Integrity – academic and otherwise

This is an interesting badge (‘Academic integrity’) – working as an academic editor I know that people find it hard to understand when they need to reference and why it’s such a big deal to authors and us editor types if they don’t. It may be something to do with the way many institutions package it as ‘plagiarism’, which could put the fear of a deity into students who may start out with a shakey understanding of the practice and then get put off entirely out of fear of getting into deep trouble. Repositioning plagiarism as academic integrity takes away some of the threat and additionally is more aspirational and promotes the idea of autonomy and responsibility.

To compound it, referencing is also very dry and requires an effortful attention to detail, and it is difficult to make it exciting. The activity I developed in H5P is visually bland – maybe even a touch of colour would make it more interesting – and basic. It’s not exciting but at least it’s active and hopefully it raises awareness of the different types of citation that need to be acknowledged – some of which are not at all obvious (e.g self-citation or ghost citation). And it was a good opportunity to play with the software again and to start to think about what else I could use it for. Feedback welcome!

Drag & drop activity to raise awareness of the need for different types of citation
Drag & drop activity to raise awareness of the need for different types of citation

Verifying sources is something I’m used to doing from my days working as a journalist. This is akin (vaguely) to detective work and is more gratifying. Any communication that is publicly available could notionally influence people and so again it’s about integrity, acknowledging how other people may have shaped your thinking and contributed to your innovation; it’s also about generosity of spirit and working collegiately and not running with other people’s ideas, presenting them as your own and claiming the glory for yourself. And it’s about taking responsibility for what you put out there, regardless of the subject matter is. And it’s also about taking pride in what you produce and thinking bigger picture. Does what you’re releasing into the world at some level, no matter how localised or indistinct, and without wishing to sound hopelessly naïve/pompous, add to the good or even just the feel good factors that can make the world an easier place to negotiate??

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