"Academic integrity" and "ethical behavior" refer to the ethical standards and policies that govern how students work and interact in the academic environment at the University. These standards and policies attempt to do more than define what is dishonest or unethical. They attempt to provide a foundation for the mutual trust and individual responsibility necessary in a healthy and thriving academic community.
Faculty members, students, and staff have the responsibility to uphold the principles of academic integrity and ethical behavior. Faculty and staff members should create an environment in which honesty and ethical behavior are encouraged, dishonesty and ethically inappropriate behavior are discouraged, and integrity is openly discussed. Faculty members should follow the principles of academic integrity and ethical behavior in their own work and conduct.
Students are obligated to not only to follow these principles, but also to take an active role in encouraging other students to respect them as well. If a student suspects a violation of academic integrity and ethically inappropriate behavior, they should make their suspicions known to a faculty member or the Dean of Student Services. Students reporting dishonesty and ethically inappropriate behavior must be prepared to give evidence in a hearing before the Standing Ethics Committee (SEC), which consists of one faculty, student, and staff member.
Many faculty members ask students to work collaboratively with others on written projects, oral presentations, revisions, labs, and other coursework. The guidelines for collaborative work differ substantially from course to course, but in most cases, part or all of a collaborative project must be completed independently. Faculty members should make clear, in writing, their expectations for collaborative work. Students should make sure they understand what is expected of them; they are responsible for knowing when collaboration is permitted, and when it is not. Handing in a paper, lab report, or take-home exam written entirely by a member of one’s collaborative group, except when given explicit permission to do so by the instructor of the course, is an act of academic dishonesty.
Almost all the types of academic dishonesty and ethically inappropriate behavior described below involve working with others (in class or at practicum/internship sites) or using the work of others. This is not to suggest that working with others or using their work is wrong. Indeed, the heart of the academic enterprise, learning itself, is based on using the ideas of others to stimulate and develop one’s own. In this sense, all academic work is collaboration, and therefore academic integrity focuses on those acts that demean or invalidate fruitful collaboration.
This list is partial and is included here for illustrative purposes only; it does not cover all possible violations:
- Academic Dishonesty and Ethically Inappropriate Behavior: Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials in any academic exercise or assignment or submitting work that was created by someone else on behalf of the student. Examples of such academic dishonesty include looking at another student’s paper during an exam or submitting homework created by another student.
- Fabrication: Fabrication is the inventing or falsifying of information. Examples of fabrication include inventing data for an experiment one did not conduct or did not conduct correctly or referring to sources in a paper that were not directly reviewed by the student.
- Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: Facilitating academic dishonesty is helping someone else to commit an act of academic dishonesty. This includes a student giving someone a paper or homework to copy (whether in whole or in part) or allowing someone else to see one’s exam paper.
- Plagiarism: Plagiarism is committed when one uses the words or ideas of another writer without attribution, acknowledgment, or recognition. The words of another are represented as one’s own and without giving credit to the original source. Plagiarism ranges from copying someone else’s work word-for-word, to rewriting someone else’s work with only minor word changes (mosaic plagiarism), to summarizing work without acknowledging the source. These sources might be written, electronic (such as computer files or information found on the Internet), or in the form of audio disks, musical scores, film, or video materials. Any material created by another that is incorporated into a student’s paper or other work must be properly acknowledged using APA style.
- Carelessness: When does carelessness become dishonesty? Students sometimes make minor mistakes in completing academic assignments. Mistyping one of many endnotes in a long paper, for example, may in most cases be considered a careless mistake, rather than an act of deliberate dishonesty. When students make multiple mistakes in acknowledging sources, however, these mistakes cannot be considered simply careless. Students who copy long passages from a book or a web source, for example, make a deliberate choice to do so. These students have taken a shortcut. Instead of explaining the source of the ideas, they have simply appropriated ideas from others. In such cases, carelessness is a form of academic dishonesty.
- Multiple Submissions: Submitting work one has completed and submitted for a previous class as if it were new and original is considered a duplicate or multiple submission. Although instructors may occasionally allow students to use previous work as the basis of new work, they expect new work for each class. Students should check with their instructor before attempting to resubmit an assignment that was previously submitted for another class.
- Abuse of Academic Materials: Abuse of academic materials happens when students harm, misappropriate, or disable academic resources so that others cannot use them. This includes cutting tables and illustrations out of books to use in a paper, stealing books or articles, and deleting or damaging computer files intended for others to use.
- Deception and Misrepresentation: Deception and/or misrepresentation is lying about or misinterpreting one’s work, academic records, or credentials. Examples of deception and misinterpretations include forging signatures, forging letters of recommendation, and falsifying credentials in an application. In the case of collaborative projects, taking credit for group work to which the student did not contribute is a further example of deception and misrepresentation. In a collaborative project, each member of the group is responsible for being familiar and involved with the entire project. It is imperative that students confirm the faculty member’s expectations regarding individual and collective responsibilities on submitted work.
- Electronic Dishonesty: Electronic dishonesty occurs when students use network or Internet access inappropriately: in a way that affects a class or other academic work. Examples of electronic dishonesty include using someone else’s authorized computer account to send and receive messages, breaking into someone else’s files, knowingly spreading a computer virus, or obtaining a computer account under false pretenses.
Students are responsible for knowing the Student Academic Honor Code. Ignorance may not be used as an excuse for violations of the code.