2.1 What Are Breaches of Academic Integrity?

Breaches of academic integrity occur when academic work is not done in an ethical way, and go against CBU’s Charter values of originality, integrity, fairness, collegiality, and responsibility. Breaches are avoidable, and this handbook provides resources that students can use to succeed with integrity.

Academic integrity breaches are split into three categories at CBU. These are outlined in our Academic Integrity Policy.

1. Assignment Misconduct

Students breach academic integrity when they deceive readers about the origins or nature of their work. Assignments include any of your work that is assigned in a course, including labs, essays, experiments, reviews, posts,  and more.  Assignment Misconduct is broken down into two categories.

  • Plagiarism: Students plagiarize when they represent the work of others as their own, including words, ideas, information, data, computer code, images, and all other intellectual or creative material. In specific terms, students plagiarize when they submit work that:
    • appears to be original work when it is, in whole, or in part, drawn from other sources without full and clear acknowledgement;
    • is copied from other students;
    • was purchased from, or generated by, a third party or service;
    • has been previously submitted and graded, in whole or in part, in another course.
  • Fabrication or Falsification: It is a violation of academic integrity to invent data, sources, quotations, or other material with the aim of presenting that material as genuine research or experimental results.

2. Exam Misconduct

Students breach academic integrity when they unfairly represent their knowledge and ability as greater than it is. Exam refers to any examination, test, quiz, or evaluation other than formal written assignments. Whether or not a take-home exam is a written assignment or an exam will be determined by the course instructor and communicated to students. Students commit exam misconduct when they:
• look at the work of another student in an effort to reproduce that student’s answer;
• ask for, or provide, answers to another student, and similar behaviour, during an exam, test, or quiz;
• make use of unapproved notes, references, communications, digital resources, or any other prohibited means of securing answers;
• obtain an unauthorized copy of an exam, text, or quiz in advance for the purpose of preparing answers ahead of time;
• facilitate the exam misconduct of another student.

3. Other Unethical Behaviour

CBU recognizes the existence of, and potential for, a range of other unethical behaviour. Other unethical behaviour is itself divided further into two categories. The university retains the right to evaluate other unethical behaviours not specifically mentioned here and assess appropriate consequences. If appropriate, some offenses may also be considered under Cape Breton University’s “Code of Conduct for Non-Academic Infractions.”

  • Offenses against other students: Students breach academic integrity when they intentionally impede the ability of other students to conduct their academic work. Students may not deface, destroy or otherwise compromise the academic products of other students. Students may not unduly interfere with other students’ ability to access course materials, resources, or equipment or access other students’ course work without the knowledge or consent of the student.
  • Offenses against the university: Students breach academic integrity when they intentionally compromise the valid and legitimate functions of academic supports and services.
    Students may not fabricate credentials, nor may they make unauthorized alterations to academic documents or records.




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Academic Integrity Handbook by Donnie Calabrese; Emma Russell; Jasmine Hoover; and Tammy Byrne is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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