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The definition of academic integrity

integrity, n. \in-ˈte-grə-tē\

  1. “the quality of being honest and fair”, and
  2. “the state of being complete or whole.” (“Integrity,” n.d.)

How do these definitions of integrity relate to what we mean by academic integrity? In terms of the first definition, academic integrity means being honest and fair with regard to all scholarly activity — from completing assignments to sitting exams.

But the second definition of integrity is also relevant. You shouldn’t be “honest and fair” just because you’ve been told to do so or because you are afraid of the consequences of not doing so. Rather, it’s important for you to understand and value academic integrity as an expression of your own beliefs about what is good and right. In other words, by conducting your study and research with integrity, you make “complete” or “whole” the relationship between your own judgement and action. This means that you “achieve with integrity”, according to both definitions given above.

Tell us what you think:

  • Think about the concept of academic integrity. What behaviours and actions do you associate with it?

Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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This article is from the free online course:

Academic Integrity: Values, Skills, Action

The University of Auckland

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

  • Fundamental values
    Fundamental values
    video

    This video explores the Fundamental Values Project-and core values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage.

  • Welcome to Week 2
    Welcome to Week 2
    video

    This video introduces Week 2 of the course and sets out a student scenario.

  • Welcome to week 3
    Welcome to week 3
    video

    Jason Stephenson on using and acknowledging the work of others in academic writing

  • Welcome to week 4
    Welcome to week 4
    video

    Lead educator introduces week 4

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