Academic Integrity for Finalists

1. Organization & Governance
Policy Number: 
Policy Section: 
Ethical Conduct
Approved by: 
NJC, NPAC, Executive Director
Date Approved: 
Tue, Jan 24, 2006
Date Effective: 
Date Last Amended: 
Mon, Jul 6, 2015
Date of Next Review: 
Wed, Aug 1, 2018

1 Principles

1.1 Youth Science Canada affirms that the pursuit of truth is grounded in certain core values, including diligence, civility, and honesty. Two of the most important traditions in the scientific community are those of integrity and honesty. Scientists build on the works of others, and must be able to trust the results published in the literature. Scientists in serious breach of this code are not given another chance, and so are required to pursue a different endeavour.

1.2 Students want to work in communities where competition is fair, integrity is respected, and cheating is not allowed. Students have significant responsibility to help protect and promote the highest standards of academic integrity.

1.3 All student participants in Youth Science Canada events deserve individual attention and consideration. Students are expected to respect the best values of their teachers, mentors and parents, including a commitment to academic integrity.

1.4 A commitment to academic integrity is reinforced by high academic standards. Most students will thrive in an atmosphere where their work is seen as challenging, and its results are celebrated.

1.5 The motive for introducing science projects to young people is to help encourage responsible future scientists. The behaviour of adult mentors should model the honesty and integrity expected of scientists in our world.1

2 Expectations of Students

2.1 Students will present work that is the result of their own efforts. All assistance received from others will be acknowledged. All written material that draws on the work of others will be accompanied by appropriate references.

3 Expectations of Mentors

3.1 Mentors may be scientists, teachers, parents, or other students and may work with students at school, in a lab, at home or anywhere project work takes place. Mentors have a responsibility to ensure that the project remains the work of the student. The mentor's role is to help students acquire background information, teach the techniques required to test the purpose or hypothesis and above all to look out for the safety of young scientists.  Visit this page for a detailed discussion of mentorship

4 Expectations of Judging

4.1 Students expect their academic work to be fairly and fully assessed. Youth Science Canada will ensure that judging at the Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) is of the highest standards and will work with affiliated regions and other partners to achieve the highest possible standards of judging at all levels of science fairs.

5 Violation of Academic Integrity

At a science fair, including the CWSF, the following are examples of academic integrity violations that are grounds for disqualification:

  1. Plagiarism - presenting the work of others as your own, without acknowledging the source. Scientific work includes scientific results, conceptual development of a topic, or substantive formulation or reformulation of a problem. This includes work done by a family member or a mentor. Information on how to properly cite references can be found in Policy CWSF Project Report.
  2. Fabricating or falsifying data.
  3. Forging signatures.
  4. Fabricating or falsifying registration information.
  5. Entering a project which is derived from a previous CWSF project (continuation or revision of a project undertaken in a preceding year by the student or by another) without documenting the previous work.

6 Disciplinary Action

6.1 Allegations of a violation of academic integrity against a project submitted to, or being presented at, the CWSF must be made in writing, together with supporting evidence, to the YSC National Judge in Chief. An allegation may be submitted any time until midnight of the seventh (7th) day following the day of the Awards Ceremony. Anonymous allegations will be ignored, as described in policy

6.2 The YSC National Judge in Chief will acknowledge receipt of an alleged violation of academic integrity immediately and notify simultaneously the following that an alleged violation has been received, by providing them a copy of the submission.

  • CWSF Chief Judge Recruitment
  • Deputy National Judge in Chief
  • Chair of the National Policy Advisory Committee
  • Chair of the Host Committee
  • Executive Director 

6.3 A panel of three: the National Judge in Chief (Chair), the Deputy National Judge in Chief and the CWSF Chief Judge Recruitment, will gather evidence, evaluate it, and talk to the Finalist(s) and the Delegate in person or by conference call. The panel will then rule whether or not a violation of academic integrity has occurred.

6.4 If it is agreed that a violation of academic integrity has occurred, the National Judge in Chief will complete an Incident Report (see Youth Science Canada Policy 1.5.2.Discipline Policy) in consultation with the Deputy National Judge in Chief and the CWSF Chief Judge Recruitment. The Incident Report, along with the original written allegation, will be submitted to the Executive Director.

6.5 On receipt of an Incident Report that describes a violation of academic integrity the Executive Director will deal with the report according to the policies set out in Youth Science Canada Policy 1.5.2 Discipline Policy.


1 McCabe, D.L., Pavela, G. “Ten (Updated) Principles of Academic Integrity” Chage: The Magazine of Higher Learning Volume 36, Issue 3, 2004. . Accessed 31 October 2012