What is Academic Integrity?
As a student your number one task is to learn new things but just like your professors, you are a member of the university who contributes knowledge and ideas. Academics (like you) build knowledge through rigorous research and expand on the ideas of others. As a university student, you are expected to submit original work and give credit to other peoples' ideas. In short, academic integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. As an academic (yes, even in first year) you are expected to contribute to this research and knowledge building by sharing your own ideas, evaluations and arguments. Your professor isn't looking for you to write the "perfect" paper, they are looking for you to do some original thought. This includes:
- Creating and expressing your own ideas in course work
- Acknowledging all sources of information
- Completing assignments independently or acknowledging collaboration
- Accurately reporting results when conducting your own research or with respect to labs
- Honesty during examinations
Tips for avoiding Plagiarism
- Get started early to avoid panic situations which might tempt you to plagiarize. Try the Assignment Calculator to help you manage your research and writing time.
- Take careful notes on what you read and where you found the ideas. Use Refworks to keep track of your sources as you go along.
- Acknowledge ALL Sources from which you use ideas. This includes books, journal articles, websites, e-mail communication, listserv, film, videos, audio recordings, etc.
- Always cite:
- Direct quotations taken from sources - place quotation marks “” around direct quotes as you write them down, to remember which are direct quotes and which are not
- Paraphrased ideas and opinions taken from someone else's work.
- Summaries of ideas taken from someone else's work
- Factual information, including statistics or other data – with the exception of anything that is considered common knowledge (i.e. well known facts like "British Columbia is a province in Canada").
- Different disciplines use different style guides, so check with your instructor to make sure you are using the right one.
- Some of the most common style guides are MLA , APA, and Turabian/Chicago
- When reviewing your paper, ask yourself:
- Is the idea or argument presented mine?
- Are the words my own?
- Can my work be clearly distinguished from the work of others?
- Turn-It-In discourages plagiarism and facilitates rich, meaningful feedback that improves writing skills and promotes critical thinking."
- Faculty may ask you to turn in work in electronic format, which is then checked against Turn-It-In's database, which contains 130+ million students papers; 823,414 instructors; 19 million students; 13.5+ billion indexed webpages; 90,000 journals, book and periodicals; and 9500 educational institutions.
- Your work is checked against that database for evidence of plagiarism through an "originality report."
Citing: When and Why
How to Cite
Whenever you use someone else's words or ideas in your paper or presentation, you must indicate that this information is borrowed by citing your source.
This applies to written sources you've used, such as books, articles and web pages, as well as other formats, such as images, sounds, TV/film clips, and DVDs.
Failure to cite such sources may be considered plagiarism and is subject to disciplinary action under the MDC Student Code of Conduct.
Avoid distress and embarrassment by learning exactly what to cite – the who, what, where and when of your source!
Citation Management Tools
- Refworks is the citation management tool officially supported by UBC Library and is free to use for UBC students, faculty, and alumni.
- Refworks has an online interface that can be used to collect and organize your citations and a plugin for Microsoft Word that helps you format your citations in any of hundreds of styles and easily integrate the citation into your work.
- Need help learning how to use Refworks? See the full Refworks guide or attend a Refworks Workshop at UBC Library.
- Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free open-source tool that aims to help you "collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources."
- Zotero includes both desktop and browser-based interfaces along with plugins for Microsoft Word and OpenOffice.
- Mendeley is a free tool with both web-based and desktop components that includes PDF markup and social networking functionalities.
- Mendeley also includes plugins for Microsoft Word and OpenOffice.
- EndNote is a popular paid citation management tool.
- The full version of EndNote costs money, but there is a free, web-based version within the Web of Science database, called My EndNote Web.
- My EndNote Web has fewer features than EndNote.
- EasyBib allows you to create bibliographies in a variety of different citation styles, including MLA and APA.
- Visitors can just type in the item they need to cite, and EasyBib will provide the correct citation for each entry.
- Citation Builder allows you to build citations for a variety of information sources in MLA or APA.
- A free tool from NCSU Libraries.
- Resource Guides for Students: guides for citing sources, citing images, using Creative Commons and respecting copyright
- Student's Rights and Responsibilities
- Procedures for dealing with Academic Dishonesty