IB Academic Honesty Policy
Academic honesty is one of the cornerstones of all academic work, and the importance and benefits of properly conducted academic research cannot be overemphasized. All Diploma Programme candidates must understand the basic meaning and significance of concepts that relate to academic honesty, especially:
1) Authenticity and original authorship: An authentic piece of work is one that is based on the student’s individual and original ideas with the ideas and work of others fully acknowledged. Therefore, all assignments, written or oral, completed by a candidate for assessment must wholly and authentically use that candidate’s own language and expression. Where sources are used or referred to, they must be fully and appropriately acknowledged, whether they are in the form of:
• direct quotation, always enclosed within quotation marks, or
• paraphrase: the rendition of another person’s words presented in a new style and integrated
grammatically into the writing
2) Intellectual property and ownership of creative material: There are many different forms of intellectual property, such as patents, registered designs, trademarks, moral rights and copyright. All forms of intellectual and creative expression (for example, works of literature, art or music) must be respected and are normally protected by law.
3) Acknowledgement: Using the words and ideas of another person to support one’s arguments while following accepted practices is an integral part of any intellectual endeavour, and integrating these words and ideas with one’s own in accepted ways is an important academic skill. However:
• All ideas and work of other persons, regardless of their source, must be acknowledged.
• Web sites, CD-Rom, e-mail messages and any other electronic media must be treated in the same way as books and journals.
• The sources of all photographs, maps, illustrations, computer programs, data, graphs, audiovisual and similar material must be acknowledged if they are not the candidate’s own work.
• Passages that are quoted verbatim must be enclosed within quotation marks and references provided.
• The source of an idea if that idea emerged as a result of discussion with, or listening to, a fellow student, a teacher or any other person must be acknowledged as well.
It is not sufficient to simply list sources in a bibliography or in footnotes. There are several standard ways of acknowledgement, students must consult their supervisor or teacher for the most suitable format. Students are encouraged to consult the IB document “Effective citing and referencing”
4) Proper conduct: in relation to the written examinations and tests (refer to IB Conduct of Examinations and the Study Guide).
5) Respect for the integrity of all forms of assessment for the Diploma Programme: The candidate is ultimately responsible for ensuring that all work submitted for assessment is authentic, with the work or ideas of others fully and correctly acknowledged. The IB sets deadlines by which the school must submit Internal Assessment (IA) grades to them. The school sets deadlines for different IAs in different subjects throughout the two years (IB1 and IB2) in order to spread the workload for students and teachers. Hence, candidates are expected to comply with all internal school deadlines: this is for their own benefit and may allow time for revising work that is of doubtful authorship. As such, a draft deadline is set for each piece of IA, to allow for teacher comment and authentication, followed by a final document deadline after a suitable time period. Students cannot expect to get feedback from teachers if they miss the draft deadline. Failure to meet the final document deadline will result in lower end of term grades and can jeopardise a student’s chances of gaining promotion to IB2 (for IB1 students), or may result in their withdrawal from the final examinations (for IB2 students).
Additionally, students have to complete a ‘cover sheet’ for each piece of IA that is to be submitted for each subject, and sign it to acknowledge that the work is their own work, and to the best of their knowledge they have recognised the work of others through their referencing.
The subject teacher countersigns the cover sheet to confirm that to the best of their knowledge it is the student in question’s own work. To monitor the authorship of IA, it is imperative that teachers see draft documents for authorisation purposes, which ultimately supports the students in their work.
Malpractice is defined as behaviour that results in, or may result in, the candidate or any other candidate gaining an unfair advantage in one or more assessment components. Malpractice includes:
1) Plagiarism: The representation of the ideas or work of another person as the candidate’s own. The issue of plagiarism is not confined to groups 1 to 5 of the Diploma Programme. In general, copying works of art, whether music, film, dance, theatre arts or visual arts, also constitutes plagiarism. There are circumstances where the creative use of part of the work of another artist is acceptable, but the original source must always be acknowledged.
2) Collusion: Supporting malpractice by another candidate, as in allowing one’s work to be copied or submitted for assessment by another. However, there are occasions when collaboration with other candidates is permitted or even actively encouraged, for example in the requirements for internal assessment. Nevertheless, the final work must be produced independently, despite the fact that it may be based on similar data. This means that the abstract, introduction, content and conclusion or summary of a piece of work must be written in each candidate’s own words and cannot therefore be the same as another candidate’s.
3) Duplication of work: The presentation of the same work for different assessment components and/or diploma requirements. If, for example, a candidate submits the same or very similar piece of work for the in-depth study in history internal assessment (the “Historical Investigation”) and for an extended essay in history, this would be viewed as malpractice. However, it is perfectly acceptable for a candidate to study one aspect of a topic for internal assessment and another aspect of the same topic for an extended essay.
4) Any other behaviour that gains an unfair advantage for a candidate or that affects the results of another candidate: Examples are fabricating data for an assignment, taking unauthorized material into an examination room, misconduct during an examination (including any attempt to disrupt the examination or distract another candidate; exchanging or in any way supporting, or attempting to support, the passing on of information that is related to the examination; copying the work of another candidate; failing to comply with the instructions of the invigilator or other member of the school’s staff responsible for the conduct of the examination; impersonating another candidate; including offensive material in a script for reasons other than analysis or intellectual inquiry), stealing examination papers, disclosing or discussing the content of an examination paper with a person outside the immediate school community within 24 hours after the examination; falsifying a CAS record. (Adapted from: General regulations: Diploma Programme For students and their legal guardians, March 2011, International Baccalaureate, Cardiff, http://www.ibo.org, © International Baccalaureate Organization 2011)
Actions taken by the school and the IB organisation (IB) if malpractice is detected
Malpractice of any kind is viewed as a serious academic offence and will be penalised when it is discovered. Cases of malpractice are investigated with administrative intervention. This step is in place in order to find out why the malpractice occurred, that is to say, whether it was intentional or not.
If malpractice is detected, the piece of work in question automatically fails. Repeated incidences of malpractice can result in the withdrawal of the student from the IB programme. For IA, at the discretion of the coordinator one of two possible courses of action will be adopted:
1. The candidate is allowed one opportunity to revise and resubmit the work. This must be completed in time for the coordinator to send the work to the examiner to arrive by the appropriate IB deadline.
2. If there is insufficient time to allow a revision of the work, the result is no grade being awarded for the subject concerned
The school as well as the IB randomly check candidates’ work for plagiarism using a web-based plagiarism detection system. Teachers as well as examiners are adept at identifying text and material that is not the authentic work of a candidate.
During the Pre DP year and the IB years, students are taught and trained in order to avoid plagiarism. During lessons, as IA is discussed and introduced, what it means to plagiarise and how to avoid it are discussed across all subjects. Additionally, the EE programme delivered by the school trains the students in academic writing, which includes the correct citing and referencing of the work of others in order to avoid plagiarism. Starting this training early in the Pre DP and IB programme allows teachers to identify potential plagiarism, and act upon it to reduce likely future incidences.
Both teachers and students (via their teachers) have access to plagiarism-checking software (Ephorus), which allows both parties to monitor the work being produced. This facilitates the students in learning how to avoid plagiarism.
If plagiarism is identified after a candidate’s work has been accepted or submitted for assessment the IB will be informed so that an investigation can be undertaken. The Coordinator contacts IB immediately, and then direction is taken from the IB.
No result will be issued for the candidate (or candidates) in the subject under investigation until all inquiries are complete and a final decision has been reached. This includes any candidate involved in the case. If a candidate is found guilty of malpractice in the production of one or more of several assignments for a component, the candidate is not eligible for a mark based on his or her performance in the remaining assignments for the component: no grade will be awarded for the subject.
If the final IB award committee decides that a case of malpractice has been established, no grade will be awarded in the subject concerned. No diploma will be awarded to the candidate, but a certificate will be awarded for other subjects in which no malpractice has occurred. The candidate will be permitted to register for future examinations at least one year after the session in which malpractice was established.
If a case of malpractice is very serious, either because of its nature or because the candidate has already been found guilty of malpractice in a previous session, the final award committee is entitled to decide that the candidate will not be permitted to register for examinations in any future session.
If the final IB award committee decides that an academic infringement has been established (so, a minor accidental mistake, as opposed to the malpractice discussed above), no marks will be awarded for the component or part (or parts) of the component. The candidate will still be eligible for a grade in the subject or diploma requirement concerned. No further penalty will be imposed and the case will not be recorded as malpractice.
On rare occasions possible malpractice by a candidate is brought to the attention of the IB after the issue of results. An IB diploma, or a certificate, may be withdrawn from a candidate at any time if malpractice is subsequently established
Academic honesty: guidance for schools,
International Baccalaureate Organization,
Genève September 2003
General regulations: Diploma Programme For students and their legal guardians
International Baccalaureate Organization
Cardiff March 2011