Academic integrity

What is academic integrity?

As scholars, we develop our ideas by critically engaging with the work of others. The principle of academic integrity is that when we write and incorporate the research of others into our own work, we must appropriately acknowledge our intellectual sources. Ethical and honest scholarly practice demands that you appropriately acknowledge the sources that you base your work on, whether you use them directly, for example, by quoting, or indirectly through paraphrasing or summarising the source materials. These include other people's ideas and words, figures, graphs, data and so on. Academic integrity is therefore deeply connected to what it means to be a scholar and be part of a community of knowledge producers; it is part of how you craft this identity.

You can critically engage with the work of others in two distinct stages of the research process. In the first, early part of the research process, after you have searched and found different sources for your assignment, you will be evaluating the sources, assessing their relevance, testing their reliability, looking for similarities or differences between sources, making connections, and so on. Following this stage, you will then move into the second and most important part of the research process, that is, developing some new and original understanding based on the connections that you make between these diverse sources. Correctly and appropriately acknowledging your sources will help you to develop your authorial voice by distinguishing your own ideas and words from the ideas and words of other scholars.

Academic Integrity is required at ANU

The University has guidelines on expectations around academic integrity that can be found on the academic honesty and plagiarism page. There are rules that apply to academic integrity during your studies here, including what penalties apply if you breach the rules.

A key principle of academic integrity is the appropriate acknowledgement of the sources you base your work on, whether you use them directly or indirectly. To apply this principle your academic work, ask yourself:

  • Is it original?
  • Is it produced for the purposes of a particular assessment task?
  • Does it give appropriate acknowledgement of the ideas, scholarship and intellectual property of others?

Acknowledging others strengthens your work

Acknowledging sources positions your work in a scholarly community.

Acknowledgement

  • Distinguishes your ideas from other people's.
  • Situates your work in relation to a community of scholarship.
  • Strengthens your argument.
  • Allows readers to follow up on information.
  • Is an essential requirement for all work at ANU.

    Acknowledging others provides the evidence for your argument so therefore is a critical element of academic writing. Aside from avoiding penalties and attributing intellectual property - acknowledging others in your writing demonstrates that you:

    • Have read widely,
    • Have understood and can interpret, analyse and summarize theories and ideas,
    • Can incorporate those theories and ideas into your argument.

    Academic work involves the fundamental process of critically engaging with the work of others. For most assessment tasks, you will be required to work with different sources. Aside from searching for sources, the early part of the research process will involve evaluating sources, assessing their relevance, testing their reliability, looking for similarities or differences between sources, making connections, and so on. Following this stage, you will then move into the most important part of the research process developing some new and original understanding based on the connections that you make between diverse sources. Without references, it would be impossible to determine how original your work is.

    Key points

    • Referencing is crucial to academic writing as it is how you position yourself in your discipline.
    • Acting with academic integrity is an essential requirement at ANU.
    • Acknowledging others in your work will strengthen it.