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 syllabus, 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.

Expectations of Academic Integrity (excerpt from the UBC Academic Calendars: Vancouver and Okanagan)

Academic integrity is essential to the continued functioning of UBC as an institution of higher learning and research. All applicants to UBC programs are responsible for ensuring that all application materials they submit to UBC are true and complete and all UBC students are expected to behave as honest and responsible members of an academic community. Breaching those expectations or failing to follow the applicable policies, regulations, rules, or guidelines with respect to academic integrity constitutes academic misconduct and may have serious consequences.

It is the obligation of all students to inform themselves of the applicable standards for academic integrity. Students must be aware that standards at UBC 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 integrity in a particular course or assignment, then the student must consult with the instructor as soon as possible. In no case should a student submit an assignment if the student is not clear on the relevant standard of academic integrity.

Academic misconduct

(Excerpt from the UBC Academic Calendars: Vancouver and Okanagan)

Academic misconduct includes any conduct by which a student gains or attempts to gain an unfair academic advantage or benefit thereby compromising the integrity of the academic process, or helping or attempting to help another person commit an act of academic misconduct or gain, or attempt to gain, an unfair academic advantage. Examples of academic misconduct by a student include, but are not limited to, engaging, attempting to engage, or assisting others to engage, in any of the following actions:

  1. submitting false or incomplete records or information to UBC, or failing to provide relevant information when requested, and which includes application misconduct;
  2. cheating, which includes, but is not limited to:
    • falsification of any material subject to academic assessment, including research data;
    • use of or participation in unauthorized collaborative work;
    • use in an examination of any materials or devices not specifically permitted by the instructor or examiner; and
    • use or facilitation of unauthorized means to complete an examination or coursework (including, but not limited to, receiving unauthorized assistance from another person (as one example only, retaining or paying a tutor or another person to do your work), or providing that assistance, or accessing websites or other online resources not specifically permitted by the instructor or examiner);
  3. possession during an examination of any materials or devices not specifically permitted by the instructor or examiner;
  4. failing to comply with any rule or direction governing examinations given by an instructor or examiner or any policy governing examinations (including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, Senate Policy J-101, Student Conduct during Examinations Vancouver and Okanagan);
  5. committing plagiarism, namely submitting or presenting the work of another person as one’s own, without appropriate referencing. (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 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 the work.);
  6. committing self-plagiarism (reuse of one’s own previous work, whether in whole or in part, or the same or substantially the same work, without appropriate referencing and without prior approval from the instructor(s) to whom the work is to be submitted);
  7. impersonating a student, facilitating the impersonation of a student, or allowing another person to impersonate them during an examination or any other academic assessment;
  8. failing to comply with any disciplinary measure imposed for academic misconduct; and
  9. failing to comply with the terms of an integrity plan under section 6.


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. Collaboration is permitted, whereas collusion is academic misconduct.

Contract Cheating

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


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.


Falsification is the act of providing false or incomplete information to UBC, or misrepresenting information. This can include the tampering or misrepresentation 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.


The act of pretending that you are someone else in order to do work on their behalf, or having someone impersonate you on your behalf and complete your work.

Integrity Plan

An integrity plan is an agreed course of action between student and Faculty around how they may respond to a case of academic misconduct. An integrity plan must be entered into voluntarily by both Faculty and student. The full list of possible outcomes at the level of the integrity plan may be found in the Academic Calendars. An integrity plan is part of a student’s academic misconduct record. Find more information on the diversionary process.

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.

Learning moments

Learning moments can be instances of poor academic practice on assignments, early in the semester and particularly in introductory and first-year courses, that suggest errors in understanding how to meet the expectations of academic integrity rather than intentional academic misconduct. They can offer students a learning moment, with opportunities to address the academic misconduct issue (e.g., through revising and resubmitting the assignment) and without further escalation of the case to the level of reporting.


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 presenting someone else’s ideas and work as your own without giving them credit through proper attribution and citation.

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/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.

Warning letter

A warning letter is a letter that a Dean’s Office may issue to a student as an outcome to an academic misconduct allegation. A warning letter is part of a student’s academic misconduct record.

Academic integrity logo