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Academic Integrity and Misconduct

As faculty members and instructors, you are in a strong position to role model qualities and behaviours inherent to academic integrity. Your actions provide a clear message to students, about our standards and expectations. Faculty members are in a unique position to influence students from the first class.

Principles and Guidelines of Academic Integrity

Policy 60: Academic Integrity is premised on the commitment of Ryerson University to foster and uphold the highest standards of academic integrity, the fundamental values of which are honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, courage1, as well as trustworthiness. These values are central to the development and sharing of knowledge. All members of the Ryerson community, including faculty, students, graduate assistants, and staff, have a responsibility to adhere to and uphold them in their teaching, learning, evaluation, scholarly research and creative activity. This includes a responsibility to take action if they have reasonable grounds for thinking that academic misconduct has occurred.


1International Centre for Academic Integrity (2013)

 

Ten (Updated) Principles of Academic Integrity: How Faculty Can Foster Student Honesty

by Donald L. McCabe and Gary Pavela

Read the article on the Taylor & Francis website

Forms of Academic Misconduct

According to Policy 60: Academic Integrity: "Any behaviour that undermines the University's ability to evaluate fairly students' academic achievements, or any behaviour that a student knew, or reasonably ought to have known, could gain them or others unearned academic advantage or benefit, counts as academic misconduct." (Section 2)

The policy lists the most common instances of academic misconduct; however it is not intended to be exhaustive.  If you have any questions, please contact the Academic Integrity Office.

Plagiarism

– includes but is not limited to:

  • claiming, submitting or presenting the words, ideas, artistry, drawings, images or data of another person, including information found on the Internet and unpublished materials, as if they are one’s own, without appropriate referencing;
  • claiming, submitting or presenting someone else’s work, ideas, opinions or theories as if they are one's own, without proper referencing;
  • claiming, submitting or presenting another person’s substantial compositional contributions, assistance, edits or changes to an assignment as one’s own;
  • claiming, submitting or presenting collaborative work as if it were created solely by oneself or one’s group;
  • submitting the same work, in whole or in part, for credit in two or more courses, or in the same course more than once, without the prior written permission of the instructor;
  • minimally paraphrasing someone else’s work by changing only a few words and not citing the original source.
Cheating

- includes but is not limited to:

  • having ready access to and/or using aids or devices (including wireless communication devices) not expressly allowed by the instructor during an examination, test, quiz, or other evaluation;
  • copying another person’s answer(s) on a test, exam, quiz, lab report, or other work to be evaluated;
  • copying another person’s answers, with or without their permission, to individually assigned projects;
  • consulting with another person or with unauthorized materials outside of an examination room during the examination period (e.g. discussing an exam or consulting materials during an emergency evacuation or when permitted to use a washroom);
  • improperly submitting an answer to a test or examination question completed, in whole or part, outside the examination room unless expressly permitted by the instructor;  
  • resubmitting altered test or examination work after it has already been evaluated;
  • presenting falsified or fabricated material, including research results (see Section 2.8);
  • improperly obtaining, through deceit, theft, bribery, collusion or otherwise, access to examination paper(s) or set of questions, or other confidential information;
  • collaborating on work to be evaluated where such collaboration has been expressly forbidden by the instructor.
Misrepresentation of Personal Identity or Performance

- includes but is not limited to:

  • submitting stolen or purchased assignments or research;
  • impersonating someone or having someone impersonate you in person, in writing, or electronically (both the impersonator and the individual impersonated, if aware of the impersonation, may be subject to a penalty);
  • falsely identifying oneself or misrepresenting one’s personal performance outside of a particular course, in a course in which one is not officially enrolled, or in the admissions process (e.g. submission of portfolios, essays, transcripts or documents);
  • withholding or altering academic information, portfolios, essays, transcripts or documents, including during the admissions process.
Submission of False Information

- includes but is not limited to:

  • submitting altered, forged or falsified medical or other certificates or documents for academic consideration, or making false claims for such consideration, including in or as part of an academic appeal, or the academic misconduct process;
  • submitting false academic credentials to the University;
  • altering, in any way, official documents issued by the University;
  • submitting falsified letters of reference.
Contributing to Academic Misconduct

- includes but is not limited to:

offering, giving, sharing or selling essays, questions and/or answers to tests or exams, quizzes or other assignments unless authorized to do so;

allowing work to be copied during an examination, test or for other assignments.

Damaging, Tampering or Interfering with the Scholarly Environment

- includes but is not limited to:

  • obstructing and/or disturbing the academic activities of others;
  • altering the academic work of others in order to gain academic advantage;
  • tampering with experiments or laboratory assignments;
  • altering or destroying artistic or creative works such as drawings or films;
  • removing, altering, misusing or destroying University property to obstruct the work of others;
  • unauthorized access to, stealing, or tampering with any course-related material;
  • unauthorized access to, or tampering with, library materials, including hiding them in a place where they will not readily be found by other members of the Ryerson community.
Unauthorized Use of Intellectual Property

Use of the intellectual property of others for distribution, sale or profit without the authorization of the owner of that material. This includes slides and presentation materials used in a class wherever the owner of those materials has not authorized further use.

Misconduct in Re-graded/Re-submitted Work

All of the provisions of this policy will apply to work that is re-assessed (See Policy 134: Undergraduate Academic Consideration and Appeals and Policy 152: Graduate Student Academic Appeals Policy)

Violations of Specific Departmental or Course Requirements

Instructors may, in order to encourage Academic Integrity, include additional specific requirements as long as these are consistent with this policy. Any additional requirements must be published in the course outline (see also Section 5.2.3).

Note: Applicability to Research-Related Activities

For purposes of this policy, “supervised research” is treated as a separate category to accord with the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research, and normally includes academic milestones such as Comprehensive Examinations, Major Research Papers, Research or Thesis Proposals, Theses, and Dissertations, as well as the research and associated writing carried out towards any of these at either the undergraduate or graduate level. (See Section 3.4.2 regarding the process to be followed in addressing suspicions of misconduct in these areas.) Suspicions of research misconduct that may have occurred under the auspices of Ryerson University, but are in no way directed towards academic advantage or benefit, are to be addressed under Policy 118 (Scholarly, Research and Creative Activity (SRC) Integrity) rather than Policy 60.

Penalty Guidelines

For a PDF version of the tables below, please look at the Penalty & Guidelines document.

These are the most common penalties; however it is not intended to be exhaustive. Please see Policy 60: Academic Integrity for more. If you have any questions, please contact the Academic Integrity Office.

Undergraduate Students
Consequence: Academic Integrity quizz(es) and/or workshop(s)

Suggested Guidelines1

  • Can be assigned as part of a penalty for educational purposes where appropriate
  • Can be assigned as a course requirement if a student does not have a finding of misconduct
  • Minimum penalty if misconduct is outside of a course

Examples (but not limited to)1

List of available workshops on the SLS website

List of available workshops on the RULA website

 

 

 

 

 

Penalty: Grade reduction which can include a "Zero" (0) on the work (minimum penalty in a course)

Suggested Guidelines1

  • Penalty most often selected by faculty for most minor acts of misconduct
  • Cannot be assigned if misconduct is outside of a course

Examples (but not limited to)1

  • Minor plagiarism
  • Sharing files/work with another student (e.g. working together on an individual assignment)
  • Minor cheating in a test or exam
A Course Grade Reduction
Greater than a grade of “Zero” (0) on the work but less than an “F” in the course may be assigned. Note: This can only be applied to course components worth 10% or less, and any additional penalty cannot exceed 10% of the final course grade.

Suggested Guidelines1

  • Faculty/Instructors must have notified students in advance (e.g. on their course outline or via some other posting the students have access to and are made aware of) that this penalty will be assigned to all cases of misconduct related to a specific assignment(s) or aspect of the course

Examples (but not limited to)1

  • Minor plagiarism 
  • Sharing files/work with another student (e.g. working together on an individual assignment)
Penalty: Grade of "F" in the course

Suggested Guidelines1

  • Seriously pre-meditated
  • Affected others
  • Serious breach of professional ethics
  • Occurred in an upper year or capstone course for the program
  • Cannot be assigned if misconduct is outside of a course

 

Examples (but not limited to)1

  • Major plagiarism
  • Enlisting someone else to do an assignment or paper
  • Submitting another student's work (in whole or part) without his or her knowledge
  • Fabricating data or information about patient or client
  • Cheating or plagiarizing in a 4th year capstone or upper level course
  • Lying or supplying false information (severity depends on document and purpose)
  • Major cheating in a test or exam

 

Penalty: Recommendation of Disciplinary Suspension (DS) 1 term to 2 years

Suggested Guidelines1

  • Believed that the student needs to take time off to resolve other issues or re-assess their role as a student
  • Affected many others (large-scale cheating situation)
  • More serious misconduct outside of a course

 

Examples (but not limited to)1

Situations in which students have been or should be on DS:

  • Student altered transcript for entry into co-op program and potential co-op placement
  • Student enlists outside professional services to complete work
  • Student aids others in large-scale cheating
  • Student lies or supplies false information (severity depends on document and purpose)
Penalty: Recommendation of Discplinary Withdrawal (DW) for at least two years
Permanently withdrawn from a specific program and fully withdrawn from the University

Suggested Guidelines1

  • Believed that the student is not suitable for the profession in their field of study

Examples (but not limited to)1

Situations in which students have been or should be withdrawn:

  • Student enlisted someone else to do their exams for them.
  • Student stole an exam
  • Student stole someone else’s work and submitted it for grading
  • Student lied or supplied false information (severity depends on document and purpose)
  • Alteration of an official documentation
Penalty: Recommendation of Expulsion
Permanent removal from Ryerson University

Suggested Guidelines1

  • Very rare
  • Believed that the student is not suitable for study at Ryerson University in any program

Examples (but not limited to)1

Situations in which students were expelled:

  • Student stole an exam with the intention of selling
  • In an appeal hearing for a charge of misconduct, the student submitted altered documentation
  • Student misrepresented themselves as an instructor to obtain the Instructor test bank
Penalty: 2 or More Disciplinary Notations (DN)
A penalty hearing may occur. A recommendation of penalty will come from the Chair/Director.

Suggested Guidelines1

  • No term of suspension
  • Disciplinary Suspension (DS) from 1 term to 2 years
  • Disciplinary Withdrawal (DW)
  • Expulsion
Examples (but not limited to)1
  • No term of suspension occurs when it is believed that the student did not have an opportunity to learn (e.g. appropriate citation) from the first offence (offences happen during the same semester or same time frame)
  • DS may occur when 2 acts of misconduct have occurred. Term is based on acts of misconduct committed and seriousness
  • DW occurs when it is believed that after these 2 or more acts of misconduct the student is not suitable for the profession in their field of study
  • Expulsion occurs normally when a student has received 3 or more disciplinary notations
Progressive Discipline and Repeated Misconduct
The Principle of Progressive Discipline increases the penalties/consequences assigned with repeated findings of academic misconduct. Briefly, when a second Disciplinary Notation (DN) is received by an undergraduate or continuing education student  the record of a student will be reviewed by Chair of the Dedicated Decision Maker Council (or designate), the Director of the AIO (or designate) and the relevant Program Director (or designate).   For a complete description of this, please see Policy 60: Academic Integrity, Section 5.4.
Graduate Students
Consequence: Academic Integrity quizz(es) and/or workshop(s)

Suggested Guidelines1

  • Can be assigned as part of a penalty for educational purposes where appropriate
  • Can be assigned if there is no finding of misconduct
  • Minimum penalty if misconduct is outside of a course

Examples (but not limited to)1

List of available workshops on the SLS website

List of available workshops on the RULA website

Penalty: “Zero” (0) on the work (Minimum penalty in a course)

Suggested Guidelines1

  • Penalty most often selected by faculty for most minor acts of misconduct
  • Cannot be assigned if misconduct is outside of a course

Examples (but not limited to)1

  • Minor plagiarism
  • Sharing files/work with another student (e.g. working together on an individual assignment)
  • Minor cheating in a test or exam
Penalty: Grade of "F" in the course

Suggested Guidelines1

  • Seriously pre-meditated
  • Affected others
  • Cannot be assigned if misconduct is outside of a course

 

Examples (but not limited to)1

  • Major plagiarism
  • Enlisting someone else to do an assignment or paper
  • Submitting another student's work (in whole or part) without his or her knowledge
  • Cheating

 

Penalty: Recommendation of Disciplinary Withdrawal (DW)

Suggested Guidelines1

  • Believed that the student is not suitable for the profession in their field of study
  • Serious breach of professional ethics

 

Examples (but not limited to)1

Situations in which students have been or should be withdrawn:

  • Major plagiarism in a thesis (including submitted drafts) or comprehensive exam
  • Student enlisted someone else to do their exams for them
  • Student stole an exam
  • Student stole someone else’s work and submitted it for grading
  • Student lied or supplied false information (severity depends on document and purpose)
  • Alteration of an official documentation
  • Fabricating data or results
  • Lying or supplying false information
Penalty: Recommendation of Expulsion

Suggested Guidelines1

  • Very rare
  • Believed that the student is not suitable for study at Ryerson University in any program

Examples (but not limited to)1

Situations in which students were expelled:

  • Student stole an exam with the intention of selling
  • In an appeal hearing for a charge of misconduct, the student submitted altered documentation
  • Student misrepresented themselves as an instructor to obtain the Instructor test bank
  • Student submitted a false document and misrepresented himself as a Dean
Penalty: 1 Disciplinary Notation (DN)

(DN in supervised graduate research will require a penalty hearing to occur)

Suggested Guidelines1

  • Disciplinary Withdrawal (DW)
  • Expulsion

 

Examples (but not limited to)1

Penalty: 2 or More Disciplinary Notations (DN)
A penalty hearing may occur. A recommendation of penalty will come from the Chair/Director.

Suggested Guidelines1

  • Disciplinary Withdrawal (DW)
  • Expulsion

Examples (but not limited to)1

  • DW occurs when the student has received 2 acts of academic misconduct
  • Expulsion occurs normally when a student has received 3 or more disciplinary notations

 

"Fail" or "Unsatisfactory"
Minimum penalty outside of a course

Suggested Guidelines1

  • Penalty for graduate supervised research activities/ outside of a course (See Policy 60)
  • Constitutes a failed attempt

Examples (but not limited to)1

Appropriate for a finding of plagiarism in a thesis, etc. where an educational remedy has already been assigned, but not in the case of a second charge of academic misconduct. 


1 Not an exhaustive list – each situation may vary depending on details

2 Section 5.3.1 – "Graduate students cannot be assigned a Disciplinary Suspension"