Honesty Honestly, an Alternative Approach to Academic Honesty


  • John Royce




Academic writing, Academic honesty, Citation, Referencing, Plagiarism


Research studies and experience suggest that many students just do not understand citation and referencing. They say they know the rules, they seem to know the rules, yet still they make mistakes, sometimes with heavy consequences. For those who do understand, there is no problem. For those who understand what is expected by way of good practice, the main difficulty may be understanding the understandings of those who do not understand, those who do not mean to cheat but who still break "the rules." In this paper, I investigate sources of confusion, and possible disconnects between those who teach citation and referencing and those who learn and use these techniques. The study includes a series of surveys of librarians, teachers and students. Strategies and techniques to promote better understanding and better practice are suggested. Teacher-librarians are well-placed to promote and ensure good practice.

Author Biography

John Royce

John Royce has worked as teacher and librarian in schools in Zambia, England, Malawi, Germany and most recently at Robert College of Istanbul in Turkey. He has served two terms as IASL Regional Director for North Africa and the Middle East and three terms as
Chairman of the ECIS Librarians' Committee. He won the IASL International School Librarianship Award in 2011-12. He is the author of Credit Where It's Due: The School Library Preventing Plagiarism (pub. UK School Library Association) and blogs on academic honesty at http://read2live.com/. Required to "retire" in 2012 on grounds of age, he now works as a freelance consultant, presenter, workshop leader and writer.