Dealing with Academic Misconduct by Graduate Students


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UBC Calendar:,54,111,959

All incidents of suspected academic misconduct must be reported to the Dean's Office in the Faculty of Gradaute and Postdoctoral Studies. There may be prior instances of misconduct on record at Grad Studies that should be taken into account when determining an appropriate course of action. See UBC Calendar / Academic Misconduct / Investigation by the Dean's Office, 4.1. For graduate students registered in programs in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, "Dean's Office" means the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Academic misconduct that is subject to disciplinary measures includes, but is not limited to, engaging in, attempting to engage in, or assisting others to engage, in any of the actions described below.

  1. Cheating, which may include, but is not limited to:
    1. falsification of any material subject to academic evaluation, including research data;
    2. use of or participation in unauthorized collaborative work;
    3. use or possession in an examination of any materials (including devices) other than those permitted by the examiner;
    4. use, possession, or facilitation of unauthorized means to complete an examination (e.g., receiving unauthorized assistance from another person, or providing that assistance); and
    5. dishonest practices that breach rules governing examinations or submissions for academic evaluation (see the Student Conduct during Examinations).
  2. Plagiarism – submitting or presenting the oral or written work of another person as his or her own or failing to provide proper attribution, in submitted drafts or final works.
  3. Self-plagiarism – submitting the same, or substantially the same, essay, presentation, or assignment more than once (whether the earlier submission was at this or another institution) unless prior approval has been obtained from the instructor(s) to whom the assignment is to be submitted.
  4. Impersonating a candidate at an examination or other evaluation, facilitating the impersonation of a candidate, or availing oneself of the results of an impersonation.
  5. Submitting false records or information, orally or in writing, or failing to provide relevant information when requested.
  6. Falsifying or submitting false documents, transcripts, or other academic credentials.
  7. Failing to comply with any disciplinary measure imposed for academic misconduct.


All the actions listed above constitute serious academic misconduct. The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is responsible for holding all graduate students in its graduate programs to the highest possible standards of academic conduct. This duty applies to the full spectrum of student academic activities, from coursework (both graduate and undergraduate) to the dissertation. The UBC Calendar, in its chapter on Policies and Regulations, assigns certain responsibilities to the “Dean's Office”: for graduate students, these tasks come to the Dean's Office in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Therefore every case of suspected academic misconduct must be reported to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, following the outline below.

Investigating and Documenting Plagiarism

Investigating and Documenting Suspected Plagiarism describes some resources for investigating suspected cases of plagiarism, and some useful tools for detecting and documenting the plagiarism. It also outlines the documents the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies would like to receive along with notification in every case.

General Principles

Any instructor who detects or suspects academic misconduct in course work should act quickly to gather evidence. When the evidence seems to support academic misconduct, the instructor must notify the student as soon as possible about his or her concerns, and invite the student to meet to provide his or her perspective. At this early stage in the process, it is important for the instructor to be prepared to receive information from the student (and others) with an open mind.

Every case of academic misconduct, whether in coursework, comprehensive exams, a thesis, or a dissertation, must be brought forward to the Dean (or designated Associate Dean) of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. It is important that notification be made even if the instructor considers the incident minor, as this may help to identify a pattern of misconduct.

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