Ethics and Integrity in Academic Work

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 2
Words: 628
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Bachelor

Academic ethics and integrity are the backbone of nursing education focused on providing the best possible care to patients. Academic ethics refers to the core principles of knowledge advancement with the goal of serving society. Smith, Glasgow and Dreher (2020, p. 64) underline that “the academic world does not have a clear and comprehensive code of ethics.” However, the basic ethical principles of academic work are knowledge advancing, students instructing, as well as benefiting society. Academic integrity describes an honest, fair, respectful and responsible attitude of members of the academic community, including researchers, teachers and students, toward academic work (Eaton, 2021; Montoneri, 2020). The principles of integrity allow all members of the academic community to engage in fair and honest academic inquiry while avoiding misconduct and plagiarism. At the same time, modern researchers consider the lack of integration as one of the growing problems in the academic world and higher education (MacLeod and Eaton, 2020). Academic ethics and integrity together provide the foundations for research and education.

Both of these concepts are extremely important to ensure the process of cognition and expansion of knowledge. First of all, academic ethics and integrity are “the foundation in preparing students to be successful, both personally and professionally” (Kadayam Guruswami et al., 2022, p. 2). Adhering to these principles is especially critical for healthcare students and researchers to ensure patient safety. In addition to acquiring the necessary clinical skills, adherence to ethical and integrity principles prepares professionals to practice to the highest ethical and professional standards. Kadayam Guruswami et al. (2020) note that non-compliance with the basics of integrity when teaching a student can lead to unethical practice in a healthcare setting. Thus, academic ethics and integrity not only provide the necessary knowledge and skills but also teach students the basics of ethical behavior within the profession.

Plagiarism and academic misconduct are the most common examples of violations of academic ethics and integrity. Plagiarism occurs when academic work is produced by borrowing words or ideas without indicating their source or the person to whom they can be attributed (Awasthi, 2019; Montoneri, 2020). The main value of academic activity and scientific knowledge, in general, is that it can be subjected to numerous and universal criticism (Awasthi, 2019). In the case of plagiarism, academic work loses its validity. Academic work produced in violation of the principles of integrity is subject to reporting bias and cannot be significant for the academic community. The main goal of academic ethics is the advancing of knowledge, which is not applicable to work created with plagiarism. Plagiarism is a particular example of academic misconduct, when academic work is done in violation of the principles of ethics and integrity. Misconduct can include not only plagiarism, but also violation of established rules and procedures by the members of the academic community (Awasthi, 2019; Montoneri, 2020). Any case of misconduct is a direct violation of the principles of ethics and integrity, which hinders the dissemination of knowledge, and reduces the reputation of both individual members and the entire academic community.

In contrast to the academic community, which does not have a universal code of ethics, nursing practice is guided by NMC code. It presents the standards of professional practice for nurses and midwives,, to which they must uphold (NMC, n.d). The core values ​​of this code are patient safety, good practice, and the promotion of professionalism and trust (NMC, n.d). These aspects directly reflect the principles of ethics and integrity that ensure academic activity. Nursing practice is based on the use of knowledge and its ethical application to achieve the best patient outcomes. Compliance with the standards of ethical practice and academic integrity allows you to maintain confidence in professionals and ensure the expansion of the knowledge of the medical research community.

Reference List

Awasthi, S. (2019) ‘Plagiarism and academic misconduct: a systematic review,’ Journal of Library and Information Technology, 39(2), pp. 94-100.

Eaton, S. E. (2021) Plagiarism in higher education: tackling tough topics in academic integrity. ABC-CLIO.

Kadayam Guruswami, G., Mumtaz, S., Gopakumar, A., Khan, E., Abdullah, F. and Parahoo, S. K. (2022) ‘Academic integrity perceptions among health professions students: a cross-sectional study in the Middle East,’ Journal of Academic Ethics, pp. 1-19.

MacLeod, P. D. and Eaton, S. E. (2020) ‘The paradox of faculty attitudes toward student violations of academic integrity,’ Journal of Academic Ethics, 18, p. 347-362. Web.

Montoneri, B. (2020) Academic misconduct and plagiarism: case studies from universities around the world. Lexington Books.

NMC. (n.d) The code: professional standards of practice and behavior for nurses, midwives and nursing associations. 

Smith Glasgow, M. E. and Dreher, M. (2020) Legal and ethical issues in nursing education. Springer Publishing Company.