must clearly outline which items were the result of collaborative group work.

Data management: data management supports and enables learning and teaching and research. It involves planning and making decisions about how to collect, organise, manage, store, back-up, preserve, and share data throughout its lifecycle.

PART B: UNACCEPTABLE ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES

Participating in an unacceptable academic activity may amount to an allegation of misconduct or academic misconduct in accordance with the relevant disciplinary processes.

Failure to act in accordance with commonly held acceptable academic activities will be considered unacceptable.  Unacceptable activities include, but are not limited to, the following academic (including learning and teaching and research) activities:

Cheating: is any attempt to dishonestly give or obtain assistance from another person, material, or device in an academic exercise

Contract-cheating: is having another person or entity conceive, research or write material for an assignment and submitting the work as one’s own, irrespective of whether the other person or entity was paid for the material.

Collusion: is unauthorised collaboration in producing an academic exercise that is designated as an individual task.

Deception: is providing false or misleading information to the University.

Fabrication: is to forge or falsify any information or citation in an academic exercise or report false or misleading results or conclusions of any research.

Impersonation: is pretending or assuming another person’s identity or using a substitute person for the purposes of providing an advantage.

Obstruction: is intentionally impeding or interfering with another person’s academic activity.

Plagiarism: is adopting or reproducing the work or ideas of another person, whether intentionally or not, and presenting this as one’s own without clearly acknowledging of the source of the work or ideas.

Sabotage: is acting to prevent or hinder another person from completing an academic exercise to the best of their abilities including by making information or material unavailable to others or disrupting or interfering with an academic exercise, experiments, research or other academic activity of any other person.

Self-plagiarism: is unacknowledged use of material you have previously published or submitted.

PART C: UNACCEPTABLE RESEARCH ACTIVITIES

For staff and students engaged in research activities, participating in an unacceptable academic or unacceptable research activity may amount to an allegation of research misconduct in accordance with the relevant disciplinary process.

Unacceptable research activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

3     NOTES

3.1

Contact Officer

Chair, Senate Learning and Teaching Committee

3.2

Implementation Officer

Associate Deans, Learning and Teaching

3.3

Approval Authority / Authorities

Academic Senate

3.4

Date Approved

20 February 2018

3.5

Date of Commencement

20 February 2018

3.6

Date for Review

February 2021

3.7

Documents Superseded by this Schedule

Academic Honesty Policy, approved 13 November 2012

3.8

Amendment History

Nil.

3.9

Policy Authorisation

Academic Integrity Policy

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