Associate Professor Tracey Bretag is the Director of the UniSA Business School Office for Academic Integrity. For 15 years, Tracey’s research has focussed on academic integrity. Since 2011 she has led four Australian Office for Learning and Teaching funded research projects, and is currently co-leading (with Rowena Harper) the Contract Cheating and Assessment Design project. Tracey is the founding Editor of the International Journal for Educational Integrity (SpringerOpen), Editor-in-Chief of the Handbook of Academic Integrity (2016), former Chair of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Educational Integrity, and Former President of the Executive Board to the International Center for Academic Integrity.
Responding to breaches of academic integrity: The need to be consistent, transparent and compassionate
Academic integrity means acting with the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility and courage in learning, teaching and research. It is important for students, teachers, researchers and administrative staff to act in an honest way, be responsible for their actions, and show fairness in every part of their work. All students and staff should be an example to others of how to act with integrity in their study and work. Academic integrity is important for an individual's and a school's reputation. (adapted from Exemplary Academic Integrity Project, n.d.)
A breach of academic integrity can be defined as any behaviour which undermines the values, norms and practices of academic integrity. Breaches include, but are not limited to plagiarism, cheating in exams or assignments, impersonation in exams, collusion, theft of another student’s work, sabotage of another student’s learning/assessment, paying a third party for assignments (‘contract cheating’), downloading whole, or part of assignments from the Internet/file-sharing sites, falsification of data, misrepresentation of records, and fraudulent research and publishing practices.
Tracey Bretag will discuss the critical role of assessment, the student/teacher relationship and the teaching and learning environment more broadly, as part of a holistic approach to safeguarding academic integrity and minimising opportunities for students to cheat. However, when cheating does occur, Dr Bretag will underscore the imperative for academic integrity breach decision-makers to use approaches which are consistent and transparent, as well as compassionate. Dr Bretag will remind delegates that students are often young or inexperienced people who have simply made a careless mistake. Our students look to us as their educators and role models for guidance in how to move beyond that mistake so that they can graduate as ethical contributors to society.
Exemplary Academic Integrity Project (n.d.) www.unisa.edu.au/EAIP
Lex Bouter is professor of Methodology and Integrity in Amsterdam. Before that he held a chair in Epidemiology and was rector of his university. In 2017 he organized and co‐chaired the 5th World Conference on Research Integrity in Amsterdam in and became chair of the World Conferences on Research Integrity. Lex Bouter is author or co‐author of 683 scientific publications contained in the Web of Science, which have been cited more than 48,000 times (WoS h‐index of 122 and Google Scholar h‐index of 155). He and has supervised 74 PhD students, of whom to date 14 were appointed as professor.
Fostering responsible research practices: What can and should funders and journals do?
Funding agencies should make sure that institutions receiving grants have adequate processes for dealing with putative breaches of research integrity, provide good training in responsible conduct of research, and have adequate quality control, including internal audits. They should also require that funded research has transparency ‘from protocol to publication’.
Furthermore, funding agencies ought to demand that grant proposals make clear why the study question is relevant for the envisioned end‐users and show that the research question has not already been answered, using a recent systematic review. With a clever combination of eligibility criteria and postponing the last payment until all conditions have been met, funding agencies can be really effective in changing the behaviour of scientists and their institutions.
Scientific journals should first and foremost prevent selective reporting by making sure that the decision to accept or reject a manuscript does not depend on the results of the study, but solely on the relevance of the research question and the soundness of the methods used. Registered reports is a promising way to ensure this, because the decision is made before data collection and data analysis.
Journals also have a key role to play in enforcing more transparency by demanding registration and publication of the study protocol, data analysis plan, data set and a full report on all results. The Transparency and Openness Promotion guidelines provide a matrix to clarify journal policy regarding the various aspects of transparency. Finally, journals need to move from .
Finally, journals need to move from double‐blind prepublication peer review to an open debate on the merits of a report that continues after publication. Disrupting innovation comes from initiatives like Retraction Watch and PubPeer.
Dr. Teddi Fishman spent most of the last decade directing the International Center for Academic Integrity. She earned her PhD from Purdue University and teaches an eclectic range of courses in subjects including ethics in popular culture, and the relationship between science, technology, and society, as well as her main discipline, rhetoric and communication. She is a proponent of participatory, problem-based pedagogies to foster learning, engagement, and academic integrity.
Contact info: Teddifish@gmail.com
Stories and aims: How our academic integrity goals and the ways we talk about meeting them matter
While the threats to academic integrity change with time and technology, they are surprisingly persistent despite our efforts to overcome them. This talk posits that one reason we fall short in our efforts to combat breaches of integrity is that our approaches are misaligned with what we hope to achieve. We'll begin by looking at our stated and implicit goals and the ways that current approaches do and do not move us toward them then move onto a deeper look at the discourse of academic integrity. The session will conclude with suggestions for identifying and pursuing more useful goals and vocabulary and strategies for bringing about better alignment between the two.
Tomáš Foltýnek is an academic integrity coordinator at the Faculty of Business and Economics, Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic and President of the Board of the European Network for Academic Intergity. He has been dealing with plagiarism since 2008. He was involved in projects "Impact of policies for plagiarism in higher education across Europe" and "South-East European Project on Policies for Academic Integrity" and has organized conferences and workshops about plagiarism since 2013. He is a member of the Steering group of Pan-European Platform for Ethics, Transparency and Integrity in Education established by the Council of Europe and main coordinator of the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships project "European Network for Academic Integrity"
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Plagiarism: technical versus political solutions
Addressing plagiarism is a complex issue with is no easy stand-alone solution. Basically, each solution has two parts: A quality text matching software with sufficient database of resources, and clearly defined, communicated and generally accepted policy and procedures on how this software is used and how the results are dealt with. Surprisingly, there are still many universities who declare to address plagiarism, but after a closer look, they have just a piece of software, which is rarely used and the outputs are rarely checked. On the other hand, proper usage of the software accompanied by perfect procedures neither can address the issue if the software is poor or the database is not sufficient.
The speech will combine technical and political points of view to plagiarism. Technical approaches to plagiarism detection will be introduced as well as methods how some software can be "cheated". To what extent are improvements of the software worth it? Do we need better software then are the procedures for its using? Weaknesses of policies and procedures will be illustrated by specific cases worldwide. The speech will end up with an attempt to draft principles of fool proof policy for plagiarism taking into account technical means, nature of its users and cultural context.
Contact info: email@example.com
Academic integrity in higher education institutions: A global perspective
There are many threats and problems affecting the whole world today. The need to educate young people to behave with honesty and integrity has never been more important. This talk will draw on the findings from recent research to demonstrate what higher education institutions in different parts of the world have been doing to discourage different forms of corruption and academic misconduct.
The talk will specifically focus on the role of quality agencies and accreditation bodies across the world to influence the strategic direction of policies for academic integrity in higher education institutions. We will explore how some institutions are supported in their development through national or regional initiatives.
The presentation will include suggestions for what more can be done at all levels to encourage scholarship, improve learning and attainment and maintain quality and standards of higher education qualifications.
The content of this talk has importance to stakeholders in education, research and civil society.
Medical inventions are based on validated scientific research. However increasingly concerns have been raised about the irreproducibility of a surprisingly high number of published scientific findings. Responsibility for such a biomedical "research crisis" can be attributed on one hand to poor training and to scientific misconduct on the other. Factors contributing to this relate to individual researchers (such as pressure of competition for funds, requirements to achieve significant positive results, publication record, lack of knowledge/preparation about the realities/stresses of a scientific career etc.), as well as to the evolving nature of science and the research enterprise (e.g., the negative aspects of fragmentation, isolation and specialisation, the lack of awareness of the rules and standards of proper scientific conduct, etc.). To minimise such pressures medical education programs should explore academic integrity, medical ethics and human values and ensure all medical students receive training to exhibit scrupulous ethical principles (honesty, integrity, confidentiality and respect); not only in caring for patients, but also in relating to other students and to health professionals. Moreover, along the course, adherence to academic integrity and ethical principles should be observed, assessed and reinforced through formal institutional efforts. In fact, ethics should become an essential dimension in clinical practice and medical research.
The aim of this panel discussion is to highlight and clarify (a) the importance of educating ethical principles amongst medical/research students, (b) commonality in applying these ethical principles in medical practice and research and (c) the grey areas in medical practice that resulted in conflicts between ethics and moral values. The interactive session will also highlight the importance of critical evaluation of these conflicts to produce a meaningful conclusion. During this session, the authors are going to involve the audience in the discussion and critically evaluate/discuss the importance of integrating medical education with training into scientific research.
Kosovo is a very young country, which emerged in 2008; it is the product of a very complex and fraught political and cultural situation. It is striving to establish its own identity and to be acknowledged globally as a legitimate and respected nation. However before Kosovo can thrive, it needs to find ways to address the corrupt practices that pervade society, with impact on commerce, industry and education. Much progress has been made in the short time since independence was declared, with experience gained about how integrity can triumph over corruption and unethical conduct. However there is no doubt that there is still much more work to do.
The panel members, all highly respected leaders from the Kosovo higher education community, will each bring their own perspective on the current situation in their country and their institution, about how the challenges facing them are being surmounted. Professor Bajraktari will focus on applied sciences and university-industry collaboration in Kosovo. Professor Leka will explore how plagiarism is viewed in Kosovo society; he will then suggest actions that need to be taken by higher education providers to bring Kosovo into line with what has been achieved in some other countries. Professor Shala will present around the question “why should students of Kosovo care about Academic Integrity?”, which should provide very interesting discussions. Professor Dushi’s topic will be on raising awareness about academic behaviour among academic staff and students.
All four panellists will then answer questions from the audience. The perspectives and lessons learned in Kosovo will have resonance and relevance far beyond their national or regional boundaries.