Academic integrity policies come into effect through a variety of methods. Whether it is a high stakes academic integrity case on campus or a well-respected integrity crusader that forms the catalyst for implementing new policy or substantially revising an existing approach, the policies themselves—and what we make of them as stakeholders—remain. In Australia (Bretag et al., 2011), Europe (Foltýnek & Glendenning, 2015), and Canada (Stoesz & Eaton, 2019), scholars have investigated what exemplary academic integrity policies look like. They are actively working to move the needle on how countries and regions around the world seek to provide for integrity in higher education. But no equivalently large-scale reviews have been conducted in the United States—at least, not yet.

For Bretag and colleagues (2011), five elements were crucial to establish a policy as exemplary: access, approach, responsibility, detail, and support. Foltýnek and Glendinning (2015) looked at the impact of plagiarism policies across Europe to develop the Academic Integrity Maturity Model (AIMM). AIMM’s criteria include transparency, fairness, standard sanctions, digital tool use, prevention, communication, knowledge, training, and research. Stoesz & Eaton (2019) examined document type, policy language, and policy principles to uncover how Bretag et al.’s five elements have been applied in Canada.

While there is a wealth of information about policies in other regions of the globe, a large-scale review of academic integrity policies in the United States has yet to be completed. Given the complex relationship between honor codes, educational law, and justice (Moriarty & Wilson, 2022), this is a gap that must be filled. Establishing and addressing best policies and practices for institutions across the United States is no simple task. In 2022, Courtney wrote that student conduct was pivoting away from punishment-based policies but noted that how this would play out for students and faculty remained unclear (Cullen, 2022). That same year, Greer reviewed the state of language diversity in integrity research and practice (Murphy, 2022) and found, in general, that the full range of methods and tools from applied linguistics, critical language analysis, or translingualism have yet to be meaningfully applied to integrity policy evaluation.

The two of us have since started working as a collaborative team to fill this gap—and now we need your help! If you work in academic integrity at a college or university in the United States in any capacity (e.g., in adjudication, outreach, student support, or some other area) and would like your institution’s integrity policy analyzed as part of our study, please send us a copy of your policy (or a link to where we can find it online) at . Though our project is still in its planning phases, we already know we are aiming for a study that is large in scope. We hope to include as many regions and diverse institutional types (from community colleges to small liberal arts colleges, to large doctoral degree-granting research institutions, and so on) as we can.

Ultimately, casting a wide net will allow us to present the fullest possible view of the ‘state’ of academic integrity policy and policy language in the United States. In addition to contacting us yourselves, we would greatly appreciate if you could forward this blog post on to your friends and integrity colleagues who work at other institutions! In closing, we thank you again for your consideration and time.

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