Each Diploma candidate is asked to read and sign an Honor Code statement as part of their participation in the IB program. By reading and signing it, the student pledges a commitment to academic honesty and to avoid academic malpractice. IB identifies four major areas of possible malpractice:
• Plagiarism ("the representation of the ideas of work of another person as the candidate's own");
• Collusion ("supporting malpractice by another candidate");
• Duplication of work ("the presentation of the same work for different assessment components and / or diploma requirements");
• "Any other behavior that gains an unfair advantage for a candidate or affects the results of another candidate" (examples include exam misconduct of any kind, or using false information in records for one's CAS file).
IB places great emphasis upon proper citation of sources in extended essays and internal assessment papers or projects. One misconception they seek to correct in their recently published guide to academic honesty is the idea that students can take information from web sites without formal acknowledgment of these sources. Here is an excerpt taken directly from the document:
"It must be made very clear to candidates that:
• using the words and ideas of another person to support one's arguments while following accepted practices is an integral part of any intellectual endeavor, and integrating these words and ideas with one's own in accepted ways is an important academic skill
• all ideas and work of other persons, regardless of their source, must be acknowledged
• CD-ROM, e-mail messages, web sites on the Internet 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, audio-visual 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."
(Source: International Baccalaureate Organization. "Academic Honesty: Guidance for Schools." Geneva: International Baccalaureate Organization, 2003).
If IB suspects a case of malpractice, it will investigate it and make a determination. If a student is found guilty of malpractice in a given subject, they will receive no grade (and no credit) in that subject and will not be able to receive the IB Diploma, regardless of the number of points earned on other assessment components.
-IB Academic Honesty Document