Institutional Principles of Academic Integrity: philosophical and legal conceptualization
The notion of academic integrity fulfills the mission of a peculiar enzyme-catalyst of systemic social changes - not the only one, but one of the most important in modern society, which is at the same time a society of knowledge, an information society and a society of risk. If the correct understanding of academic integrity can provide us with a lot of benefits, then its misunderstanding and even inaccurate interpretations can lead and already lead to socially undesirable consequences.
We propose to understand academic integrity (especially considering its specific interpretation in Ukraine) as an integral characteristic, the core of which is a certain moral integrity of a person as his/her commitment in keeping its own principles, and its necessary, attributive consequences-characteristics is the dignity of a person who seeks to find the truth through knowledge, and also performative excellence, virtuosity in achieving this goal, perfect knowledge management, and on this basis – practical achievement, pragmatic focus on the truth.
The only reliable way of asserting academic integrity is the full dimension functioning of academic institutions: universities, research institutes, academies. Academic establishments should carry out those invisible but constant and persistent "nudges" (according to Richard R. Thaler’s terminology), peculiar soft, but unambiguous pushes for everyone who begins to engage in academic affairs, toward a support of academic values. It is in this ultimate sense that the institutional purpose of academic integrity is to preserve and promote academic values.
The success of the institutional protection of academic integrity is critically dependent on the successful conceptualization of the functioning of these institutions, that is, first of all, the achievement of a clear certainty with the basic concepts used in such conceptualization. The concept of academic integrity should receive a constant new conceptualizations, and therefore the imperfect current application by most participants in the struggle for academic integrity in Ukraine is not critical - the presence or absence of desire of each of them to improve their own understanding of academic integrity is critical, rather than dogmatically stopping on its partial interpretation that precisely because of this incompleteness inevitably leads to its practical misuse.
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