Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity

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For Students 

As a student at Queen’s University, you should be aware of the implications of uploading course materials to note-sharing websites or providing course materials to commercial study prep services.

Course materials (for example, course outlines, teaching materials, lectures, PowerPoint slides, drawings, study aids, tests and exams) are copyright-protected works. They are the intellectual property of academic staff like faculty, instructors and teaching assistants (TAs). Academic staff design course materials for your private study. These materials may not be posted, shared, broadcasted, circulated or otherwise disseminated beyond the confines of the course. Sharing, distributing, or posting course materials to note-sharing websites or providing them to commercial study prep services is not permitted, unless you have obtained the instructor’s or author’s express permission. Unauthorised uses of these materials are an infringement of the author’s copyright and can result in academic sanctions, as a departure from Academic Integrity.

The only material you are permitted to share on note sharing websites or with commercial study prep services are your own course notes, which you have authored yourself. 

Before paying a commercial study prep service to assist you with learning course material, consider speaking to your professor or TA (as they know the course material best) and consult the free academic assistance available at the University through Student Academic Success Services. 

The Copyright Advisory Office is available to answer questions about the appropriate use of copyrighted material.

For Faculty 

As academic staff at the Queen’s University, you should be aware that some students upload course materials to note sharing web sites and provide course materials to commercial study prep services.

Students can distribute course notes prepared in their own words and can share short excerpts of someone else’s copyrighted works for educational purposes. Students need permission from a copyright holder to share substantial amounts of copyrighted material like course outlines, PowerPoint slides, study aids, tests, exams, drawings, photos and to distribute copyrighted works for commercial purposes. If you own the copyright to your course materials, you have the right to protect your intellectual property and can contact the note sharing web site or commercial study prep service to demand they remove and refrain from using any infringing content. If the note-sharing website does not have a “take-down” form to use, contact them via email with as much information as possible about the course and the infringing content. More information about submitting a “take-down” request is available here:

Academic staff may also refer to a Faculty or School Academic Integrity Administrator for information on how to proceed in cases of student misconduct.

As a precautionary measure, you may include copyright notices and warnings in your syllabus or directly on your teaching materials. For example, you may include a footer in your documents or on a final slide of your PowerPoint presentation. Options for copyright notices and warnings are available here:

We also encourage academic staff to advise students of any free tutoring resources available at the University, and that you as their professor are the best source for academic assistance. Professors can suggest that students access the professional staff and resources of Student Academic Success Services for help in developing core academic skills.   If students know their best option for success is internal to the University, they will be less likely to go to private commercial study-prep or note-sharing companies looking for help, which frequently results in the sharing and distribution of copyright protected course materials.

The Copyright Advisory Office is available to answer questions about the appropriate use of copyrighted material.