Assessing maturity of institutional policies for underpinning academic integrity

Irene Glendinning


Most higher education institutions would claim to have policies for handling academic misconduct and plagiarism. However there are important questions to explore for every institution about how consistently and fairly the policies have been implemented and whether they are effective at discouraging, detecting and penalising cases of plagiarism. It is suggested that it would be useful to have access to tools for evaluating and comparing good practice for institutional policies.

The Academic Integrity Maturity Model (AIMM) was developed for comparing the national results from 27 EU countries from the EU funded project (2010-2013) Impact of Policies for Plagiarism in Higher Education Across Europe (IPPHEAE). The assessment of “maturity” of policies at national level was based on data captured from various elements of an EU-wide survey of institutions and national agencies using nine criteria: research, training, level of knowledge, communications, prevention strategies, use of software tools, consistency of sanctions and of policies and transparency of processes.

This paper demonstrates how AIMM can be adapted for institutional use by applying the criteria to some anonymous institutional datasets from EU Higher Education institutions extracted from the IPPHEAE survey results. The AIMM tool is presented as a candidate for auditing institutional academic integrity processes. Evidence from the application of the tool at national and institutional level is presented and evaluated.

Feedback will be welcomed from conference participants on how to fine-tune the metrics and assessment criteria before developing on-line assessment mechanisms for more general use, both by HE institutions and at national level.

This paper was submitted to the International Integrity & Plagiarism Conference which ran between 2004-2014. The paper was peer reviewed by an independent editorial board and features in the conference proceedings.