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What is Academic Integrity?

What is Academic Integrity?

Academic integrity is the term used to refer to some of the most important values of the university community. We hold high standards and expectations for the quality and honesty of our own work, and for the work of other members of the academic community. We rely on one another to live up to these standards because the quality and value of our own academic work depends on the trustworthiness of the work done by our colleagues. Academic work is like building blocks as the work of one academic builds upon another, therefore, it is imperative that we acknowledge and properly document the sources of information that we are using. This will also ensure that others can locate the original information if they want to know more.

The reputation of our academic work is founded on whether others can use it with confidence and feel confident that their own contributions will be acknowledged. Similarly, the reputation of our University and respect for the value of the qualifications we gain from it are earned and maintained through the integrity of our work.

York's Senate Policy on Academic Honesty affirms and clarifies the general obligation for all members of the University to maintain the highest standards of academic honesty.

In practical terms, demonstrating academic integrity means:

  • doing our academic work well and with honesty, and
  • giving credit to other people′s work by indicating when we are using their ideas by citing (referencing) the original source.

**See also our glossary for other definitions of terms contained within this tutorial.

What does this mean to me?

As a student, to have academic integrity means that you have adopted principles or standards that consistently govern how you pursue your school work. A student with academic integrity earns a degree with honest effort, and knows that this degree is a true accomplishment reflecting years of hard work and genuine learning. Academic integrity requires you to develop essential skills including research, writing, and documenting.

It is not always easy to know what choices to make in school. There are many questions with answers that may be unclear to you:

arrow image   Now that you understand what academic integrity is, let's go on to Forms of Academic Dishonesty.