Academic integrity can be defined as acting in an honest and ethical manner when partaking in any academic related work such as completing written assignments, undertaking exams, undertaking academic research or any other course related activities. Academic integrity as the responsibility of the individual learner is underpinned by the values of honesty, accuracy, transparency, trust, collegiality, fairness and respect. As a SETU learner you are part of the wider academic community and as such must demonstrate the quality and integrity of your academic output.
Academic integrity is about ensuring the learner complies with ethical and professional principles, standards and practices and utilizes a values framework (honesty, trust, ethical, fairness, respect) to undertake academic endeavours in education, research and scholarship.
Academic misconduct can be defined as "any attempt by someone to seek unfair advantage in relation to academic activity or which facilitates others to gain an unfair advantage, or to profit from the sharing or selling of your own work or others work without permission". (Source: NAIN: Academic Integrity: National Principles and Lexicon of Common Terms).
Breaches of academic integrity can vary between accidental errors such as basic citation errors right up to various forms of cheating.
Examples of academic misconduct include:
Accidental Citation/Referencing errors – writing up citations and references incorrectly
Plagiarism - accidental/deliberate – failing to keep track of where you are getting your information from, not writing in citations and references etc
Self-plagiarism - using something you have previously written for another assignment and failing to reference it
Incorrect paraphrasing – making superficial changes to the original text and failing to cite
Misrepresentation – accidentally or deliberately misrepresenting other peoples work in your own work
Group work – passing fellow group members work off as your own work
Collusion – when two or more students submit the same work claiming it is their own work
Impersonation – getting someone else to sit your exam
Sharing websites – students sharing assessments online thus allowing them access to other student assessments
Not acknowledging using Generative Artificial Intelligence (Gen AI) - The use of any form of AI for coursework, assessments or research without acknowledgement is regarded as academic misconduct.
Contract cheating services – getting someone else to complete an assignment such as a friend or family member or engaging an essay mill in exchange for payment
It is a serious offence to facilitate or offer cheating services to students. Those who facilitate academic cheating can now be prosecuted under the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Act 2019 by the QQI: Quality and Qualifications Ireland.
þ Understand why you need to reference a source of information and understand how to reference correctly – consult your designated Referencing guide - for Harvard Referencing see Credit Where Credit is Due
þ Understand the value of academic integrity to your current academic career and your long-term career going forward
þ Understand SETU's relevant rules and guidelines – consult your Student Handbook
þ Keep track of your information sources as you are using them. When searching online Library databases keep a record of relevant journal articles etc. Use the Download or Email facility available through these resources to record Citation/Referencing details or use a Reference Management tool such as EndNote.
þ Be organised when undertaking your research – develop a sustainable workflow
þ Seek clarification from your lecturer/tutor if you are unsure about assignment expectations
þ Practice good time management when completing your assignments – give yourself enough time to write your assignment properly and complete your referencing properly
Most importantly, if you are feeling pressured when completing your assignments or preparing for your exams, there are support mechanisms in place to help you. Talk to your lecturer/tutor who will advise you further.
Generative AI is a term used to describe algorithms that are utilised to create new content such as text, images, audio or other formats such as code. These AI tools are evolving at an incredible pace and their impact on higher education is significant and growing. There are many examples of generative AI tools that are available online including Chat GPT (a chatbox that creates text content), Diall E. 2 (create image content), Gen - 1 by Runway (create video content) etc
If using generative AI tools, the ethical and appropriate use of the generated information is crucial. Ultimately, it is your module lecturers who will determine how you may use Gen AI when completing your assignments, so it is imperative that you familiarize yourself with your assignment requirements. If permitted to use Gen AI, you must declare or acknowledge when Gen AI has being used and be transparent about how you have used it.
Key considerations when using these tools include:
- Is the information authentic and accurate?
- Have you scutinised this information in terms of currency, accuracy, reliability and authority?
For more information on using Gen AI in your assignments please see the SETU Student Guidelines on the Use of Generative Artificial Intelligence available HERE
Want to learn more about Academic Integrity? Click to link into the following Academic Integrity modules via Blackboard from the SETU Carlow Teaching and Learning Centre. For more information on completing this course please clink HERE
For more detailed information on Academic Integrity, check out the following guides: