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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

See below for the most frequently-asked questions about academic integrity from students. If you have a question that has not been answered, you can reach out to academicintegrity@yorku.ca.

Students demonstrate academic integrity when they take an honest approach to their learning and research. Working with integrity allows students to gain a true sense of accomplishment for the effort and dedication they have put into their work. It also allows all students to be judged fairly on the quality of their own work and research. Demonstrating academic integrity while at university builds good habits and sets the tone for integrity in other aspects of students’ lives. 

Violations of academic integrity can lead to disciplinary actions under York University’s Senate Policy on Academic Honesty. However, developing good study skills and reaching out for help can keep students from feeling overwhelmed and engaging in breaches. Refer to the Student Resources page for more information.

Academic integrity at most institutions across Canada, including York, is grounded in Western culture, Western knowledge generation and mobilization practices, and Western citation conventions. Indigenous people have different methods and practices, as do many other people and cultures across the globe. Thus, while there may be some practices that seem counter to how you may engage in knowledge development and sharing in different cultural contexts, these Western practices are the ones we work with in the academic culture at York.

You can avoid plagiarism by citing your work properly. Part of demonstrating academic integrity involves following conventions and providing acknowledgement when using others’ work; this helps you demonstrate both fairness and respect. 

Here are some online resources with information about citations and citing at York:

  • Unauthorized use of ChatGPT or other AI tools on assessments is considered to be academic misconduct.
  • If your instructor permits the use of generative AI tools for course work, make sure you are following their guidelines properly.
  • If you are unsure of whether you are permitted to use AI tools, contact your instructor or TA.  

For information about AI tools and academic integrity, please visit https://www.yorku.ca/unit/vpacad/academic-integrity/ai-technology-academic-integrity/

Yes, according to the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty: “Submitting the work one has done for one class or project to a second class, or as a second project, without the prior informed consent of the relevant instructors” (Section 2.1.1) is considered to be a breach. If you would like to submit work that you have completed previously, seek approval from the relevant instructors and be sure to cite yourself.

If you witness other students cheating, remind them of York’s expectations for academic integrity. Also, consider reporting the incident to your professor. Cheating is a violation of the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty because it provides unfair advantages to those students who engage in it.

Expectations for group work differ from course to course, so ensure that you each understand the instructor’s guidelines for this assignment regarding how much collaboration is permitted. As well, as a group review citation practices so that each member is aware of expectations.

For more information on working effectively in a group, visit the Student Guide to Group Work.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies offers academic integrity resources specific to the needs of graduate students, including the FGS Academic Integrity Module (PPY login required). To learn more about available resources, including library support for graduate students, please visit the Graduate Studies Academic Honesty homepage.

If you receive notice that you are suspected of a breach, this does not mean that it has been decided that you engaged in a breach.

There is a process at York that must be followed in these cases to ensure fairness. The first step is an invitation to an exploratory meeting. During this meeting, you will learn why your professor suspects that a breach occurred and you will have the opportunity to explain your side of the story. At the end of this meeting, it is hoped that an informal resolution is achieved, however, that is not always possible. The next steps involve a Formal Hearing. For more information, please refer to Section 3.6 of the Senate Policy.

The penalties of an academic honesty breach depend on the circumstances of your particular case.

Possible penalties include: a warning; completion of an academic honesty assignment; completion of a make-up assignment, test/exam or redoing and resubmitting an assignment all of which are subject to a lowered grade; grade reduction on an assessment; lower grade in the course; failure in the course; transcript notation; suspension; expulsion or even rescission of a degree. Refer to Sections 2.2 and 2.3 of the Senate Policy for more information.

A finding of academic misconduct, and the subsequent penalty/sanction decision is considered binding.

However, you can file an appeal on the grounds of new evidence, or evidence of procedural irregularity. The appeal must be made in writing, with the evidence attached. If the appeal is successful, then a new hearing will be scheduled at the Senate level.

Yes. Throughout each academic term we offer the "Academic Integrity: Learn to Stop Worrying about it" online workshop for students. Through scenarios, you will identify different types of academic misconduct that can occur in student work and learn how you can avoid engaging in these behaviours and where you can get more support. Additionally, this workshop will help increase your confidence when it comes to using sources and citing.

For more information and to register for an upcoming workshop, please visit the York University Library Workshops page.