International Institute for Research and Action on Academic Fraud and Plagiarism (IRAFPA)

International Institute for Research and Action on Academic Fraud and Plagiarism

by Michelle Bergadaa

The Institute was officially established in Geneva on June 18, 2016. It is an independent organization and that has no political or religious affiliation. The majority of the Council and Research Committee members have been working together since 2006 and have shared over 300 cases of academic misconduct.

The actions of the Institute are three fold, they are unique and complement all the actions of the different European and International Networks in terms of integrity:

  • To address information on fraud and ethics to more than 22,850 members from 17 different countries. Since 2004 a French-language semestrial newsletter supported this broad information and communication strategy. It contributed to the dissemination of our network and made it possible to create an interdisciplinary forum, to carry out case analyses collectively and to disseminate the results in order to mobilize our academic community. It also contributed to share methodological guidelines with respect to research integrity. The Newsletter is connected with a reference portal.
  • The Institute takes the role of a mediator to aid and assist individuals and institutions affected by academic fraud or plagiarism. On the basis of 15 years of experience with over 85 cases of mediation and international expertise, it points out and explains the immediate and/or potential risks of taking one position over another. Conflicts may concern individuals (e.g. a person accused of plagiarizing vs. direct victims of plagiarism) or be more systemic (e.g. universities vs. editors or academic institutions vs. civil society.)
  • To deliver 4 certifications whose goal it is to prevent the abuse of plagiarism and scientific fraud, to avoid abusive or slanderous denunciations and to pacify the academic communities. They consist of a preliminary training (1 to 3 days), a permanent contact with certified people or institutions and a control every 2 years. These certifications are targetting:
    • Responsible Institutions. (3 days on site training, 3 days remote support, 2 days of processes validation. Case studies, discussion of knowledge gained, interaction with IRAFPA experts.)
    • Commissions of inquiry. (2 days of training, group and distance case studies. Debate on acquired knowledge. Interaction with IRAFPA experts.)
    • Integrity Champions. (2 days of training. Role-playing, group case studies (25 real cases) and remote case studies.)
    • Experts in charge of plagiarism cases. (A nine stage process to acquire the skills from the analysis of the texts to suggested actions that will be proportionate to the facts of uncovered plagiarism and to the contextual circumstances.)



Tel.: + 41 22 798 42 04
Address: Institut IRAFPA, Boulevard du Théâtre 3 bis, c/o Schibler Hovagemyan Avocats Sàrl, 1204 – Geneva, Switzerland