UMass Boston

For Students: Learning About Academic Integrity

The International Center for Academic Integrity defines academic integrity as "a commitment to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility...these five values, plus the courage to act on them even in the face of adversity, are truly foundational to the academic endeavors of teaching, learning, and research...When the fundamental values are embraced, utilized, and put into practice they become touchstones for scholarly communities of integrity." 
Source: The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity. (2014)
Adapted under CC license CY-NC-SA 4.0

Learning about and practicing academic integrity inside and outside of the classroom are some of the ways in which students are educated in ethics at UMass Boston. Except in rare cases where learning opportunities have been exhausted, academic integrity errors are part of the learning process and provide opportunities for feedback, reflection, knowledge and skill building. As part of our effort to create inclusive learning environments, where all students are valued and supported, UMass Boston integrates principles of restorative justice in the academic integrity learning process. This site is a learning space that can supplement learning about academic integrity in classes and in other activities at UMass Boston.

Resources at UMass Boston to Help Prevent Making Academic Integrity Errors

  • The university provides many academic resources for students, including academic support services, writing centers, subject tutoring, and much more!
  • Check your own work *before* you submit it using Turnitin Draft Coach (instructions on use provided at link, free for UMass Boston students)

Learn About Academic Integrity

Winning videos about academic integrity by students (on the ICAI website, where there are many more resources).

Videos on various university websites

Infographics (on University of California San Diego website)

Deciding Whether an Act is an Academic Integrity Offense

Tips for excelling with academic integrity (summarized from University of California San Diego website)

  • Pay close attention to assignment and exam instructions.
  • Consider your possible action in light of these questions (if your answer is “no” to any of these questions, don’t do it):
    • Is what I’m thinking of doing honest, fair, respectful, responsible, and trustworthy?
    • Is what I’m thinking of doing allowed by the specific assignment or exam instructions?
    • If my instructor were standing right here watching me, would I still do this?
  • Be aware of human tendencies to rationalize behaviors by saying things like, “well, everyone else is probably doing it” or “it’s not that big of a deal”. These are things we say to convince ourselves that it’s “ok” to do this “just this one time”.
  • Remember that, in the long run, one grade on one exam is not worth compromising your own integrity.

Online tutorials about academic integrity