Academic Misconduct: Forms, Decree, And Its Legal Aspect

Academics are the most wholesome experience of one’s life. However, nothing is always a rainbow.

Academic misconduct is a transgression that hampers the integrity of any individual associated with academia.

In 1999, Dr. Donald McCabe, co-founder of the International National Center For Academic Integrity (ICAI) was the first person to investigate cheating at various levels in colleges and universities.

To know more in detail, here is a detailed explanation of different aspects of academic misconduct.

What is academic misconduct?

Academic misconduct is broadly related to any activity that is done beyond the institutional norms and results in sabotaging the celibacy of a student or any academic work.

This is not a newly discovered concept, it has been there as long as academia has existed, i.e., even beyond the 16-17th century. Previously, it mostly dealt with authorship issues and innovation rights, primarily registered in the royal scientific societies of England and France.

Charles Babbage in 1830 labeled various forms of academic misconduct as “hoaxing”, “forging” and a few others. Fraternities in North America added fuel to the increasing incidences of academic misconduct in the 20th century, introducing illegal essay banks.

Forms of academic misconduct

Also known as academic dishonesty or fraud, academic misconduct has been classified into 3 categories to cover its widespread aspects.

  1. Academic misconduct: Mainly includes cheating in exams, impersonation, i.e., giving exams on behalf of someone else, or illegally using some other person’s credits and work to your advantage. Outlawed exchange of study materials without permission, use of unreliable educational platforms, or abuse of personal connection for private gains,  also comes under this domain.
  2. Scientific misconduct: This comprises collusion, plagiarism, copyright, patent and trademark issues, unauthorized alliance, or falsification of information irrespective of the extent.
  3. Research misconduct:  Any minute information that diminishes the quality of a publication or innovative product is considered research misconduct.

Decree for academic misconduct

National governments and leading institutions across the globe have established some bodies that look after the cases of academic misconduct and standardize the rules and regulations related to the same.

Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency in Australia, The Quality Assurance Agency in the U.K maintain academic law and order. Whereas in Canada respective post-secondary institutions are responsible for regulating academic integrity in the country.

Academic violation follows severe repercussions when proved at the institutional level as well as in the court of law. Some of the penalties include.

  1. Immediate expulsion and revocation from the office of service.
  2. Demolition of data that is related to the accusations
  3. Blackballing i.e., loss of access to academic digital portals, and membership from the scientific associations, and royal societies.
  4. Legal suite, penalties, and imprisonment, if needed.

Legal assistance in accusations of academic misconduct

An academic misconduct lawyer is specialized to deal with such indictments. They are equipped with the best knowledge regarding complex policies that govern academic misconduct to a variable extent.

Besides this, years of experience outweighs their excellence which helps in dealing with an indictment on the needed level i.e, internally at the university/college level or escalating it to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education and the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).