What is Academic Dishonesty?

According to McMaster’s Academic Integrity Policy:


Section 17. Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage.

Wherever in this Policy an offence is described as depending on “knowingly”, the offence is deemed to have been committed if the person ought reasonably to have known.

Academic Dishonesty Offences

18. The following is a list of examples of academic dishonesty. It is not meant to be exhaustive. For fuller explanations of academic dishonesty, please refer to Appendix 3.

It shall be an offence knowingly to:

  1. plagiarize, i.e. submit academic work that has been, entirely or in part, copied from or written by another person without proper acknowledgement, or, for which previous credit has been obtained (see Appendix 3),

  2. submit the same academic work to more than one course (see Appendix 3),
  3. submit academic work for assessment that was purchased or acquired from another source,

  4. collaborate improperly on academic work (see Appendix 3),
  5. aid or abet another student’s academic dishonesty,
  6. copy or use unauthorized aids in tests, examinations or laboratory reports,
  7. procure, distribute or receive an examination, test or course materials that are in preparation or storage for an academic assessment,
  8. remove, without authorization, academic work (e.g. previous assignments or laboratories) submitted by other students to the instructor,
  9. alter a grade on academic work after it has been marked and using the altered materials to have the recorded grade changed,
  10. steal, destroy or tamper with another student’s academic work,
  11. prevent another student(s) from completing a task for academic assessment,
  12. fail to take reasonable precautions to protect academic work such as assignments, projects, laboratory reports or examinations from being used by other students,
  13. misrepresent academic credentials from other institutions or submit false information for the purpose of gaining admission or credits,
  14. submit false information or false medical documentation to gain a postponement or advantage for any academic work, e.g., a test or an examination,
  15. forge, alter or fabricate McMaster University documents,
  16. forge, alter or fabricate transcripts, letters of reference or other official documents,
  17. impersonate another student either in person or electronically for the purpose of academic assessment,
  18. provide a false signature for attendance at any class or assessment procedure or on any document related to the submission of material where the signature is used as proof of authenticity or participation in the academic assessment, and,

  19. commit research misconduct (see Appendix 3), which shall include:

    1. the misrepresentation, fabrication or falsification of research data,
    2. the abuse of confidentiality with regard to information and ideas taken from manuscripts, grant applications or discussions held in confidence,
    3. other kinds of misconduct, such as: the violation of the regulations of the granting bodies; the improper use of funds, equipment, supplies, facilities, or other resources; the failure to respect University policies on the use of human subjects or animals.

Students (Undergraduate and Graduate)

11. Students are responsible for being aware of and demonstrating behaviour that is honest and ethical in their academic work. Such behaviour includes:

  1. following the expectations articulated by instructors for referencing sources of information and for group work,
  2. asking for clarification of expectations as necessary,
  3. identifying testing situations that may allow copying,
  4. preventing their work from being used by others, e.g., protecting access to computer files, and
  5. adhering to the principles of academic integrity when conducting and reporting research.

12. Students are responsible for their behaviour and may face penalties under this Policy, if they commit academic dishonesty.