Publication Details

Bretag, T., Mahmud, S., East, J., Green, M., James, C., McGowan, U., Partridge, L., Walker, R. & Wallace, M. (2011). Academic integrity standards: A preliminary analysis of the Academic integrity policies at Australian Universities. Proceedings of AuQF 2011 Demonstrating Quality (pp. 48-53). Melbourne: AuQF.


As academic integrity is fundamental to assessment practices, it is critical that it is dealt with consistently by staff and taught to students. How a university defines academic integrity in its policy will affect the way it is taught and embedded in the curriculum. While Australian universities all have policy, teaching and learning practices, decision making and review processes relating to academic integrity, these aspects do not always align in a way that reflects a shared understanding of standards of academic integrity, either at intra or inter-university levels. This paper reports on the methodological journey undertaken by researchers in six universities in analysing online academic integrity policies at 39 Australian universities, and some preliminary findings from this analysis. Our study has found that while a significant proportion of academic integrity policies have a punitive element in their approach, a similarly significant proportion of universities do provide an educative approach and/or attempt to frame their policies with a broad commitment to academic integrity. We have also found that the majority of academic integrity policies fail to make a clear statement of responsibility of the University for academic integrity. These findings have implications for Australian universities’ efforts to create a shared understanding and commitment to academic integrity standards. This is the first stage of an ALTC funded project, Academic integrity standards: Aligning policy and practice in Australian universities set to conclude in June 2012. This project seeks to develop a shared understanding across the Australian higher education sector of academic integrity standards with the aim of improving the alignment of academic integrity policies and their implementation.