Academic integrity is conducting your research, teaching, and other academic responsibilities in an honest, responsible, and ethical manner. Plagiarism, cheating, lying or misrepresenting research outcomes, are examples of failure to conduct academic work with integrity. For more information, see the School of Social Work MSW Student Guide and the University of Michigan's Office of Research web page on Research Integrity.
Besides these expectations from professional organizations, why should you care about completing your work at the University of Michigan School of Social Work in an honest manner? One of the reasons is because you may be faced with some of the following sanctions.
Lack of academic integrity or unwittingly plagiarizing during your academic career can also catch up with you long after you leave this MSW program.
In addition to citing appropriately to give credit for other's work and accurately reporting data and other research results, social work researchers are careful to protect participants in their research, especially any vulnerable populations. This applies to academic and evaluation research alike. The NASW Code of Ethics, Section 5.02 addresses this at length, concluding that: "Social workers should educate themselves, their students, and their colleagues about responsible research practices."
The following book chapter provides examples and further explanation of the elections of Section 5.02.
Reamer, F. (2010). Ethical issues in social work research. In Thyer, B. The handbook of social work research methods (pp. 564-578). 55 City Road, London: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781544364902
Citation as a social justice practice
Citation gives credit to those doing the academic and intellectual labor that produced the materials we are citing. It is a social justice practice to take care not to appropriate the work of others and claim it for ourselves. As times permits also consider representation in the works you tend to use. Here are a few resources that support citation justice: