The topic of academic integrity is often framed around misconduct and dishonesty, carrying both negative and punitive connotations. However, the dialogue is shifting towards an approach that is educative, preventative, and positive in promoting student success. With that shifting focus in mind, this page brings together information from a variety of sources across campus that promote academic integrity from multiple perspectives.
Read more to find out about ways to encourage academic integrity in your courses, what to do when a breach in academic integrity is suspected, and what students need to know regarding ensuring academic integrity, consequences of a breach, and procedures to follow if suspected of a breach in academic integrity.
How is Academic Integrity Defined at UC Berkeley?
There is no single agreed upon definition of academic integrity at UC Berkeley. However, most definitions found in the literature and across higher education institutions consider academic integrity to entail honesty, responsibility, and openness to both scholarship and scholarly activity.
The University defines academic misconduct as “any action or attempted action that may result in creating an unfair academic advantage for oneself or an unfair academic advantage or disadvantage for any other member or members of the academic community” (UC Berkeley Code of Student Conduct).
There is more detailed information related to this definition of academic integrity in the Code of Student Conduct.
See our Campus Policies page for a link to the relevant Berkeley policy.
Review the UC Berkeley Honor Code.
What does Academic Integrity Look Like?
There are countless examples of what academic misconduct and dishonesty look like, and how to avoid them, but too rarely are we given examples (or provide students with examples) of academic integrity, and how to ensure it. Whether it is a matter of semantics or framing, it is helpful to think about academic integrity from a goal-oriented perspective - something we strive to achieve - versus an avoidance perspective where it is something we merely guard against out of fear or anxiety.
Depending on the discipline, instructor preference, goals for student learning, and the nature of the course itself, here are some examples of what academic integrity can look like:
In a class where collaboration is an essential skill to learn, and knowledge is collectively constructed or discovered, students work in small groups on homework assignments in a peer-to-peer learning model. Students still turn in homework individually.
In a writing intensive class, papers are broken up into smaller pieces or several drafts to solicit feedback on the use of and proper credit to the work of others and their ideas - addressing misunderstandings before a summative assignment is due.
In an upper division course, students are encouraged to draw on their previous and complementary coursework in articulating an emerging theoretical framework or analysis through appropriate citation of text and ideas from previous/concurrent writing assignments.