Academic Integrity

Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film

Academic Integrity

 Click here to download a copy of the Statement on Academic Integrity in PDF.

Academic integrity is vital to the well being of the university community, and Brock University takes academic misconduct very seriously.  Academic misconduct includes plagiarism (presenting the words and ideas of another person as if they were your own), submitting the same work for two different assignments, and other forms of cheating such as using crib notes during a test or fabricating data for a lab assignment.

Instructors and teaching assistants in the Department thoroughly investigate all suspected cases of academic misconduct.
The penalties for documented cases of academic misconduct are severe.  The Department recommends that a grade of zero be given for the assignment and a failing grade if not a grade of zero be given for the course.  In addition, a note will be attached to the student’s academic transcript.  A second offence can result in suspension from the University.  The entire disciplinary process is administered by the Dean of Social Science.
Make yourself aware of the issues involved.  Read the section of the Brock University Undergraduate Calendar that pertains to academic misconduct.  You are reminded that the Student Development Centre (Schmon Tower, Room 400) offers workshops on writing, study skills, and issues surrounding plagiarism.
Academic Misconduct: Policies and Procedures
The following regulations are taken from the Brock University regulations for academic programs, and are also available on the Brock University website at

1. Definitions
Academic misconduct may take many forms and is not limited to the following:
Exams and Tests
  1. Impersonation of a candidate in an exam or test.
  2. Copying from another student, or making information available to other students knowing that this is to be submitted as the borrower's own work.
  3. Use of unauthorized material.
  4. Submission of a take-home examination written by someone else.

  1. Copying a laboratory report, or allowing someone else to copy one's report.
  2. Using another student's data unless specifically allowed by the instructor.
  3. Allowing someone else to do the laboratory work.
  4. Using direct quotations or large sections of paraphrased material in a lab report without acknowledgment.
  5. Faking laboratory data.

Essays and Assignments
  1. Submission of an essay written in whole or in part by someone else as one's own.
  2. Preparing an essay or assignment for submission by another student.
  3. Copying an essay or assignment, or allowing one's essay or assignment to be copied by someone else.
  4. Using direct quotations or large sections of paraphrased material without acknowledgment.
  5. The buying or selling of term papers or assignments.
  6. The submission of the same piece of work in more than one course without the permission of the instructors.
  7. Submitting whole or part of a computer program with or without minor modifications as one's own.

Individual instructors or Departments will point out areas of specific concern not covered above. Students should be encouraged to consult instructors in case of doubt.

Plagiarism means presenting work done (in whole or in part) by someone else as if it were one's own. Associate dishonest practices include faking or falsification of data, cheating or the uttering of false statements by a student in order to obtain unjustified concessions.
Plagiarism should be distinguished from cooperation and collaboration. Often, students may be permitted or expected to work on assignments collectively, and to present the results either collectively or separately. This is not a problem so long as it is clearly understood whose work is being presented, for example, by way of formal acknowledgment or by footnoting. Instructors should inform students what constitutes acceptable workmanship, proper form of citation and use of sources.

2. Procedures

Students shall not be penalized for suspected academic misconduct. It is the responsibility of the instructor to demonstrate the accuracy of the charge.
If the instructor can document a case of academic misconduct, the instructor shall inform the Department Chair and the Office of the Registrar; the latter will not process any application for withdrawal from the course pending the outcome of the investigation of the case. If a charge of academic misconduct is subsequently brought by the instructor, no withdrawal from a course shall be considered valid.
The instructor and the Chair together will interview the student, inform the student that he/she is being charged with academic misconduct and attempt to discover whether there are any extenuating circumstances. If upheld by the Chair, the case will then be referred to the appropriate Dean along with any necessary observations and/or recommendations from the Department. The student may, if wished, be accompanied to any interviews by one of the departmental student representatives or faculty, staff or student member of Brock such as, but not limited to, a representative from the Student Development Centre or the Student Ombudsman.
If the Dean is satisfied that a case of academic misconduct has been proven, he/she should inform the Office of the Registrar who, in the case of first offenders, will insert a permanent note in the student's file. The Office of the Registrar will inform the student in writing, of the action taken and outline the possible penalties for future infractions. The Office of the Registrar will note the transgression on the student's transcript in the case of second offenders. The notation will be removed from the transcript when the student graduates or three years after the last registration.
3. Penalties

A Dean who is satisfied that academic misconduct has occurred may impose the following sanctions:
  • oral or written disciplinary warning or reprimand
  • lower grade or failure on the assignment or examination
  • failure in the course
  • suspension from the University for a definite period
  • notation on student's official transcript
  • withholding or rescinding a Brock degree or certificate