Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is essential to the success of the educational enterprise, and breaches of academic integrity constitute serious offenses against the academic community. Every member of that community bears a responsibility for ensuring that the highest standards of academic integrity are upheld. Only through a genuine partnership among students, faculty, staff, and administrators will the College be able to maintain the necessary commitment to academic integrity.

Students are responsible for understanding the principles of academic integrity fully and abiding by them in all their work at the College. Students are encouraged to report alleged violations of academic integrity to the Student Affairs Director on their respective campus.

Various ways in which academic integrity can be violated are described below. The comments and examples within each section provide explanations and illustrative material, but do not exhaust the scope of possible violations.

  1. Cheating: Cheating is defined as giving or receiving unauthorized academic-related aid during an exam or in the context of an assignment for a course.
  2. Fabrication: Fabrication is the falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic work. “Invented” information may not be used in any laboratory report or other academic work without authorization from the instructor. It is improper, for example, to analyze one sample in an experiment and “invent” data based on that single experiment for several more required analyses. Students must also acknowledge the actual source from which cited information was obtained.
  3. Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the representation of the words or ideas of another as one’s own in any academic work. To avoid plagiarism, every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks, or by appropriate indentation, and must be cited properly according to the accepted format for the particular discipline. Acknowledgment is also required when material from any source is paraphrased or summarized in whole or in part in one’s own words. A footnote acknowledging only a directly quoted statement does not suffice to notify the reader of any preceding or succeeding paraphrased material. Information that is common knowledge, such as names of leaders of prominent nations, basic scientific laws, etc., need not be cited; however, the sources of all facts or information obtained in reading or research that are not common knowledge among students in the course must be acknowledged. In addition to materials specifically cited in the text, other materials that contribute to one’s general understanding of the subject may be acknowledged in the bibliography. Sometimes, plagiarism can be a subtle issue. Students should be encouraged to discuss any questions about what constitutes plagiarism with the faculty member teaching the course.
  4. Facilitating Violations of Academic Integrity: It is a violation of academic integrity for a student to aid others in violating academic integrity. A student who knowingly or negligently facilitates a violation of academic integrity is as culpable as the student who receives the impermissible aid, even if the former student does not benefit from the violation.

Note: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey is acknowledged for the work of its faculty in forming the foundation of the policy above as adapted by PCOM.