Academic Integrity and Misconduct
Definition of Academic Integrity
Academic integrity is honest and responsible scholarship, research, information collection, and presentation. The university expects students to submit assignments that are original to them and to properly cite and reference other peoples’ ideas using the prescribed style guide. Biblically, these issues are reflected in verses about honesty (Eph. 4:25), integrity (Prov. 2:6-8), diligence (Col. 3:23), and uprightness (I Cor. 10:31). Students at PIU are expected to follow the letter and the spirit of academic integrity in all assignments. The very foundation of university success is academic integrity. Learning how to express original ideas, cite sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that carry students beyond their academic careers. If a student is uncertain about an issue of academic honesty, he/she should consult the faculty member to resolve questions in any situation prior to the submission of the academic exercise.
Maintaining your academic integrity involves:
- Creating and expressing your own ideas in course work
- Acknowledging all sources of information including verbal, written, digital, graphic
- Completing assignments independently or acknowledging collaboration
- Accurately reporting results when conducting your own research or with respect to labs
- Honesty during examinations
Forms of Academic Misconduct
The following is a list of common issues that students struggle within the pursuit of academic integrity. This list, although extensive, should not be considered exhaustive in definition or example.
Academic Technology Misuse
Academic technology misuse is the unauthorized use of technology/software to complete an assignment. An example of misuse is the unauthorized use of a digital Greek or Hebrew lexicon in a timed examination.
Cheating is intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices or materials in any academic exercise. Examples of cheating include (but are not limited to), the following:
- Completing an examination while looking at another student’s examination
- Using external aids (e.g., books, notes, calculators, conversation with others), unless specifically allowed in advance by the faculty member
- Having others conduct research or prepare work for you without advance authorization from the faculty member. This includes, but is not limited to, the services of commercial or black market term paper companies.
Complicity is intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic misconduct or dishonesty. Collaboration and the sharing of information are characteristics of academic communities. These become violations, however, when they involve dishonesty. Examples of complicity include (but are not limited to), the following:
- Knowingly allowing another student to copy from your paper during an examination or test
- Distributing test questions or substantive information about the materials to be tested before the scheduled exercise
- Collaborating on academic work, knowing that the collaboration has not been approved and will not be reported
- Taking an examination or test for another student, or signing another student’s name on an academic exercise.
Fabrication or Invention
Fabrication is the intentional invention and unauthorized alteration of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
Examples of fabricated or invented information would be to analyze one sample in an experiment and then invent data based on that single experiment for several more required analyses, or a student taking a quotation from a book review and then indicating that the quotation was obtained from the book itself.
Falsification is a matter of altering information while fabrication is a matter of inventing or counterfeiting information for use in any academic exercise or university record. Examples of falsification include altering or forging any document and/or record, including identification material issued or used by the university.
Forgery is defined as the act to imitate or counterfeit documents, signatures, and the like.
Multiple submission is the submission of substantial portions of the same work (including oral reports) for credit more than once without authorization from instructors of all classes for which the student submits the work. In grade replacement courses, you may not submit the same work without the explicit consent of the instructor.
Examples of multiple submission include submitting the same paper for credit in more than one course without all faculty members’ permission, or making revisions in a credit paper or report (including oral presentations) and submitting it again as if it were new work.
Plagiarism is the use of another person’s distinctive ideas or words without acknowledgment. All researchers are expected to acknowledge the use of another author’s words by the use of quotation marks around those words in the text of a paper and by appropriate citations. Plagiarism can occur in an oral, written, or media project submitted for academic credit or for some other benefit. Examples of plagiarism include (but are not limited to), the following:
- Word-for-word copying of another person’s ideas or words;
- Mosaic (interspersing of one’s own words here and there while, in essence, copying another’s work);
- Paraphrase (the rewriting of another’s work, yet still using their fundamental idea or theory);
- Submission of another’s work as one’s own;
- Having another person write or correct a paper;
- Buying or procuring a ready-made paper from a research paper “service” on the Internet or from another such service;
- Neglecting quotation marks on material that is otherwise acknowledged;
- Fabrication of references (inventing or counterfeiting sources)
Sabotage is acting to prevent others from completing their work. Examples of sabotage include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Hiding, stealing, or destroying library or reference materials, computer programs, or willfully disrupting the experiments of others;
- Stealing or destroying another student’s notes or materials, or having such materials in one’s possession without the owner’s permission;
- Tampering in any way with university software.
Consequences of Academic Misconduct
Basis of Consequences
- Academic misconduct is seen to be at the least dishonest and at the worst as theft.
- Stealing may involve ideas, information, wording, or phraseology.
- Academic dishonesty cheats the student of valuable learning experiences.
Penalties of Academic Misconduct
When Academic Integrity is brought into question, it must be referred to the Academic Integrity Committee. The Committee will review the allegation by interviewing both faculty members and students involved. If the committee determines the allegation to be a case of misconduct, one or more of the following penalties could be instituted:
- A written warning of reprimand;
- Resubmission of assignment with or without a grade reduction
- A zero (0) will be given for the assignment/test/paper/in which the offense occurs
- The student(s) will receive a failing grade in the course
- The student(s) will be recommended to the Student Guidance Committee for expulsion from the university.
Academic misconduct offenses are permanently recorded and filed in the Academic Office but only accessible by the Academic Integrity Committee and authorized members of the Student Services Department. The consequences of academic misconduct may apply to the whole of a student’s academic career at PIU and not just one course in the semester.