Call for Proposals

Journal of College & Character Special Issue: 30 Years of Academic Integrity Research

Proposal Submission Deadline: May 15, 2020
Article Submission Deadline: January 4th, 2021
Guest Editors: Tricia Bertram Gallant and David Rettinger
Journal of College & Character Editor: Pam Crosby

Academic Integrity is not a new topic for discussion or research. One of the earliest written articles cited in the field is Drake’s Why College Students Cheat. In the 50 year period after 1941 until 1991, Google Scholar shows 1,820 hits on the phrase “academic integrity”. However, after 1992, in the 28 period until 2020, google scholar shows almost 19,000 hits. Why this explosion in research?

Much of the contemporary academic integrity movement – both in research and practice – is credited to when Donald McCabe, then Rutgers University business professor – became “woke” in 1989. As the story goes, Don noticed a not-insignificant amount of cheating occurring in his business classes and wondered, like a good researcher, if this was a unique phenomenon or commonplace, and if commonplace, what did the research say about why it was happening and how it could be stopped. What Don found was a dearth of research in the area. There were several single-institution studies and a bit of commentary, but very few multi-institutional or large population studies that could shed empirical light on the issue.

What Don did find was one multi-institutional study – a dissertation – by William Bowers. So, Don saw not only a path to answering the question for his own teaching purposes but also an area ripe for research. Don adapted Bowers’ survey and recruited institutions to conduct the surveys on their campuses. The results were stunning – the self-reported cheating rates of 6,096 students at 31 colleges and universities caused Don so much concern that he convened representatives from these schools to discuss what should be done in response. As a result of this meeting in 1992, the Center for Academic Integrity (now the International Center for Academic Integrity or ICAI) was formed in 1992 and the first national conference on academic integrity was held in March 1993 at the University of Maryland.

This special issue will review the 30 years of research that has been conducted since the formation of ICAI in 2002 and to celebrate the power of research on influencing practice. It serves to honor Dr. Don McCabe and the other founders of ICAI and the influence that their work had in shaping daily practices on colleges and universities around the world.

Potential Questions, Topics, and Theories
This special issue will ask the “big questions” about academic integrity in higher education and answer them using the evidence that has accumulated over the last 30 years of research and writings on academic integrity. The authors will evaluate the ways in which the empirical study of academic integrity has informed research and practice, and ways in which it has not. Finally, the special issue will consider the future of the international academic integrity movement, as a whole, including trends in scholarship, practice, and culture.

Each author can use their article to explore what we know from the past 30 years and what we might extrapolate about the next 30 years given the current state of knowledge.

Possible questions to be explored might include:

  • Why does academic integrity continue to be under threat given the efforts over the last 30 years?
  • What do we know now about the causes of cheating that we didn’t know 30 years ago?
  • What have the last 30 years taught us about how faculty, colleges and universities encourage academic integrity?
  • What do we know about the connection between character and conduct as related to academic integrity?
  • What can colleges and universities do to create cultures of integrity?
  • What are colleges and universities doing differently now with respect to academic integrity that they weren’t doing 30 years ago?
  • Have there been any advancements in understanding the link between academic integrity and quality assurance of higher education?
  • What has changed on the academic dishonesty front (e.g., contract cheating) over the last 30 years?
  • What lessons have we learned about promoting and supporting academic integrity over the last 30 years?
  • How have 30 years of research influenced academic integrity practice?

1. Overview introductory article to the issue (written by guest issue editors)

2. About 10 Accepted Articles
We are not looking for write-ups of new original studies or research projects. Rather, this special issue will include pieces that answer big questions (either from the list above or of the author’s choice) by reviewing the research from the last 30 years. Articles can focus on what we currently know given the 30 years of research, but they can also extrapolate to the future. The types of accepted articles being solicited include:

Literature Reviews, Meta-analysis research, or Conceptual – 7500-9000 words
Opinions or Perspectives – 3,000 to 4500 word

3. Summary/Forward-Looking article (written by guest editors)

Special Issue Schedule
March 1, 2020: Initial Call for Article Proposals
May 15, 2020: Article proposals due to Guest Editors
July 1, 2020: Notification of authors regarding acceptance of their proposals and invitation to submit an article
July 15, 2020: Authors confirm their agreement to write and submit an article
January 4, 2021: Authors submit articles to Editor for review
April 1, 2021: Editors return articles to authors for revision as needed
June 15, 2021: Submission of revised, final articles to Guest Editors
March 2022: Expected publication of special issue in Journal of College & Character

Submissions to the Special Issue will be evaluated based on quality, potential and fit to the special issue; only a limited number of submissions can be accepted. All submissions to the special issue will be managed by the Guest Editors and Lead Editor through the standard Journal of College & Character submission system.

Call for Proposals
We are now accepting proposals for consideration – see

Further Information
For other questions regarding the special issue, please contact Tricia Bertram Gallant at [email protected]. For Journal of College & Character author instructions, see
1 Drake, C.A. (1941). Why students cheat. The Journal of Higher Education, 12 (8), 418-420.
2 Bowers, W.J. (1964). Student dishonesty and its control in college. New York: Bureau of Applied Social Research, Columbia University.