Revista de Integridad Académica: The Experience of Creating a Magazine to Encourage a Culture of Academic Integrity
The 27th Annual International Center for Academic Integrity Conference took place March 8 to 10 in New Orleans. I, along with my colleague Arturo Becerra, presented on our experience of creating a magazine about academic integrity at Universidad Panamericana (UP ) in Mexico City and expanding this magazine beyond UP to the Latin American landscape.
I work for the Center for Innovation in Education (CIE) at UP. CIE has the mission of enhancing the teaching talent of faculty by innovating in learning environments. It is a place where faculty can talk about their courses, spread ideas, and confront new challenges.
You might wonder, then, why a faculty innovation-focused-driven center would be interested in creating an academic integrity magazine? The answer is that we got gradually involved in the task because some professors approached us seeking for content about writing and citing skills for their students. Consequently, we researched and found out about academic integrity and its importance in academic life.
Hence, we created a digital magazine with the central objective to foster academic integrity within our institution. We worked independently on the first issue, titled: “El plagio académico” (Academic plagiarism). We published it in October 2016 through Joomag, a digital publishing platform. Although this publication did not have any sponsorship, it had good acceptance within our institution.
Afterward, we established contact with Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM) in Mexico, and they invited us to their 4th National Conference of Academic Integrity. We met academic administrators and faculty who were working in different initiatives to promote academic integrity within their universities. As a result, we decided to expand the Magazine beyond the UP audience to members of academic communities across Mexico and Latin America. So, we invited representatives from UDEM, Universidad EAFIT (Colombia), Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico) to join the editorial committee for the Magazine.
The challenge now was to obtain resources and formalize the magazine so we could publish further issues. We needed a sponsor, so we contacted Turnitin. This sponsorship helped us open new possibilities; for example, allowing the magazine to move to a new publishing platform (ISSUU). We also obtained ISSN registration and were able to print the next issues.
It has been three years since the first publication, and now we have six published issues and are currently working on the 7th. The results of editing the magazine have been gratifying. Primarily, I witnessed how the relevance of academic integrity has grown through Latin America. Therefore, I believe the magazine is an excellent channel to generate dialogue and reflection. It has had 6,349 reads; 40,138 impressions; and 7,000 printed copies.
I have also learned through this initiative as it hasn’t been without its challenges: managing the editorial board, selecting the main topic for each issue and searching for different authors, just to name a few. However, the challenges have advanced me as a scholar, and it has made me more conscious about living the values of academic integrity: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage (ICAI, 2014). Furthermore, these challenges have driven us to be more perseverant about promoting academic integrity on our own campus.
If you would like to consider creating a magazine, I recommend searching for institutional and external support, being clear about each role needed to run a magazine and the different types of talent involved. I also encourage you to create a good strategy that emphasizes not only content but also design.
I invite everyone to support the Latin American consortium by reading the magazine, reflecting about it, and sharing its content.