Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity

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Frequently Asked Questions


What activities are considered plagiarism?

Academic integrity isn't just about plagiarizing, although a big part of it is. It also includes mutual trust between you and your peers and your instructors. It is about feeling free to share your ideas without fear of criticism from lack of respect. Fairness is permeated through everything an individual engages in and an individual having academic integrity will take responsibility for any action. For more information, you can refer to our "What is AI" page or for a more specific list to the "Do's and Don'ts" page.

What are the consequences of academic dishonesty?

At Queen's, consequences (or sanctions) of academic dishonesty may include an oral or written warning, completion of a educational program or workshop, re-submission of a revised or new piece of work, getting some or all marks deducted (mark of zero) on an assignment, a failing or zero in a course, suspension from the university for a period of time, or the taking away of a degree or degree in progress. These sanctions are determined by the nature of the act and the circumstances surrounding it.

Are the rules and regulations the same across faculties?

At Queen's, the basic underlying rules and principles are consistent across faculties. However, because of the different natures of study in each faculty, there may be sight differences you should educate yourself about. Refer to your faculty website or talk to your instructor for detailed rules and regulations.

What do I do if I am accused of plagiarism?

This page outlines the general process. If you are accused of plagiarism, you should first meet with the instructor of the course that is involved. You will be unable to drop the course for the time-being. If you feel uncomfortable talking face-to-face with your instructor, you can choose to send in a written response. Be sure to respond in some way to the instructor, because if you do not, the case will go on with or without your input! During your meeting with the instructor, you will be allowed to bring a person of support, but at this point the meetings are merely exploratory in nature. The University Ombudsman may also be present. If it has been decided you have not engaged in academic misconduct, all documents will be destroyed and nothing will be left on your file. If you disagree with the decision, you can make an appeal, in which your corresponding Faculty will be contacted.

If I take a course outside of my faculty or school, and get accused of dishonesty, which faculty/school will be in charge of my case?

The instructor of your course will make a decision about the sanction that will be issued (failure in the assignment, failure of the course, etc.) but ultimately, there will be different consequences for different Schools and Faculties.

Will there be anything on my record and if so how long will it be there?


Queen's does not have a specific notation highlighting departures from academic integrity. However, if you receive a zero in a course or are required to withdraw as a result of a departure, you may be called on to explain it when your transcript is reviewed for applying to others schools, jobs, etc.

What consequences will a history of a past departure from academic integrity mean for my future?


Since the foundation and reputation of academia is based on honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility, a breach of academic integrity will tell others that you are not serious about scholarly work.More seriously, it can result in you not being trusted to continue further studies in academia or even in the workplace. However, for most people this only occurs once and they will learn from their mistakes and are given a second chance. Academic dishonesty is an offence that should be taken seriously.

How can I do my part to foster academic integrity?


Academic integrity starts by not taking credit for others' ideas, citing and paraphrasing correctly, having respect for your peers and instructors. At the group level, it means not giving in to pressures for sharing work and ideas not meant to be shared. You can also educate yourself more about the different areas of academic integrity here.

I don't understand the point of writing an essay if I'm just using other authors' ideas!


At this point in education (and anytime throughout your life), it is imperative to learn from others who have done more research and have more expertise and knowledge in the field. That is part of being a scholar. There is nothing wrong with doing your own research, citing and paraphrasing correctly and giving those authors their credit and then putting the ideas together into your own coherent idea and learning something for yourself through this whole process.

What can I do to get involved?

Various students from schools across Canada and elsewhere have gotten involved in order to raise the profile of academic integrity at their school. If you have an idea or would like to help raise awareness for AI @ Queen's, feel free to contact us.

What if I have more questions about academic integrity? Who can I go to?

If you have more questions regarding academic integrity not answered here, feel free to e-mail us or discuss with your instructor.