Academic Integrity

  • is a moral code, a set of values, an ethical policy or a culture of proper academic behavior as far as research and scholarship are concerned.
  • involves rules that are binding on both teachers and students.
  • ensures that proper credit is given to scholars and writers for their ideas and work.
  • necessitates fair evaluation of student work and prohibits any form of bias.
  • fosters academic and ethical development of students and prospective scholars.

In the Department of English, Faculty of Arts, Cairo University academic integrity is, therefore, integral to creating, disseminating, and applying knowledge in an intellectual and ethical environment that contributes to maintaining and enhancing teaching/learning, research, scholarship, and academic publishing.

The Principles of Academic Integrity:

Abiding by the rules and principles of academic integrity means that a student is expected to:

  • acknowledge and cite all use of ideas, results, and written products of others whose citation, materials or collaboration contribute to his/her scholarly work.
  • realize that failure to uphold the principles of academic integrity not only compromises the reputation and value of his/her academic achievements and accomplishments, but it also compromises the reputation of the Department as a whole, and the value of the degrees awarded to students of the Department.
  • understand that violations of academic integrity, such as plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, and facilitating dishonesty reflect immoral and unethical conduct that involves potential criminal activity punishable by law.

Types of Violation of Academic Integrity:

  1. Plagiarism:This means the presentation of another’s ideas, methods, research or words without proper acknowledgment. This occurs when failing to cite a reference results in passing off another’s work as one’s own. It includes close paraphrasing as well as lifting sentences verbatim without acknowledgment of the source. The negative effects of plagiarism will be the same regardless of intent and a plagiarist deserves a serious penalty.
  2. Cheating:This is the use of inappropriate and unacknowledged materials, information, sources (hard or soft), or study aids in any academic exercise. The use of books, notes, and conversation with others is restricted or forbidden in certain academic contexts. Their use in these cases constitutes cheating.
  3. Facilitating Academic Dishonesty:The facilitation of academic dishonesty takes place when students, knowingly or negligently, allow or assist another student to use their work (written assignments, research papers, end of term projects) or submit it. Aiding others in academic dishonesty is a violation of academic integrity. Such students are as guilty of intellectual dishonesty as the student who receives the material even though they themselves may not benefit academically from this dishonesty.

Procedures and Penalties:

  • Undergraduates:Plagiarism is explained and ways to avoid plagiarism are discussed at the beginning of every term. A warning, which includes an explanation of the penalty of plagiarism/cheating, is given to all students. In the case of the first assignment: if students plagiarize after the warning, they lose the mark of this particular assignment. At this point, students can make up for grade loss through the mark of oral work, participation, attendance, etc. The policy is reiterated in class as a second warning. In the case of the second assignment: if students plagiarize, whether or not they plagiarized before, they lose the mark and cannot make up for this as they will have received the two general warnings in class. Repeated acts of plagiarism will result in the referral of the student to a disciplinary committee which may decide to suspend the student for a year or dismiss him/her from the program.
  • Graduates:When a course teacher discovers an instance of plagiarism, this should be reported to the Academic Advisor and the Head of Department. The student will be referred to a disciplinary committee and notified of the date of the meeting. Members of the hearing committee (Department Head, Academic Advisor, the reporting course teacher, and two Professors) meet with the student who is given the chance for defense. The members of the disciplinary committee determine the appropriate decision. The student is notified and receives a written report/warning (and most likely loses the grade of the given assignment). Second time plagiarism results in failing the course. Third time plagiarism results in dismissal from the program.