Making a Difference Between Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

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28 Oct 2021

In this article, we will show the difference between plagiarism and academic integrity and methods for avoiding academic dishonesty.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Have you ever written a paper and quoted something without indicating its source? Have you ever cheated on a test? If your answer is yes, that means you were involved in different forms of violating scholastic ethics.

Academic integrity is not the same as plagiarism, even though these two terms sometimes get mixed up. All violations of scholar honesty, with plagiarism being one of them, are taken seriously in all pedagogical communities.

Let’s dig a little deeper into these two notions, see what makes them different, learn about the fundamental values of academic integrity, and see whether and how we can prevent plagiarism.

What is Academic Integrity and What Are Its Fundamental Values?

If we want to cultivate scholar integrity throughout its communities around the world, we have to beat academic plagiarism, dishonesty, and cheating. Implementing ethics among pedagogical communities means implementing its fundamental values.

The fundamental values of academic integrity are trust, honesty, responsibility, respect, and fairness. When an individual has enough courage to commit fully to education, they respect all studious integrity standards and fundamental values.

Let’s look at some of the main features of each of these values to see why respecting them is vital for academic integrity.

Trust. Mutual trust is something all academic communities rely on. Having trust in one another encourages learners to exchange ideas and support free communication and sharing knowledge. Such trust helps each learner achieve their fullest potential.

Honesty. Personal and intellectual honesty in teaching, learning, service, and research is needed in scholastic communities to advance academic integrity. Honesty is crucial in an individual’s search for truth.

Responsibility. Responsibility in pedagogical communities is vital for maintaining standards that all parties agree upon and taking action when any case of wrongdoing takes place. Individuals who work in groups must also have personal accountability.

Respect. Academic integrity is visible in the honor and respect of other people’s ideas and opinions in the scholar communities. The nature of learning should always be participative, interactive, and cooperative.

Fairness. Fairness in pedagogical communities can be supported by establishing transparent and clear standards, expectations, and practices. Such an organization full of fairness will reflect on the interactions between administrators and students.

The Difference Between Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Plagiarism and academic integrity are terms that are often used interchangeably. Yes, plagiarism is a form of scholar dishonesty, which we’ll explain in greater detail further in the text, but it’s not the whole of integrity.

Academic honesty means being committed to the six fundamental values mentioned above: trust, honesty, responsibility, respect, and fairness. These values shape an individual’s behavior and help scholar communities bring their ideas to life.

On the other hand, plagiarism is an aspect of scholaric integrity because it involves using others’ theories, words, ideas, facts, and opinions completely dishonestly. It is dishonest because all the ideas and views are taken from the original author and established as new originals.

How to Avoid Academic Dishonesty?

Violation of the principles of integrity can come in many different forms. For example, in copying, collusion, self-plagiarism, plagiarism in education, and using electronic devices for cheating. So let’s first define what is academic plagiarism?

Academic plagiarism, which means using somebody else’s ideas and claiming them as yours, is a form of scholastic dishonesty that violates all principles of academic integrity. What can we do to prevent or at least avoid such an issue, and how to avoid plagiarism?

We can try out a couple of methods. To avoid cheating, we should complete both homework and exam tasks without our peers' help. To avoid plagiarism, we should start the assignment on time, keep minute track of all the resources we used, properly cite them, and finally — use special tools to define each case of copying others’ works.

Conclusion

Even though plagiarism and college ethics are sometimes used interchangeably, they represent two completely different concepts. Plagiarism is a form of scholarly dishonesty, while academic integrity is known to be a commitment to certain values educators face during their education path.

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