What is academic integrity?

Academic Integrity Explained Videos Glossary

What is Academic Integrity?

Academic integrity means acting with intellectual honesty, responsibility and fairness in all aspects of your university studies.

The Asia-Pacific Forum on Educational Integrity uses the following definition:

“A commitment to the key values of honesty, trust, equity, respect and responsibility, and the translation of these values into action.”

See: What is Educational Integrity?

In order to act with academic integrity, students must "respect and comply with conventions of academic scholarship" (Responsible Conduct of Students Procedure (MPF1061), University of Melbourne).

In practice, this means that you must:

  • Show the sources of your material in all written work submitted for assessment
  • Acknowledge and cite all submitted material that is not your own original work, using appropriate references
  • Faithfully represent your research results
  • Avoid presenting the work of others as if it were your own

See: Academic honesty and plagiarism

What is Academic Integrity?

Why is academic integrity important?

The University of Melbourne believes that excellence in teaching and learning can be achieved in an intellectual environment where academic integrity is highly valued and carefully upheld. Its policy on academic honesty and plagiarism is based on two core values:

  • Education and awareness-raising are fundamental in advancing respect for truth and for the ethics of scholarship; and
  • Work submitted for assessment purposes must be the independent work of students or approved groups of students to demonstrate their mastery of subject objectives.

Academic integrity flows across all areas of academic work, from undergraduate studies to postgraduate coursework and research, to academic research and teaching. All staff and students are required to adhere to the principles of academic integrity.

By acting with academic integrity, you demonstrate scholarly professionalism and respect for other people’s work. These values apply at school, at university and in the workplace, so observing the conventions now will help to prepare you for responsible and ethical conduct when you graduate.

What is Academic Integrity?

Whose responsibility is it?

The process of facilitating academic integrity involves collaboration between students, teaching staff and support staff (such as lecturers, course conveners and Academic Skills advisers), but the ultimate responsibility for producing honest and original work lies with the individual (you!).


Academic integrity videos

Data – U Can’t Touch This: Why Data Fabrication Might Be A Very Bad Idea
Data Fabrication
Mix Up or Mash Up? Hey, That’s Not Your Work!
Team Playa? When Group Members Don’t Come to the Party
Group work
“But We’re Just Collaborating”: When Working Together Is Against the Rules
Keeping It Real: Integrity Beyond Academia
Academic integrity and the workplace


Plagiarism is...

“the act of representing as one's own original work the creative works of another, without appropriate acknowledgement of the author or source. (Creative works may include published and unpublished written documents, interpretations, computer software, designs, music, sounds, images, photographs, and ideas or ideological frameworks gained through working with another person or in a group. These works may be in print and/or electronic media).”

(Source: Academic honesty & plagiarism: What is plagiarism?)

Collusion is...

“the presentation by a student of an assignment as his or her own which is in fact the result in whole or in part of unauthorised collaboration with another person or persons. Collusion involves the cooperation of two or more students in plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct. Both the student presenting the assignment and the student(s) willingly supplying unauthorised material (colluders) are considered participants in the act of academic misconduct.”

(Source: Academic honesty & plagiarism: What is collusion?)

Fabrication is...

“the intentional act of making up data or results and recording or reporting them. [For example,] in the biological sciences, the creation of a data set for an experiment that was never actually conducted.”

(Source: Office for Research Ethics and Integrity: Fabrication, falsification and plagiarism)

Self-plagiarism is...

“preparing an original and correctly referenced assignment and submitting part or all of the assignment twice for separate subjects or marks.”

(Source: Academic honesty & plagiarism: Examples of plagiarism)

Academic misconduct includes (but is not limited to)...

“cheating, plagiarism, collusion, forging or falsifying documents, academic results or records or submitting false or incorrect information for enrolment or entry into a course or subject and any other conduct by which a student seeks to gain for himself or herself, or for any other person, any academic advantage or advancement to which he or she or that other person is not entitled.”

(Source: Statute 13.1 - Student Discipline).

Help Me Now!

Group presentation Group study/collusion Keeping track of references Last minute assignment Learning versus getting 100% Literature searching skills Too much work and copying from the internet Visual referencing
HomeHelp Me NowLearning versus getting 100%

Learning versus getting 100%

Click below to find example scenarios to help you if you are currently in a tough or ambigious academic situation.

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Tools and Resources


Take the Quiz

About FAIR

The FAIR Project

This application is designed to help university and college students understand and navigate common academic integrity issues. FAIR walks you through a series of common scenarios that can lead to breaches of academic integrity, like plagiarism, with advice on what to do and why it matters. The FAIR quiz will determine your risk profile for academic misconduct and will direct you to the tools you need to succeed.


The FAIR app has been developed by the FAIR Project team at the University of Melbourne: Catherine Howell, Melissa Russell, Rebecca Cameron, Jacqueline Williams and Oliver Lock.


Content is copyright of the University of Melbourne, Australia (2013).

The FAIR Project team has used reasonable endeavours to ensure that material contained in this app was correct at the time it was created, modified and published.

Version History

Version 1.1 (August 2013). Changes from 1.0: Minor edits within Glossary definitions and Help Me Now content. Some navigation and usability issues addressed.


If you have any questions or comments about this resource, please contact the FAIR Project team.

Contact FAIR


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