Wilfrid Laurier University Undergraduate Academic Calendar - 2006/2007
Canadian Excellence

Academic and Research Misconduct

Academic misconduct is an act by a student, or by students working on a team project, which may result in a false evaluation of the student(s), or which represents a deliberate attempt to unfairly gain an academic advantage. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following acts which are presented as examples or a guide since not every possible circumstance can be anticipated:

  1. plagiarism, which is the unacknowledged presentation, in whole or in part, of the work of others as one's own, whether in written, oral or other form, in an examination, report, assignment, thesis or dissertation;
  2. cheating, which involves the using, giving, receiving, or the attempt to use, give or receive unauthorized information during an examination in oral, written or other form; or, copying an essay, examination or report, or allowing someone else to copy one's essay, examination or report;
  3. submitting the same piece of work, or a significant part thereof, for the same course or for more than one course without the permission of the instructors involved in each course; or, submitting an essay or other work which has been submitted elsewhere, previously or at the same time, without the written permission of all academic units or institutions involved in the submissions;
  4. impersonating another person in an examination or test;
  5. buying or otherwise obtaining term papers or assignments for submission of another person's work as one's own for evaluation;
  6. falsifying, misrepresenting or forging an academic record or supporting document.

Research Misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following types of behaviour:

  1. the failure to recognize by due acknowledgment the substantive contributions of others, or the use of unpublished work of other researchers without permission, or the use of archival material in violation of the rules of the archival source;
  2. the fabrication or falsification of research data material, or making a purported statement of fact or reference to a source which has been concocted;
  3. the wilful violation of Senate policies, or material failure to comply with Senate policies, as they apply to research ethics, or to the use of computers, human subjects or animals.


  1. Research misconduct does not include those factors intrinsic to the process of academic research, such as honest error, conflicting data, adherence to scholarly or research advice given by faculty, or a difference in interpretation or judgement of data or of experimental design.
  2. Students who are uncertain whether a course of action might constitute academic or research misconduct should consult, in advance, the instructors or supervisors who might be involved, or their faculty dean.


Sanctions are levied by the university and their severity is determined in relation to the degree of academic or research dishonesty committed or attempted, to the intention to commit dishonest acts, or to the degree to which an individual has been a party to attempted or committed acts of dishonesty. Penalties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • a requirement to repeat the assignment, examination or course
  • failure on the assignment, course, examination, thesis or dissertation
  • suspension from the program or from the university for a designated period of time
  • expulsion from the program or from the university
  • cancellation or revocation of the degree or diploma, where the offense pertains to the eligibility to receive such a degree or diploma, whether discovered before or after the degree or diploma is awarded
  • inclusion of a statement on the student's transcript pertaining to the suspension or expulsion or to the cancellation or revocation of the degree.