I set up the London and South East Academic Integrity Network (LSEAIN) in 2021. This network, primarily for members in the UK, serves as a safe space for the discussion of academic integrity issues and new members are always welcome.
I’ve prepared a video introduction to LSEAIN here, but this post provides a bit more information. For transparency, I used ChatGPT to turn the video transcript into an initial draft of this post, which I’ve then checked and modified.
LSEAIN: An Informal and Inclusive Space for Academics
LSEAIN is an informal and unfunded network, which was set up to fill a gap in the UK’s academic integrity network structure. As the name suggests, LSEAIN is targeted at members from the London and South East England region. While initially set up for online meetings due to pandemic restrictions, the format has been retained as it suits the needs of everyone.
LSEAIN is primarily an information-sharing network, with no official institutional representation. It’s open to multiple members from any university. We can’t usually consider members from outside the UK, due to the different educational systems, but we do have some guest members from parts of the UK outside London and South East England.
How We Operate
Established in May 2021, LSEAIN has found its rhythm, meeting every six to eight weeks, usually avoiding the summer period when academics are often on a break. Meetings typically last 90 minutes to two hours and are conducted under the Chatham House rules to maintain confidentiality.
Each meeting revolves around a main topic, with opportunities for other discussions, member updates, and welcoming new members. As of July 2023 we have around 40 members, although attendance at each meeting is usually lower, meaning that everyone is able to participate in the discussion.
Who Are Our Members?
Our members primarily consist of staff involved with higher education, primarily working at universities and other providers.
We don’t have an exhaustive list of role titles, but typical members include lecturers, teachers, learning development professionals, student union representatives, academic integrity leaders, registry members, student conduct board members, librarians, writing support staff, and educational managers. Don’t be put off if your role falls outside of these titles, as we’re a welcoming group.
In special cases, we also consider student members, but we generally don’t accept representatives from commercial edtech providers, legal professionals, or those selling academic integrity solutions.
Key Topics We’ve Discussed
Since LSEAIN was formed, we’ve discussed a wide range of topics, such as the rise of artificial intelligence in academia, the impact of COVID-19 on assessment, designing engaging and integrity-focused assessments, and incorporating student voices into academic integrity discussions. We’ve also discussed discipline differences and shared best practices across fields. We choose topics based on those of interest to the membership as a whole.
Celebrating Our Successes
The network has been a success, with several working groups conducting research and staff training at different institutions. We’ve also supported the International Day of Action for Academic Integrity and have members working on research projects. Beyond our meetings, we also have vibrant email discussions.
The Benefits of Being Part of the Network
The network is a treasure trove of information and a hub for sharing experiences and expertise. It’s a place to find guest speakers, collaborate on projects, and discuss academic integrity issues that might be sensitive at your institution.
We welcome new members from the London and South East England region and we can support guest members from other parts of the UK (although please consider joining your local network first if one exists). If you don’t currently have a local network that you can join, please consider setting up your own. They’ve been really useful.
LSEAIN is an active network and we think about more than just academic misconduct. I find it incredibly beneficial to be a part of LSEAIN and I learn a lot every meeting.
You can sign up at https://academicintegrity.uk/lseain.