What is Academic Integrity?

The International Center for Academic Integrity defines it as a commitment to six fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage.[1] Such noble values are easy to state and maybe even easier to aspire to. But really, honesty means admitting to our mistakes, and Trust is earned through reliable and genuine efforts. Fairness demands we consider the expanse of possibilities, and that we Respect whatever truths we discover. Responsibility means holding ourselves and our community to upholding these values, and Courage insists we do so despite challenge or fear. To frame academic integrity in this way brings to mind that it requires deliberate effort and even training to accomplish.

Other definitions are possible [2][3][4], such as integrity meaning “wholly complete” or “uncorrupted” with respect to academic processes (e.g. research, instruction, assessments). In this sense academic integrity is considered a lack of academic misconduct. This framing makes academic integrity easier to problematize and measure reactively, though it offers fewer preventative solutions.[4]

Ultimately, maintaining integrity in education is about both ensuring that the degrees awarded to students are representative of their (individual) achievement in learning, and that students develop upstanding moral principles to take into future academic, professional, and social experiences.[5][6][7]

At Carleton University, all members of the academic community are expected to adhere to Carleton’s Academic Integrity Policy. By modelling good academic behaviour in your own teaching and research practices, you can help foster a culture of integrity across Carleton, and beyond. There is no single correct approach to this. Academic Integrity is an evolving and complex issue that is best met with holistic and multi-faceted approaches that promote integrity while deterring misconduct, which are adaptive to the learning goals of your course and the educational needs of your students.[4][8][9]


Suggestions to Support Integrity
Detecting & Reporting Academic misconduct
References & Additional Resources