Academic Honesty, Linguistic Dishonesty: Analyzing the Readability and Translation of Academic Integrity and Honesty Policies at U.S. Postsecondary Institutions
A large body of research has indicated international students in the United States (U.S.) and abroad experience difficulties understanding what academic integrity is and how to avoid academic misconduct (Bista To Improve The Academy, 30(1), 159–172 2011; Brown & Howell, 2001; Gullifer and Tyson Studies in Higher Education, 39(7), 1202-1218 2014). While most studies focus on academic misconduct and academic corruption in research ethics (Macfarlane et al. Studies in Higher Education, 39(2), 339-358 2014), this study analyzes the length, English-language readability, and translation of academic integrity policies of 453 four-year U.S. institutions of higher education. Findings indicate average academic integrity policies are over 2000 words long, are written above the 16th-grade reading level, and are very rarely translated into a language other than English (0.06% of the sample). In addition, no institutions published their academic integrity policies in full on their institutional international student website, possibly rendering the policy difficult to locate on the institution’s website for international students. Implications for research, policy, and practice are addressed.
KeywordsInternational students Academic integrity Cheating Plagiarism Institutional policy
- Adobe (2008). Accessing PDF documents with assistive technology. Retrieved from https://www.adobe.com/content/dam/acom/en/accessibility/pdfs/accessing-pdf-sr.pdf. Accessed 2018.
- Bista, K. (2011). Academic dishonesty among international students in higher education. To Improve The Academy, 30(1), 159–172. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2334-4822.2011.tb00655.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Blachowicz, C., & Ogle, D. (2017). Reading comprehension: strategies for independent learners. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Bretag, T. (2007). The emperor’s new clothes: yes, there is a link between English language competence and academic standards. People and Place, 15(1), 13–21. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/242216101. Accessed 2018.
- Bretag, T., Mahmud, S., Wallace, M., Walker, R., McGowan, U., East, J., ... James, C. (2014). ‘Teach us how to do it properly!’: an Australian academic integrity student survey. Studies in Higher Education, 39(7), 1150–1169. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2013.777406.
- Brown, V. J., & Howell, M. E. (2001). The efficacy of policy statements on plagiarism: do they change students’ views? Research in Higher Education, 42, 103. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018720728840.
- Cammish, N. K. (1997). Studying at advanced level through English. In D. McNamara and R. Harris (Eds.), Overseas students in higher education: Issues in teaching and learning. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Cornell University (2018). Code of academic integrity. Retrieved from https://cuinfo.cornell.edu/aic.cfm. Accessed 2018.
- Fielding, E. (1990). Reading in the content areas: the importance of choosing appropriate level texts. Reading, 24(3), 179–184. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9345.1990.tb00009.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Huang, L.-M., & Bilal, D. (2017). “Not what I thought!”: information seeking behaviors of international students during the application for graduate study in the USA. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 54(1), 709–711. https://doi.org/10.1002/pra2.2017.14505401125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Jordan, M., & Belkin, D. (2016). Foreign students seen cheating more than domestic ones. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/foreign-students-seen-cheating-more-than-domestic-ones-1465140141. Accessed 2018.
- Lupton, R. A., Chapman, K. J., & Weiss, J. E. (2000). International perspective: a cross-national exploration of business students’ attitudes, perceptions, and tendencies toward academic dishonesty. Journal of Education for Business, 75(4), 231–235. https://doi.org/10.1080/08832320009599020.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Mori, S. C. (2000). Addressing the mental health concerns of international students. Journal of Counseling & Development, 78(2), 137–144. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1556-6676.2000.tb02571.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- National Center for Education Statistics (2018). Compare institutions. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/login.aspx?gotoReportId=1. Accessed 2018.
- National Science Board (2018). Science and Engineering Indicators, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2018/nsb20181/report. Accessed 2018.
- O'Malley, B. (2016). Cheating by international students rampant at British universities, says newspaper. Retrieved from https://www.chronicle.com/article/Cheating-by-International/234904. Accessed 2018.
- Powers, W. G., Hurt, H. T., & Dunathan, A. T. (1981). The development of a reading avoidance measure. Reading Improvement, 18(4), 321–328.Google Scholar
- Purdue University Northwest (2018). Purdue University Northwest academic integrity policy. Retrieved from https://www.pnw.edu/dean-of-students/purdue-university-northwest-academic-integrity-policy/. Accessed 2018.
- Simpson, D. (2016). Academic dishonesty: An international student perspective. Academic Perspectives in Higher Education, 2(1), 1–22. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.odu.edu/aphe/vol2/iss1/5. Accessed 2018.
- Song-Turner, H. (2008). Plagiarism: academic dishonesty or ‘blind spot’ of multicultural education? Australian Universities’ Review, 50(2), 39–50. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ824687.pdf. Accessed 2018.
- The University of Alabama in Huntsville (2018). 2015–2018 student handbook. Retrieved from https://www.uah.edu/images/administrative/dos/student-support-programs/uah_student_handbook_2015-2018.pdf. Accessed 2018.
- United States Department of Education (2018). FAFSA process: Applying for aid. Retrieved from https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa. Accessed 2018.
- University of Virginia (2018). Honor committee: Translations. Retrieved from https://honor.virginia.edu/translations. Accessed 2018.
- Witherell, S. (2017). Open doors 2017 executive summary. Retrieved from https://www.iie.org/Why-IIE/Announcements/2017-11-13-Open-Doors-2017-Executive-Summary. Accessed 2018.