This glossary is a reference for educational purposes.

Academic file-sharing

Academic file-sharing (also known as commercial file-sharing) is the act of distributing course materials (including syllabi, course notes, lectures, assessments, or solutions) to people who are not taking the course, which is commonly done online. Sharing the files could be for a fee, free-of-charge or for trading. Sharing copyrighted material without permission may constitute non-academic misconduct and, depending on the circumstances, may also constitute academic misconduct. Similarly, sharing assessment and assignment details without authorization may constitute academic misconduct.

Academic integrity

Academic integrity is a commitment to upholding the UBC values of respect, integrity, and accountability in coursework.

“Academic Honesty and Standards” (Academic Calendar)

Academic honesty is essential to the continued functioning of the University of British Columbia as an institution of higher learning and research. All UBC students are expected to behave as honest and responsible members of an academic community. Breach of those expectations or failure to follow the appropriate policies, principles, rules, and guidelines of the University with respect to academic honesty may result in disciplinary action.

It is the student’s obligation to inform himself or herself of the applicable standards for academic honesty. Students must be aware that standards at the University of British Columbia may be different from those in secondary schools or at other institutions. If a student is in any doubt as to the standard of academic honesty in a particular course or assignment, then the student must consult with the instructor as soon as possible, and in no case should a student submit an assignment if the student is not clear on the relevant standard of academic honesty.

If an allegation is made against a student, the Registrar may place the student on academic hold until the President has made his or her final decision. When a student is placed on academic hold, the student is blocked from all activity in the Student Service Centre.

Academic misconduct

“Academic Misconduct” (Academic Calendar)

Students are responsible for informing themselves of the guidelines of acceptable and non-acceptable conduct for graded assignments established by their instructors for specific courses and of the examples of academic misconduct set out below. Academic misconduct that is subject to disciplinary measures includes, but is not limited to, engaging in, attempting to engage in, or assisting others to engage, in any of the actions described below.

  1. Cheating, which may include, but is not limited to:
    • falsification of any material subject to academic evaluation, including research data;
    • use of or participation in unauthorized collaborative work;
    • use or possession in an examination of any materials (including devices) other than those permitted by the examiner;
    • use, possession, or facilitation of unauthorized means to complete an examination (e.g., receiving unauthorized assistance from another person, or providing that assistance); and
    • dishonest practices that breach rules governing examinations or submissions for academic evaluation (see the Student Conduct during Examinations).
  2. Plagiarism, which is intellectual theft, occurs where an individual submits or presents the oral or written work of another person as his or her own. Scholarship quite properly rests upon examining and referring to the thoughts and writings of others. However, when another person’s words (i.e. phrases, sentences, or paragraphs), ideas, or entire works are used, the author must be acknowledged in the text, in footnotes, in endnotes, or in another accepted form of academic citation. Where direct quotations are made, they must be clearly delineated (for example, within quotation marks or separately indented). Failure to provide proper attribution is plagiarism because it represents someone else’s work as one’s own. Plagiarism should not occur in submitted drafts or final works. A student who seeks assistance from a tutor or other scholastic aids must ensure that the work submitted is the student’s own. Students are responsible for ensuring that any work submitted does not constitute plagiarism. Students who are in any doubt as to what constitutes plagiarism should consult their instructor before handing in any assignments.
  3. Submitting the same, or substantially the same, essay, presentation, or assignment more than once (whether the earlier submission was at this or another institution) unless prior approval has been obtained from the instructor(s) to whom the assignment is to be submitted.
  4. Impersonating a candidate at an examination or other evaluation, facilitating the impersonation of a candidate, or availing oneself of the results of an impersonation.
  5. Submitting false records or information, orally or in writing, or failing to provide relevant information when requested.
  6. Falsifying or submitting false documents, transcripts, or other academic credentials.
  7. Failing to comply with any disciplinary measure imposed for academic misconduct.


The process of acknowledging the original source for any academic work, idea, or quotation and giving credit to the source using citation.

Authentic assessments

Assessments that seek to link knowledge with real-life problems and work, and to connect classroom learning with employment and professional skills.


The act of providing or using unauthorized methods or information to gain academic credit in an academic institution using dishonest means.


A formal reference to a published or unpublished source in academic work. The source could be referenced in a variety of ways depending on the course, discipline, or publication type. Common citation styles are APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, etc.

Adapted from USC Libraries: Research Guides


Working together to learn, solve problems, and produce academic work within the boundaries set by a course instructor. Collaboration is permitted, whereas collusion is academic misconduct.


Collusion is working with other students without authorization or outside of instructor guidelines resulting in unfair work results over other students who worked individually.

Contract Cheating

The act of using another person, or commercial organization, with or without payment, to complete one’s academic work and assignment.

Discipline / Disciplinary Action

According to section 61 of the University Act, only the President has the authority to discipline a student for academic misconduct. The only route for discipline in an academic misconduct allegation is via the President’s Advisory Committees on Student Discipline (PACSD).


The act of uploading fake assessment answers to cheating platforms online by a course instructor in an attempt to identify students who use the cheating platforms.


The act of making up any form of academic data, source material, findings, methodologies or literature and reporting them in one’s own work.


The act of tampering with any form of academic data, source material, methodologies or findings, without acknowledgement of the act, that will result in inaccurate findings or conclusions in one’s own academic work.

Intellectual property

These refer to copyrighted course materials created by academic staff like faculty, instructors and teaching assistants. These course materials belong to the academic institution and should not be shared, posted or disseminated without the author’s or course instructor’s permission.


PACSD stands for President’s Advisory Committee on Student Discipline and it is sometimes referred to as the “President’s Committee”. There is one Committee on each UBC campus (Vancouver and Okanagan) and they are in charge of advising the President around matters of academic discipline.


Patchwriting is when the attempt to paraphrase results in writing that is too close to the original in terms of vocabulary and sentence structure. It does not demonstrate that the writer has synthesized the ideas themselves.


The act of using another person’s academic work as one’s own, without proper citations.

Plagiarism checker

Software that checks for possible and problematic issues in an academic document that might present as plagiarism.

Professional ethics/integrity

Rules that govern the behaviour or group in a field of profession to ensure the honest and ethical practice of the profession. Different professions have different professional code of ethics. Some examples include nursing, engineering, teaching, and journalism.

Remote proctoring/online proctoring

The use of software to monitor people taking an exam to prevent academic misconduct.

Scholarly integrity

Scholarly integrity (also known as research integrity) is to act responsibly and ethically when conducting research. For more about scholarly integrity and how to uphold it, please see Responsible Conduct of Research. Scholarly integrity and academic integrity share similar values and purposes. However, for clarity, the term scholarly integrity is used if the goal of the work is research and academic integrity is used for academic course work.


The act of reusing one’s own academic work as new academic work without citing previous use. Self-plagiarism is also known as dove-tailing or double-dipping.

Syllabus statement

Information about academic integrity on a course syllabus that plays the important role of defining what academic integrity is in a particular course or discipline, states the instructor’s expectations and outlines consequences of breaching academic integrity.