Academic Integrity | Page 2

Academic Integrity

Thinking uncreatively

A great way to think outside the box is to give yourself difficult constraints. A colleague of mine pointed out this great lecture featuring Kenneth Goldsmith Poets at the White House, discussing uncreative writing. Arguably, a great example of creatively thinking about the importance of academic integrity or plagiarism:
We were thinking of ways of making academic integrity more meaningful to students. In this other video, my institution takes a radically different approach, scaring students into acting appropriately:

Academic Integrity Copyright

Academic integrity and Copyright

Here is a talk I missed at the Canadian Library Association’s annual conference and trade show last May (from the program, over 4 MB in PDF) :

B9 – From Plagiarism to Copyright Infringement and Back Again: An Agony in Six Skits

Can I copy this? The question that arises every time someone wants to use information that was created by someone else. Through the use of mini-skits, this session will illustrate the issues that need to be considered when answering this question. It will help participants to distinguish between copyright infringement and plagiarism and suggest ways to make an appropriate decision.

Kathryn Arbuckle, Law Librarian & AUL Information Resources, University of Alberta
Margaret Law, AUL International Relations, University of Alberta

Rare to see copyright and Academic Integrity paired in the same session. I’ve come to wonder about the link between copyright and Academic Integrity, they both include aspects of the other. For example, Copyright, in Canada at least, includes a Moral Right, whereby one must correctly attribute a work to its creator or face sanctions. Academic Integrity, on the other hand, is all about “appropriate” uses of documentation – using, quoting, copying… they seem to intersect, maybe even overlap, but they are also very different.

Copyright is enshrined in law whereas Academic integrity is more akin to a moral code established by local communities (your university, your research group…), vaguely similar to that of other communities but slightly different.

I sometimes think about this during my long train rides to and from work… mostly because I compulsively blog about copyright on my other blog, (en Francçais).

Academic Integrity Concordia University

How many students cheat?

Interesting read about cheating:

Nouvelle recherche sur la probité intellectuelle – Peut-on éradiquer la tricherie chez les étudiants ? by Catherine Bolton, Mebs Kanji and Soheyla Salari in Le Devoir Oct. 24th 2011

The authors remark, about a recent study presented at the International Conference on Academic Integrity :

Jusqu’à présent, les données que nous avons recueillies sont plutôt encourageantes. La vaste majorité des étudiants obtiennent leur diplôme sans jamais être accusés de tricher — la plupart ne trichent pas, car ils souhaitent apprendre, travailler fort et réussir. Nous avons aussi constaté que l’Université Concordia applique les normes les plus rigoureuses en matière de probité intellectuelle.

Aussi préliminaires soient-elles, nos données révèlent cependant des tendances dont la constance justifie une attention particulière. Nous avons en effet constaté que la majorité des cas de fraude rapportés concernent des étudiants inscrits à des programmes de sciences sociales. Qui plus est, nos données laissent penser que ces fraudes surviennent habituellement dans le cadre de cours de première année.

Les fraudes ne sont par ailleurs rapportées que par un contingent relativement restreint de professeurs rattachés à quelques départements seulement. Se pourrait-il que les professeurs ne déclarent pas toutes les affaires de fraude? Le cas échéant, les universités vont devoir trouver un autre plan d’attaque. Nous devons mettre en place des mécanismes pour vérifier si des tricheurs parviennent bel et bien à passer entre les mailles du filet.

So, cases of academic misconduct stem mostly from the social sciences, from first year students, as reported by a small set of professors. Interesting !

Interesting – also because these are my colleagues at Concordia University !

I stumbled on this article in Le Devoir, a daily Montréal newspaper, via the ACFAS newsletter (the biggest learned society in Quebec).