Research

All members of the University community share the responsibility for the academic standards and reputation of the University. Academic honesty is a cornerstone of the development and acquisition of knowledge. Academic honesty is a condition of continued membership in the university community.

Academic dishonesty, like other forms of dishonesty, is misrepresentation with intent to deceive or without regard to the source or the accuracy of statements or findings. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University; it is, furthermore, unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.

Student Conduct

Simon Fraser University is committed to creating a scholarly community characterized by civility, diversity, free inquiry, mutual respect and individual safety. The code of student conduct is intended to define students' basic responsibilities as members of the academic community, to define inappropriate student conduct and to provide procedures and penalties to be invoked and applied if they engage in such unacceptable behaviour. Each student is responsible for his/her conduct which affects the University community.

The University code of academic honesty and good conduct is contained in Policy S10.01.

Policy Authority: Vice-President, Academic and Provost

Associated Procedure(s): 

  • S 10.01 Student Academic Integrity Procedure
  • S 10.01 Forms of Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct (Schedule A)

1.0       PREAMBLE

1.1       Academic integrity is a cornerstone of the development and acquisition of knowledge, and a commitment to six fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage.  Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception – acts which violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others. The terms “academic integrity” and “academic honesty” are used interchangeably in this policy.

1.2       Simon Fraser University is committed to creating a scholarly community characterized by honesty and free inquiry.

1.3       Each student is responsible for their own conduct as it affects the University community.

1.4       All members of the University community share the responsibility for the academic standards and reputation of the University.  Upholding academic integrity is a condition of continued membership in the university community.

1.5       Academic dishonesty is contrary to the values of the University, and unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly.  Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.

1.6       Students must be treated fairly before being penalized for academic dishonesty or academic misconduct. They are entitled to information about the alleged wrongdoing and to provide a response.  The decision-maker must be impartial.  An internal Board is established to adjudicate matters of student academic discipline and there is a body of final appeal, as required by the British Columbia University Act.

2.0       PURPOSE                                                

2.1       The purpose of this policy is to define: students' basic responsibilities as members of the academic community; inappropriate student behaviour, whether deliberate or inadvertent, in relation to academic and scholarly activities; and principles for student discipline in academic matters.

3.0       SCOPE AND JURISDICTION

3.1       This policy covers the conduct of students involved in any kind of University-related academic and scholarly activities.

3.2       This policy covers matters of academic dishonesty and academic misconduct in University-related scholarly activities, including activities involving SFU alumni when the matters occurred prior to graduation and were unknown at the time of graduation, or involve the misrepresentation of their credentials from their scholarly work at SFU.

3.3       The forms of academic misconduct and academic dishonesty set out in this policy include attempts to engage in misconduct or dishonesty, as well as aiding and abetting misconduct or dishonesty.

4.0       DEFINITIONS

4.1       Academic Advantage
refers to a situation that may result in a student gaining an unearned or unfair benefit in their academic matters, such as their academic work, academic record, or academic progress.

4.2       Academic Dishonesty
refers to an act or omission that occurs within or as part of a course and contravenes the standard of academic integrity.

4.3       Academic Integrity
refers to the values on which good academic work must be founded: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage.  Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception.  Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.  The terms “academic integrity” and “academic honesty” are used interchangeably in this policy.

4.4       Academic Misconduct
refers to behaviour, not related to a specific course that contravenes the standard of academic integrity.

4.5       Academic Unit
refers to an academic department, school, or program; in some cases, the academic unit will be the Faculty, e.g. Faculty of Education.

4.6       Applicant
means the party initiating a case before the UBSD.  For example, a student who asks for a review of a decision made by the instructor, the Chair, or the Registrar is the “applicant”.  The other party in a UBSD case is known as the “respondent.”

4.7       Chair of a Department
means the head of the academic unit or a person authorized by the head of an academic unit, and includes the Chair of an academic department, the Director of a School, or the Director of a Program.

4.8       Instructor
means the course supervisor and includes faculty members, sessional instructors, and course supervisors for distance education courses.

4.9       Scholarly Activities
include work or material, in any media and format that is submitted as part of credit and non-credit courses, projects, essays, theses, research, practicums, internships, and co-op work placements.

4.10     Student
includes any of the following: a person who is applying for admission to the University; an undergraduate who has been enrolled for one or more of the last three (3) terms, including the current term, and is eligible to continue; a graduate student who is enrolled at the University in the current term and is eligible to continue; a graduate student who is not enrolled in the current term but is eligible to enroll at the University when the approved leave ends; a visiting, exchange, or special audit student who has been admitted to the University for the purposes of taking courses, or to take part in an approved research term; or a person enrolled at the University in a non-credit program or course.

4.11     University Community
means all students and employees of the University, and all people who have a status at the University mandated by legislation or other University policies, including: research assistants, post-doctoral fellows, members of Senate and the Board of Governors, volunteers, visiting and emeritus faculty, and visiting researchers.

5.0       POLICY

5.1       Notification of Standards of Academic Honesty

5.1.1 Students are responsible for ensuring they are familiar with the generally accepted standards and requirements of academic honesty (e.g. as published in the University Calendar).  Ignorance of these standards will not excuse a student from consequences, including penalties, for academic dishonesty.

5.1.2 Instructors are responsible to inform their students at the beginning of each term if there are additional specific criteria for academic honesty that pertain to a class or course (e.g. the format for acknowledging the thoughts and writings of authors acceptable to the underlying discipline, and the acceptable level of group work, use of an editor or tutoring service, and/or online resources).

5.1.3 A draft paper, proposal, thesis, or other assignment may be subject to a penalty for academic dishonesty, providing the instructor or supervisor informed the student(s) before the work was submitted that drafts are subject to academic honesty requirements.

5.2       Academic Integrity Requirements for Students

5.2.1 Any action that contravenes the standard of academic integrity is prohibited, including any act of dishonesty, falsification, misrepresentation, or deception in one’s academic work.

5.2.2 All forms of academic dishonesty that occur within or as part of a course are prohibited. See Schedule A for examples of academic dishonesty.

5.2.3 All forms of academic misconduct that are not related to a specific course are prohibited. See Schedule A for examples of academic misconduct.

5.2.4 It is a violation to help others or attempt to help others engage in any forms of academic dishonesty or misconduct.

6.0       PRINCIPLES FOR STUDENT DISCIPLINE

6.1       Complaints of student academic dishonesty or academic misconduct may be resolved under the policy without penalty.  Designated University officials such as a Chair of a Department, course instructor, or the Registrar may impose penalties in certain circumstances.

6.2       In determining whether academic misconduct has occurred, it is not necessary to show that a student has achieved an improper academic advantage or benefit.  Some acts of plagiarism or collusion, or other acts of academic misconduct, may not actually confer an academic advantage or benefit.

6.3       The University Board on Student Discipline (UBSD) provides an impartial forum for a complete examination of student allegations of academic dishonesty or academic misconduct.  The Tribunal will provide students with an opportunity to respond in a timely manner to allegations of academic dishonesty or academic misconduct and, if appropriate, will recommend a course of action to the President, or to the Vice-President, Academic and Provost if the President has already played a role in the case.

6.4       When the University imposes a penalty on a student for academic dishonesty or academic misconduct, the student may appeal to the Senate Committee on Disciplinary Appeals (SCODA).  SCODA is the standing committee of final appeal for students in matters of academic discipline as mandated in the University Act.

6.5       The UBSD and SCODA will adhere to principles of procedural fairness and natural justice.  The appropriate standard for a decision in this process is proof on the balance of probabilities.

6.6       A support person may accompany a student to any meeting concerning academic disciplinary matters.  Students may also consult the University Ombudsperson for assistance.

6.7       In deciding upon the appropriate penalty to be imposed for an act of academic dishonesty or academic misconduct, consideration must be given to the following factors:

6.7.1   the extent of the academic dishonesty or academic misconduct;

6.7.2   whether the academic dishonesty or academic misconduct was deliberate;

6.7.3    the importance of the work in question as a component of the course or program;

6.7.4    whether the act in question is an isolated incident or part of repeated acts of academic dishonesty, academic misconduct, and/or non-   academic misconduct; and

6.7.5    any other mitigating or aggravating circumstances.

7.0       ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

7.1       The Vice-President, Academic and Provost has oversight of this policy.

7.2       The Registrar is responsible for implementing and monitoring the operational aspects and procedures for this policy.

7.3       The Registrar, Academic Integrity Co-ordinator, Academic Integrity Advisors, Chairs, and Instructors are jointly responsible for administering the procedures under this policy.

7.4       The University’s Academic Integrity Advisory Committee provides advice to the Registrar on matters related to the policy and associated procedures.

8.0       REPORTING

8.1       The Registrar must maintain a statistical summary of cases handled through their office each year, and this data must be included in the Annual Report to Senate on Student Discipline Matters.

8.2       In addition to the data referred to in section 8.1, the Annual Report on Student Discipline Matters must contain a summary of the UBSD Tribunal's findings, the President's decisions, SCODA's decisions and the penalties imposed.  This report must be accessible to the University community and must be submitted to Senate for information except where the Tribunal, SCODA, or the President determines that cases or parts of cases should not be disclosed.  The Summary must not disclose the identities of the parties.  A set of decisions that does not disclose the identities of the parties must be maintained in the office of the Secretary of the UBSD and be available for review upon reasonable notice.

9.0       RELATED LEGAL, POLICY AUTHORITIES AND AGREEMENTS

9.1       The legal and other University policy authorities that may bear on the administration of this policy and may be consulted as needed include but are not limited to:

9.1.1          University Act;

9.1.2          University Board on Student Discipline (S 10.02);

9.1.3          Senate Committee on Disciplinary Appeals (S 10.03);

9.1.4          Retention and Disposal of Student Exams and Assignments (I 10.09);

9.1.5          Fair Use of Information and Communications Technology (GP 24); and

9.1.6          Student Conduct Policy.

10.0     ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND PROTECTION OF PRIVACY

10.1     The information and records made and received to administer this policy are subject to the provisions of British Columbia’s Freedom Of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the University’s Information Policy series.  To the extent possible, the information and records will be treated in a confidential manner, in compliance with the Act and with applicable University policies.

10.2      A University employee who is involved in addressing or investigating a case of alleged academic dishonesty or academic misconduct must:

10.2.1      make every reasonable effort to protect personal information and maintain confidentiality;

10.2.2      collect the minimum information about individuals that relates directly to a case of academic dishonesty or academic misconduct, which is considered to be supplied in confidence;

10.2.3      use the information about individuals only for the purposes of, or those consistent with, addressing the situation, investigating, or taking action;

10.2.4      limit disclosure of information about individuals to those within the University who need to know to perform their duties; and

10.2.5      disclose personal information in all other circumstances only as permitted under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

10.3         The University may disclose personal information where appropriate, including where:

10.3.1      it is needed to prepare or obtain legal advice for the University;

10.3.2      it uses the information for the purpose for which it was obtained or compiled or for a use consistent with that purpose (for example, where it is necessary to fulfill its duty of procedural fairness); or

10.3.3      an employee needs the information to perform their employment duties.

11.0     RETENTION AND DISPOSAL OF RECORDS

11.1     Information and records made and received to administer this policy are evidence of the University’s actions to respond to academic dishonesty or academic misconduct.  Information and records must be retained and disposed of in accordance with a records retention schedule approved by the University Archivist.

11.2      The Registrar must destroy any record of a student’s alleged academic dishonesty or academic misconduct that may be held in the Office of the Registrar if the UBSD or SCODA determines that the discipline of the student was unwarranted.

12.0     POLICY REVIEW

12.1     This policy will be reviewed once every five (5) years.

13.0     AUTHORITY

13.1     This policy is administered under the authority of the Vice-President, Academic and Provost.

14.0     INTERPRETATION

14.1      Questions of interpretation and application of this policy will be referred to the Vice- President, Academic and Provost and the University’s General Counsel, who will jointly make a decision, which will be final.

15.0     ASSOCIATED PROCEDURE

15.1     The associated procedure for this policy is:

            Student Academic Integrity Procedure (S 10.01 - Procedure)

            Forms of Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct (S 10.01 - Schedule A)