Academic integrity: A review of the literature

Bruce John MACFARLANE, Jingjing ZHANG, Annie PUN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

139 Citations (Scopus)


This article provides a literature review on academic integrity, which encompasses the values, behaviour and conduct of academics in all aspects of their practice. This is a growing area of academic research as a result of the expansion of higher education on a global basis and concerns about standards of professional conduct. The article maps the main strands of research on academic integrity by reference to teaching, research and service using 115 articles derived from both western and Chinese literature. The review indicates that much of the literature is framed in terms of misconduct or academic corruption with research ethics the dominant focus. Researchers investigating academic integrity draw predominantly on multivariate analysis using surveys/questionnaires, documentary analysis and, more occasionally, interviews. While there has been rapid growth in the literature, a stronger focus is needed on identifying 'ethical' as well as 'unethical' practice despite the methodological challenges in overcoming social desirability reporting. Copyright © 2012 Society for Research into Higher Education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-358
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number2
Early online dateAug 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Macfarlane, B., Zhang, J., & Pun, A. (2014). Academic integrity: A review of the literature. Studies in Higher Education, 39(2), 339-358. doi: 10.1080/03075079.2012.709495


  • Academic integrity
  • Literature
  • Methodology
  • Ethics


Dive into the research topics of 'Academic integrity: A review of the literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.