Academic Integrity

Academic Discipline Officers:
 
Marcia English, 867-5935, menglish@stfx.ca
Leo MacDonald, 867-5414, lxmacdon@stfx.ca
Kara Thompson, 867-5338, kdthomps@stfx.ca
 
Offenses Against Academic Integrity
  • 1. Plagiarism: The misrepresentation of another's ideas, words, or other work as one's own, plagiarism is a form of theft. Types of plagiarism may include:
    • a) paraphrasing or re-arranging another's words without proper acknowledgement
    • b) using material from the Internet, a database, a book, a journal, or any other source without attribution
  • 2. Cheating: A more direct form of academic theft, cheating may include:
    • a) buying, selling, or sharing papers or other assignments, or submitting them as one's own work
    • b) collaborating on assignments designated as individual
    • c) submitting to one instructor work completed for another
    • d) possession of unauthorized aids (including cell phones) or assistance including copying during tests and examinations
    • e) impersonating another or allowing oneself to be impersonated
    • f) illicitly obtaining, viewing, or sharing information about an assignment or an examination before it is administered
  • 3. Falsification: This form of academic deceit may include:
    • a) altering research results or transcripts;
    • b) submitting false credentials;
    • c) lying on application forms;
    • d) requesting extensions dishonestly.
  • 4. Tampering: This category of academic dishonesty includes:
    • a) illegitimately using, or illicitly altering, any computer data;
    • b) damaging University materials;
    • c) interfering with others' work, including their use of computer or other resources.

1. Any member of the University may act as complainant or report another's academic dishonesty to the course instructor.

2. If an instructor determines that plagiarism has occurred, s/he will consult the Registry of Academic Discipline to see if the student has previously been reported for academic dishonesty.

3. If the student has never before plagiarized, the instructor and student will discuss the matter, and the student will be given an opportunity to acknowledge his or her responsibility, with the following possible penalties to be applied:

a) the assignment may be re-submitted for a new grade

b) the assignment grade may be reduced or a grade of zero may be applied. The instructor will report to the Registrar both the problem and its resolution; and the Registrar will add the student's name to the Registry of Academic Discipline, to be removed upon graduation.

4. Should the student refuse to acknowledge that plagiarism has occurred, or reject the instructor's determination, s/he may appeal in writing to the Senate Committee on Academic Discipline, with a copy to the instructor, who will prepare a brief for the Committee.

5. In the case of a second determination of plagiarism, or in the case of any other form of academic dishonesty, the complainant (the instructor or other accuser) will prepare a detailed statement on the matter, to include the names of any witnesses, and send it, along with any physical evidence, to the Academic Discipline Officer. The Officer will review the statement and decide whether the case should proceed to the Senate Committee on Academic Discipline.

6. The Senate Committee on Academic Discipline will meet within a week of receiving a complaint or an appeal, will review the information, and may interview the complainant(s). Should the student admit culpability, the Committee will determine an appropriate penalty. Should the student dispute his or her guilt, s/he may present arguments to the Committee, accompanied by an advocate or witnesses. Meeting in camera, the Committee will decide the case on the civil standard, which is the balance of probabilities, and based on a majority vote.

7. If the student is found guilty, penalties may range from a grade of zero for the assignment, to a grade of zero for the course, to academic probation for a specified period, to temporary suspension from the University, to permanent dismissal from the University. Penalties for repeat offences will be increasingly severe, and all decisions will be recorded in the Registry of Academic Discipline. In the case of probation, suspension, or dismissal, the penalty will be noted on the student's transcript for a length of time to be determined by the Committee.

8. If the student or the complainant believes they have a valid reason to appeal a decision of the Senate Committee on Academic Discipline, he or she must send a hard-copy letter to the Chair of the Joint Committee on Studies within two weeks of the date of the decision of the Committee on Academic Discipline, stating the grounds for an appeal and copy  the Chair of the Senate Committee on Academic Discipline. The Chair of the Joint Committee on Studies may decide not to advance  the appeal if, in  his/her  opinion, there is no new evidence or other sufficient grounds to hear the appeal. The Chair of the Senate Committee on Academic Discipline will be notified of this decision.

In the event that the appeal is advanced, the Joint Committee on Studies may, based on a majority vote, endorse or amend the decision of the Senate Committee on Academic Discipline. Decisions of the Joint Committee on Studies are final.

Download the complete Policy on Academic Integrity

Additional information related to academic integrity is available at http://sites.stfx.ca/library/plagiarism