Calendar 2001-2002<University Policies
Senate Policy on Academic Honesty
that violates the ethical or legal standards of the University community
or of one's program or specialization may result in serious consequences.
The Policy on Academic Honesty is a reaffirmation and clarification
for members of the University of the general obligation to maintain
the highest standards of academic honesty. It outlines the general
responsibility of faculty to foster acceptable standards of academic
conduct and of the student to be mindful of and abide by such standards.
B. The Role of Faculty Members and Students
clear sense of academic honesty and responsibility is fundamental
to good scholarship. Faculty members should include consideration
of academic honesty in both courses and research settings. Such
guidance is particularly important for students who assume independent
roles as course assistants or begin to conduct their own original
work. Every student has a responsibility to abide by these standards
and, when in doubt, to consult with faculty members in order to
determine a proper course of action.
C. Pressures that May Lead to Academic Misconduct
education includes demands that might tempt some to violate standards
of academic honesty. There are pressures on students to achieve
high grades, obtain financial support, meet research or publication
deadlines, gain recognition from the scholarly community, and secure
employment. Although faculty members can help students to maintain
academic honesty despite these pressures, each student has final
responsibility for her or his academic honesty.
D. Serious Offences Against the Standards
of Academic Honesty
This summary is not exhaustive. In some cases the University regulations
on non-academic discipline may apply. Some academic offences constitute
offences under the Criminal Code of Canada; a student charged under
University regulations may also be subject to criminal charges.
Charges may also be laid against York University students for matters
which arise at other educational institutions.
Cheating is the attempt to gain an improper advantage in an academic
evaluation. Among the forms this kind of dishonesty can take are;
obtaining a copy of an examination before it is officially available
or learning an examination question before it is officially available;
copying another person's answer to an examination question; consulting
an unauthorized source during an examination; obtaining assistance
by means of documentary, electronic or other aids which are not
approved by the instructor; or changing a score or a record of an
is also improper to submit the work one has done for one class or
project to a second class, or as a second project, without getting
the informed consent of the relevant instructors. Acceptance of
one piece of work that is submitted for two classes must be arranged
beforehand. It is understood that students may wish to build on
previous research in the preparation of a paper but students must
also be aware that such a practice may run afoul of the intention
of the assignment. In all such cases the student must discuss the
matter with the instructors and receive written permission beforehand.
It is a breach of academic honesty to have someone impersonate one's
self in class, in a test or examination, or in connection with any
other type of assignment in a course. Both the impersonator and
the individual impersonated may be charged.
and other misappropriation of the work of another: Plagiarism is
the representation of another person's ideas or writing as one's
own. The most obvious form of this kind of dishonesty is the presentation
of all or part of another person's published work as something one
has written. However, paraphrasing another's writing without proper
acknowledgement may also be considered plagiarism. It is also a
violation of academic honesty to represent another's artistic or
technical work or creation as one's own. Just as there are standards
to which one must adhere in the preparation and publication of written
works, there are standards to which one must adhere in the creation
and presentation of music, drawings, designs, dance, photography
and other artistic and technical works. In different forms, these
constitute a theft of someone else's work. This is not to say that
students should not use the work of others with the proper acknowledgement.
research practices: Many academic activities may involve the collecting,
analyzing, interpreting and publishing of information or data obtained
in the scientific laboratory or in the field. Opportunities to deviate
from acceptable standards may be more numerous in research than
in the classroom, as research activities may be supervised less
closely. Forms of improper research practices include the dishonest
reporting of investigative results either through fabrication or
falsification, taking or using the research results of others without
permission or due acknowledgment, misrepresentation of research
results or the methods used, the selective reporting or omission
of conflicting information or data to support a particular notion
or hypothesis. Furthermore, all researchers have a responsibility
to refrain from practices that may unfairly inhibit the research
of others now or later. This responsibility extends to York University
students in other institutions or countries.
in publication: In most instances the objective of scholarly research
is the dissemination of information, usually in the form of a written
and published work. Indeed, in many disciplines career advancement
is often based largely on the number and quality of an individual's
publications. It is a violation of academic honesty to knowingly
publish information that will mislead or deceive readers. This includes
the falsification or fabrication of data or information, as well
as the failure to give credit to collaborators as joint authors
or the listing as authors of others who have not contributed to
the work. Plagiarism is also considered a form of dishonesty in
oral or written dissemination of information: Information or experimental
data that was collected with a member of the faculty or another
student, and other works that involved the participation of a faculty
member or another student should not be submitted for publication
prematurely, without appropriate permission.
of confidentiality: A student may be asked to help in the evaluation
of confidential grant proposals, award applications, or manuscripts
that will be or may have been submitted for possible funding or
publication. Taking or releasing the ideas or data of others that
were given with the expectation that they are confidential is inappropriate.
Unless one is authorized to do so, it is improper to obtain a password
assigned to another or to copy or modify a data file or program
belonging to someone else. Proper authorization means being granted
permission either by the owner or originator of that material, or
by a faculty member, or an appropriate administrator. Similarly,
one should not violate the integrity of a computer system to harass
another user or operator, damage software or hardware or evade appropriate
or unauthorized modification of an academic record: It is a breach
of academic honesty to falsify, fabricate, or in any other way modify
a student examination, transcript, grade, letter of recommendation,
or related document. Other breaches of academic honesty include
making false claims or statements, submitting false information,
altering official documents or records, attempting or causing others
to do or attempt any of the above, with intent to mislead an instructor,
an academic unit, program, office or committee as to a students
academic status, qualifications, actions or preparation. Failure
to divulge previous attendance at another postsecondary educational
institution on an admissions application is also a violation.
of the academic activities of another: It is a violation of academic
honesty to interfere with the scholarly activities of another in
order to harass or gain unfair academic advantage. This includes
interference or tampering with experimental data, with a human or
animal subject, with a written or other creation (e.g. a painting,
sculpture or film), with a chemical used for scientific study, or
with any other object of study.
or abetting academic misconduct: Knowingly aiding or abetting anyone
in a breach of academic honesty shall itself be considered misconduct.
This may include assisting others in the preparation of work submitted
for appraisal or offering for sale essays or other assignments with
the intention that these works would be submitted for appraisal.
E. Sanctions for Academic Misconduct
verified, a violation of academic honesty may lead to one or more
of the following penalties:
oral or written disciplinary warning or reprimand;
a make-up assignment or examination;
lower grade or failure on the assignment or examination;
failure in the course;
suspension from the University for a definite period1;
notation on transcript2;
withholding or rescinding a York degree, diploma or certificate3.
penalty may be awarded only by a Faculty-level committee which has
received authority to do so from a Faculty Council.
A student may petition to the Senate Appeals Committee to have the
notation removed after a period of five years from the date at which
the notation was entered.
Where a Faculty decides to rescind a degree, diploma or certificate,
the decision, with supporting documentation, must be forwarded to
the Senate Appeals Committee for approval on behalf of Senate.
permanent record of the offence will be placed in the student's
academic file. This record is for internal academic purposes only.