Academic honesty in the pre-IB and the IB Diploma Programme
Ikast-Brande Gymnasium defines academic dishonesty as work produced by others but presented as one’s own.
The IBO stresses the importance of academic honesty. In the IB publication on academic honesty, it is stated that:
“all assignments for assessment, regardless of their format, must wholly and authentically use that candidate’s own language, expression and ideas. Where the ideas or work of another person are represented within a candidate’s work, whether in the form of direct quotation or paraphrase, the source(s) of those ideas or the work must be fully and appropriately acknowledged. This requirement includes a candidate’s responses to examination papers in May and/or November. All quotations in a candidate’s examination script must be properly acknowledged”
What is academic honesty?
Academic honesty means that one’s own work is authentic and not a reproduction of other people’s work or ideas.
Intellectual property rights must be respected and are often protected by law (copyrights on music, patents, movies, published books).
In the arts, you may be inspired by other artists’ music or creativity. It is perfectly acceptable to be inspired by other artists’ work but the original source must always be acknowledged.
Plagiarism and Malpractice
According to the IBO, a student is guilty of malpractice if he or she plagiarizes, works too closely together with another student (collusion), or duplicates work. Malpractice is also present in other situations. For example, if a student falsifies a CAS-record or brings unauthorized material into an exam.
In the IB programme, we define plagiarism, collusion and duplication in the following way:
- Plagiarism: this is defined as the representation of the ideas or work of another person as the candidate’s own
- Collusion: this is defined as supporting malpractice by another candidate, as in allowing one’s work to be copied or submitted for assessment by another student.
- Duplication of work: this is defined as the presentation of the same work for different assessment components and/or diploma requirements
Any other behaviour that gains an unfair advantage for a candidate or that affects the results of another candidate (for example, taking unauthorized material into an examination room, misconduct during an examination, falsifying a CAS record) is defined as academic dishonesty.
Examples of plagiarism:
- Using information from the internet – either directly or in a restated form – without acknowledging the source. This also includes photos, music, graphs, maps and the like.
- Copying one sentence or more from a book or the internet without acknowledging the source in quotation marks and in the bibliography.
- As a rule of thumb: using 5-8 words in a row from a book/the internet/somewhere else without acknowledging the source constitutes plagiarism.
Examples of collusion:
- Students are expected to work independently for most assessment components. However, in some cases, for example in the group 4-project, collaboration is encouraged. Nevertheless, the final product must always be the student’s own.
- The IBO states that “This means that the abstract, introduction, content and conclusion/summary of a piece of work must be written in each candidate’s own words and cannot therefore be the same as another candidate’s. For example, if two or more candidates have exactly the same introduction to an assignment, the final award committee will interpret this as collusion (or plagiarism)”
- In IB Math, group work “is not appropriate for the mathematics HL or mathematics SL portfolio. For mathematical studies SL, group work must not be used for projects. Each project must be based on different data collected or measurements generated.”
Examples of duplication of work
- The presentation of the same work for different assessment components constitutes malpractice. For example, if a student hands in a piece of work for a history assignment and then, later, hands in the same, or almost the same, piece of work for his or her Extended Essay, it is malpractice.
Other examples of malpractice
- Fabricating data for a table, a survey or the like constitutes malpractice.
- Many students know more than one language. It is malpractice to read something in one language and translate it into another and present it as one’s own ideas.
- Furthermore, the IBO views the following as malpractice:
- taking unauthorized material into an examination room (such as cell/mobile phone, written notes).
- leaving and/or accessing unauthorized material in a bathroom/restroom that may be visited during an examination
- misconduct during an examination, including any attempt to disrupt the examination or distract another candidate
- exchanging information or in any way supporting the passing on of information to another candidate about the content of an examination
- failing to comply with the instructions of the invigilator or other member of the school’s staff responsible for the conduct of the examination
- impersonating another candidate
- stealing examination papers
- using an unauthorized calculator during an examination, or using a calculator when one is not permitted for the examination paper
- disclosing or discussing the content of an examination paper with a person outside the immediate school community, including online discussions, within 24 hours after the examination.
What happens in a case of malpractice?
If malpractice is suspected, the nature of the malpractice is reported to the IBO by the external examiner or the IB coordinator.
The allegations of malpractice are investigated very thoroughly. If a student is found guilty, the outcome is either:
- that the student is found guilty of academic infringement. This results in a zero on the component or part of the component, but the student is still eligible for a grade in the subject.
- that the student is found guilty of academic malpractice. If found guilty of malpractice, the student will not be awarded the IB Diploma.
Academic malpractice is a very serious offence which may result in the student not being eligible for the IB Diploma. Examiners are very aware of signs of plagiarism in assignments and the IB runs electronic checks on IB students’ work in exams.
In-class work and home assignments
In accordance with school policy at Ikast-Brande Gymnasium, the following sanctions will be carried out in cases of academic malpractice:
- The teacher gives the student an oral warning.
- If a case of academic malpractice happens again, the student is given a written warning.
- A third attempt to cheat results in expulsion.
How do I avoid being guilty of academic malpractice?
- Do not collaborate in externally set exams, internal assessment, or when handing in written work during regular class -time – unless otherwise instructed by your teacher.
- Always obey the rules in exam situations.
- Be very careful to cite all sources, whether you have paraphrased them, quoted them directly or used the ideas of a writer/scientist/historian.