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JCU students respond to the question, 'What is Academic Integrity?'
Acknowledging your debt
The academic community generates new knowledge. This is done collaboratively by building on the work of others.
Academics take published works, analyse them, deconstruct and recombine elements of them in new ways. As a member of this community, you are part of this process and you are responsible for acknowledging those whose work you build upon.
Completing your own learning
Creativity is part of the academic process.
Synthesising existing information to create something new is essential to successful study. It is also a great transferable skill to carry into your future career.
If you plagiarise someone else’s ideas, you are denying yourself the opportunity to engage in the creative part of learning and limiting the potential of your studies to enrich your learning.
Preparing for a successful career
The academic community is not the only place where integrity is prized. Accountants, nurses, teachers, engineers and many more professionals need the trust of their colleagues and clients to succeed.
A strong track record of academic integrity is a great foundation on which to build your career. Conversely, an incident of plagiarism on your university record could limit your opportunities.
Engaging and thinking critically
Plagiarising someone else’s idea involves accepting it, without engagement or evaluation.
Plagiarism short circuits the critical faculties that all students should develop through their studies.
You should practise subjecting everything you read to a deep critical examination. This is impossible if you are simply copying.
Protecting yourself from others’ faulty research
If you build your own idea on something you have plagiarised, rather than analysed and acknowledged, you are not just disrespecting the original author and deceiving your examiners. You are also exposing yourself to the possibility that the material you have plagiarised is faulty, invalidating your own conclusions.