Academic integrity requires commitment to the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. It is expected that students, faculty members and staff at the University of Victoria, as members of an intellectual community, will adhere to these ethical values in all activities related to learning, teaching, research and service. Any action that contravenes this standard, including misrepresentation, falsification or deception, undermines the intention and worth of scholarly work and violates the fundamental academic rights of members of our community. The following policies and procedures are designed to ensure that the University's standards are upheld in a fair and transparent fashion.
In this regulation, "work" is defined as including the following: written material, laboratory and computer work, musical or art works, oral reports, audiovisual or taped presentations, lesson plans and material in any medium submitted to an instructor for grading purposes.
Violations of academic integrity covered by this policy can take a number of forms, including the following:
A student commits plagiarism when he or she:
Students who are in doubt as to what constitutes plagiarism in a particular instance should consult their course instructor.
The University reserves the right to use plagiarism detection software programs to detect plagiarism in essays, term papers and other assignments.
Multiple submission is the resubmission of work by a student that has been used in identical or similar form to fulfill any academic requirement at UVic or another institution. Students who do so without prior permission from their instructor are subject to penalty.
Falsifying materials subject to academic evaluation includes, but is not limited to:
Cheating includes, but is not limited to:
It is an offence to help others or attempt to help others to engage in any of the conduct described above.
Procedures for determining the nature of alleged violations involve primarily the course instructor and the Chair or Director of the unit concerned (or, in the case of undepartmentalized faculties, the Dean). Procedures for determining an appropriate penalty also involve the Dean of Graduate Studies and, in the most serious cases, the President. The Chair, Director or Dean (in the case of undepartmentalized faculties) may designate an experienced faculty member (e.g., the course coordinator in multiple-section courses) to fulfill his or her responsibilities in relation to this policy.
Alleged offences must be documented by the instructor, who must inform the Chair. The Chair shall then inform the student in writing of the nature of the allegation and give the student a reasonable opportunity to respond to the allegation. Normally, this shall involve a meeting between the instructor, the Chair, the student and, if the student requests in advance, another party chosen by the student to act as the student's adviser.
The Chair shall make a determination as to whether convincing evidence exists to support the allegation.
If there is convincing evidence, the Chair shall inform the Dean of Graduate Studies, who shall then inform the Chair whether the student's record contains any other confirmed instances of plagiarism or cheating. If there is no record of prior offences, the Chair shall make a determination with respect to the appropriate penalty, using the guidelines provided below.
Where there has been a prior offence, the Chair shall forward the case to the Dean of Graduate Studies, after having first determined that convincing evidence exists to support the allegation. The Chair may submit a recommendation to the Dean with respect to a proposed sanction. In the case of a first-time offence that is particularly unusual or serious, the Chair may refer the case to the Dean, with a recommendation for a penalty more severe than those outlined below.
Any penalty will be accompanied by a letter of reprimand which shall be written by the authority (Chair, Dean, President) responsible for imposing the penalty. The letter of reprimand shall be sent to the student and copied to Graduate Records, where it shall be kept until four (4) years after graduation.
Students must be given the right to be heard at each stage, and have the right to appeal decisions in accordance with University policy. A student may:
In the case of a successful appeal, any penalty will be rescinded and the letter of reprimand shall be withdrawn from Graduate Records.
These guidelines distinguish between minor and serious violations of university policy, and between first and subsequent offences.
Multiple instances of inadequate attribution of sources should result in a grade of zero for the assignment. A largely or fully plagiarized assignment should result in a grade of F for the course.
Multiple Submission Without Prior Permission
If a substantial part of an assignment submitted for one course is essentially the same as part or all of an assignment submitted for another course, this should result in a grade of zero for the assignment in one of the courses. If the same assignment is submitted for two courses, this should result in a grade of F for one of the courses. The penalty normally will be imposed in the second (i.e., later) course in which the assignment was submitted.
If a substantial part of an assignment is based on false materials, this should result in a grade of zero for the assignment. If an entire assignment is based on false materials (e.g., submitting a commercially prepared essay as one's own work), this should result in a grade of F for the course.
Cheating on Exams
Any instance of impersonation of a candidate during an exam should result in a grade of F for the course for the student being impersonated, and disciplinary probation for the impersonator (if he or she is a student). Isolated instances of copying the work of another student during an exam should result in a grade of zero for the exam. Systematic copying of the work of another student (or any other person with access to the exam questions) should result in a grade of F for the course. Any instance of bringing unauthorized material (e.g., crib sheets, written notes on body or clothing) into an exam should result in a grade of F for the course. Sharing information or answers for take-home assignments and tests when this is clearly prohibited in written instructions should result in a grade of zero for the assignment when such sharing covers a minor part of the work, and a grade of F for the course when such sharing covers the bulk of the work.
In cases in which an instructor has provided clear written instructions prohibiting certain kinds of collaboration on group projects (e.g., students may share research but must write up the results individually), instances of prohibited collaboration on a substantial part of the assignment should result in a grade of zero for the assignment, while instances of prohibited collaboration on the bulk of the assignment should result in a grade of F for the course.
Any instance of any of the violations described above committed by a student who has already committed one offence, especially if either of the offences merited the assignment of a grade of F for the course, should result in the student's being placed on disciplinary probation. This decision can only be taken by the Dean of Graduate Studies. Disciplinary probation will be recorded on the student's transcript. If a student on disciplinary probation commits another offence, this should result in the student's permanent suspension. This decision can only be taken by the President, on the recommendation of the Dean.
Violations of academic integrity are most serious when repeated. Records of violations of university policy are kept to ensure that repeat offenders can be identified and appropriately sanctioned. Access to these records is restricted to protect students' right to privacy.
a) Chairs, Directors and Deans (whichever is responsible for imposing the penalty) will report instances of plagiarism and cheating to the Graduate Admissions and Records Office. The student's file will be marked to indicate that a violation has occurred and the faculty in which the violation occurred, and to note the penalty imposed (i.e., zero for the assignment, F for the course).
b) Only Deans (or their designates) will have access to information on individual students, and only to check for repeat offences. This information will not be available to instructors, Chairs, or other staff. Administration officers may have access to aggregate information on numbers of offences for purposes of analysis, but in this case the information is to be provided without revealing the names of students.
c) Disciplinary probation will be recorded on the transcripts of students who have committed two or more offences.
d) Files detailing the nature of the offence are to be retained in either the Dean's office or the Chair's office until four years after the student's graduation.
e) Ordinarily, information on cases of plagiarism and cheating is to be available only to the Dean of Graduate Studies and only for the purpose of checking for repeat offences. However, in some special circumstances, there may be reasons why faculty members need to have access to this information (e.g., character attestation for purposes of professional accreditation). If a faculty intends to use the files kept by the Dean of Graduate Studies or Chair for any such purpose, that purpose must be publicly identified by the faculty.
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