To celebrate the International Ethics Day and the Day for Combating Commissioned Works, a glossary of terms and general guidelines for academic integrity was opened on October 21 at Riga Technical University (RTU). During the Academic Integrity Week from October 19 to 23, various other events also took place, updating the discussion on respect for ethics in the academic environment and fighting against commissioned works.
The Glossary of Academic Integrity Terms and General Guidelines is the result of collaboration between representatives of different countries and industries. RTU scientists and lecturers were actively involved in the work. The edition consists of two parts. The first part explains the terms – the terms are given in English and Latvian, and the definitions are in Latvian. The second part helps to develop an understanding of integrity issues in science and business. The guidelines set out minimum requirements and responsibilities for the various stakeholders involved in academic work.
The glossary and guidelines have been published by the RTU Publishing House. It can be purchased at the RTU Student Service Center in Ķīpsala, an e-version is also available.
The creation of the book began with the ERASMUS+ project «European Network for Academic Integrity», says Ilze Birzniece, Director of the Study Department at RTU. As a result of the three-year project, the European Network for Academic Integrity has been established (RTU is the only university in Latvia represented in it) and a handbook for promoting academic integrity has been issued. The handbook consists of general guidelines, a glossary of terms and self-assessment tools for students, teachers and academic staff. The dictionary and guidelines were originally developed in English, but are now also available in Latvian. I. Birzniece points out that it is important to gain in-depth knowledge of issues of academic integrity in the mother tongue, because the use of a common vocabulary is one of the principles in order to better understand and support common values.
The Director of the Department of Studies at RTU expresses her gratitude to her colleagues actively involved in the creation and translation of the publication: Tatjana Odiņeca, Senior Administrator of the Study Department and Research Assistant at the Institute of Heat, Gas and Water Technologies, Alla Anohina-Naumeca, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology (FCSIT) and Vita Šakele, Associate Professor of FCSIT. She also thanks the staff of the RTU Publishing House.
During the Academic Integrity Week from October 19 to 23, various seminars and events were organized for RTU students, scientists, teachers and all interested parties.
In October 2020, the European Association of Academic Integrity, of which RTU is an active member, organized several online lectures and seminars, presenting the current issues of academic integrity during the Covid-19 pandemic. A webinar was held on 22 October, there teachers from all over Europe spoke about the challenges they faced during the pandemic and gave examples of good practice in organizing online training and testing to avoid dishonesty, plagiarism, etc. On October 23, a lecture was held on ethical behaviour in medical research.
The RTU Department of Studies also organized two seminars specifically for students to help them better understand what academic integrity and plagiarism are, how they manifest themselves in studies and research, and how to study ethically and honestly at RTU. The seminars took place on the Zoom platform.
On October 20, a lecture in English «Academic Integrity: How It Works @ RTU» was given to foreign students and teachers, introducing RTU’s principles in the field of academic integrity and helping them to understand how not to violate them. On October 22, Līga Kamola, Assistant Professor of the Institute of Business Engineering and Management, Faculty of Engineering Economics and Management, RTU explained the essence of academic integrity and various aspects in a lecture «Academic Integrity in Studies and Research».
During the Academic Integrity Week, the RTU Student Parliament explained on the social media why it is important to observe ethical principles and fight against dishonest behaviour in the academic environment.