University Policies and Procedures


Student Conduct and Plagiarism

Encouraging Academic Integrity and Preventing Plagiarism

Plagiarism can be a confusing topic for both students and instructors. Take a proactive approach by communicating openly with students about the problem of plagiarism, encouraging and teaching proper citation methods, and devising assignments that promote original thought. You can find more information for both students and faculty here.

A SFU plagiarism tutorial is available through this link here.

Some instructors give extra points as incentive to students who can prove that they have taken the tutorial. To track student completion of the tutorial, email to arrange access for your students to the tutorial via Canvas.

Here you will find a list of hints and tips to share with your students to help them avoid plagiarising.


Managing Academic Misconduct

Instructors pursuing possible cases of academic misconduct/dishonesty should contact and meet with students about the matter. Instructors should have a frank discussion with the student(s) about the particulars. Instructors should keep careful records and documentation of the materials relevant to the case. If there are sufficient grounds to report a case of academic dishonesty, an Academic Dishonesty Report should be completed and filed as appropriate. You can find out more about the procedures you will need to follow here.

Make sure to complete the entire online reporting procedure; otherwise, the reports are not filed with the Registrar’s Office. Alternatively, hard copy forms are available in the education programs area. Additional questions may be directed to Nienke van Houten, Director of Undergraduate Programs:

Please find additional information via this link: Important Definitions.


FHS Academic Integrity Advisor

The FHS Academic Integrity Advisor is Dr. Mark Lechner. The Advisor is available as a resource for faculty and temporary instructors on policy and reporting procedures, as well as best practices for teaching and classroom management to support academic integrity. Instructors should contact and include Dr. Lechner in all instances and reports of academic dishonesty to advise and help develop awareness of trends or patterns that may need to be addressed.

To visit the website of the SFU Academic Integrity Office, please click here.


Student Conduct

SFU has policies around good student conduct, which can be viewed here. While encountering inappropriate student conduct is rare and sometimes difficult to determine, there are professional resources at SFU to help. Such cases can range from property theft to threatening or harmful behavior. Click on this link for additional information here.


Suggested Wording on Academic Policy for Syllabi

Academic honesty is essential for maintaining a high standard of academic excellence and integrity. There are many different forms of academic dishonesty. These include plagiarism such as inadequately citing the source of short phrases or ideas of an author in written work submitted for a grade and submitting or presenting another’s work as one’s own, among others. Students should read SFU's policy S10.01 on Code of Academic Integrity and Good Conduct at: which outlines all prohibited acts of academic dishonesty.

Please note: Students should also read SFU’s new policy on Principles and Procedures for Student Discipline at: which outlines the range of actions that may be taken in response to an instance of academic dishonesty. According to this policy, “If an Instructor finds that a student has engaged in academic dishonesty, the Instructor may, after consulting with the departmental Academic Integrity Advisor or Chair, impose one or more of the following penalties: i. give the student a warning; ii. require the student to redo the work, or to do supplementary work; iii. assign a low grade for the work; iv. assign a grade of “F” for the work.” The Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) adheres to SFU policies on academic dishonesty. In this course, for small, unintended (in my assessment) infractions, I will provide one (1) warning with an opportunity to redo the work. Further infractions, even minor ones – or serious first instances of academic dishonesty, will result in an automatic grade of 0 on that work with no option for makeup; any additional academic dishonesty infraction in the course may then result in a failing grade for the course. For a serious instance or repeated instances of academic dishonesty, I will complete an Academic Dishonesty Report, which includes discussing the matter, determining a penalty, and possible additional disciplinary action.”


Teaching Strategies to Avoid Plagiarism

Make sure your students understand what plagiarism is by giving them examples or asking them to provide examples.

Discuss the moral and ethical issues related to plagiarism, present it in emotional tones, and include the issue of trust between students and instructors.

Stress the importance of academic integrity. Include in the discussion how bodies of knowledge are created by scholars who build on each other’s work within a discipline.

One idea is having the students write, early in the semester, a one-page response to a given topic – in class. This allows you to become familiar with each student’s writing ability. Then save these assignments as examples which you can use to monitor individual students’ progress and to use as a comparison if plagiarism is suspected.

Part of your required work for the class could include the creation of a works cited list.

Ask students to justify sources used in reports or papers. This exercise requires the student to analyze the resource in the context of the research question and topic. It also involves decision-making skills.

Asking students to turn in photocopies of sources also ensures that they have found the resources themselves.

Insist on using the library.