About academic integrity
Complete integrity is the hallmark of the global academic community.
A shared commitment to the highest standards of academic integrity is held across all disciplines and all kinds of higher education institutions.As a necessary condition of our membership in the academic community, we agree to identify the source of the ideas or words or images that we borrow. We agree not to cheat on exams. We agree to accurately and fully describe the methods and results of our research. We agree to protect the rights of the participants in our studies. We agree to deal honestly with the content of our courses and fairly with the students in our care.
Because integrity is essential to our community, we hold very high expectations for every graduate student at UNL, each of whom is required to be aware of and adhere to the student code of conduct. The publication of the Student Code of Conduct is considered sufficient “forewarning.” Ignorance of our expectations is never a valid excuse. If you are uncertain about whether a planned action is ethical, stop and seek the advice of a trusted faculty member before you act.
Professors at UNL expect every student to be completely honest on every academic requirement. There is no small act of dishonesty for graduate students, and it is never a victimless act. The victims of academic dishonesty include professors, classmates and the university itself. Most of all, the dishonest student loses, selling her or his integrity at an embarrassingly low price and missing out on an opportunity to advance through real effort and accomplishment.
The punishment for graduate students who engage in any kind of academic dishonesty is harsh – suspension or expulsion are the most common sanctions for graduate students who choose to violate the code of conduct. The official transcript of an expelled student is appended with a permanent statement that notes the student was dismissed for violation of the student code.
As members of our academic community, graduate students should be aware and willing to abide by our standards, including both academic and personal conduct. UNL holds academic integrity to be sacrosanct. There is never a circumstance or situation that justifies an act of academic dishonesty.
Academic Integrity Week
The fourth annual Academic Integrity Week is scheduled for September 21-25, 2015. This event promotes conducting research, writing, and teaching with integrity and honesty.
Academic Integrity Week is co-sponsored by the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the Office of Graduate Studies, the Office of Research and Economic Development, the Center for the Teaching and Study of Applied Ethics, the First-Year Experience & Transition Programs and the UNL Graduate Student Association.
Follow the week’s events on Twitter: #UNLIntegrity
Monday, September 21
Noon - 1:30 p.m., Gaughan Center, Ubuntu RoomCareer Planning with Integrity: Using Social Networks Presented by Chris Timm, Career Services
Social networks are a key job search tool. They’re also a good tool for building career contacts, so it’s important to present your credentials with integrity. In this workshop, we’ll explore how to use online social network tools including LinkedIn and discuss accuracy and integrity in personal branding and self-promotion. Bring your laptop to this hands-on workshop and build your effective online presence.
2:00 - 3:00 p.m., Gaughan Center, Unity Room/212The Use of Social Media in Human Subjects Research and an Overview of Research CompliancePresented by Becky Freeman, Research Compliance Specialist; Lisette Gilster, Export Control Coordinator
Human subjects are being used in social media experiments, and not always with their consent. As a result, these studies are making the national news. This workshop will discuss these recent studies and research compliance. Topics will include Institutional Review Board (IRB), Conflict of Interest (COI), Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), Export Control, and Research Misconduct. The process of IRB approval will be discussed in detail.
Tuesday, September 22
Noon – 1:30 p.m., Gaughan Center, Ubuntu Room Bystander Intervention TrainingPresented by Pat Tetreault, PhD., LGBTQA+ Resource Center; Jan Deeds, Ph.D., Women’s Center; Susan Foster, J.D., Institutional Equity and Compliance
Bystander Intervention Training provides useful information about responding to uncomfortable or potentially dangerous situations, such as harassment, inappropriate language, jokes or comments based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and other characteristics. Participants will learn techniques that can be used in professional settings (workplace, classroom, conferences) as well as personal situations (family, friends, social events).
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. , Love Library, Witt Room 224Retraction! Exploring Integrity through Retracted ResearchPresented by Jenny Thoegersen, Assistant Professor and Data Curation Librarian
Who is responsible for the integrity of published research? We’ll explore issues of integrity, trust, and responsibility through case studies of retracted research publications.
Wednesday, September 22
11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. , Love LibrarySave Time & Organize! Citation Management Quick Tips (Part 1) Presented by Lorna Dawes, Assistant Professor of Libraries
Need help keeping track of your readings, articles and your citations? Come and learn about some free and subscription citation management tools that can help you organize and manage your PDF’s and citations, easily access your documents, and format your bibliography and in-text citations.
12:30-1:30 p.m. , Love LibraryExploring Mendeley, in detail (Part 2)Presented by Lorna Dawes, Assistant Professor of Libraries
Mendeley is a citation management tool that manages your references through a mobile app or desktop database. In this workshop, we’ll take an in-depth look at how to use this resource to organize and share research with your colleagues.
Thursday, September 24
Noon – 1:30 p.m. , Gaughan Center, Ubuntu RoomExploring Integrity in the Classroom through Targeted AssignmentsPresented by Adam R. Thompson, Ph.D., Kutak Ethics Center; Elizabeth Weber Edwards, Ph.D., Graduate Studies
Promoting the study and exploration of integrity in the classroom establishes a firm basis for continuing to think and act with integrity. In this session, we’ll offer tips for studying and exploring integrity in the classroom. We’ll also discuss the latest instructional methods for promoting integrity in the classroom and beyond. This session is ideal for graduate teaching assistants, staff, and faculty.
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., Love Library, Peterson Rm. 221Copyright, Fair Use, and Authors’ RightsPresented by Paul Royster, Coordinator of Scholarly Communications; Sue Gardner, Professor of Libraries
In this session you’ll learn more about U.S. copyright law, authors’ rights, and protecting your intellectual property. Find out more about copyright, fair use, and author rights, so that you’ll know how to make copyright law work in your favor: what to do, what to avoid, when to push back, and when to run away and live to fight another day.
The honest creation of new knowledge, discovery of new facts, new ways of looking at the known world and original analysis of old ideas are basic academic values. However, the simple repetition of the words and thoughts of someone else does not lead to the level of understanding an educated person is expected to have (Standler, 2000). Those who accurately acknowledge the work of others earn both the satisfaction of generating new knowledge through honest effort and the respect and esteem of their professors, colleagues and professional peers.
As students and scholars, we are constantly engaging with other people's ideas: we read them in texts, hear them in lecture, discuss them in class and encounter them on the web. Appropriately, we are influenced by the ideas of others and incorporate them into our own thinking and writing. To facilitate the free exchange of ideas among scholars, we give credit to those from whom we borrow words, images or ideas.
In simplest terms, writers must distinguish their own words from the words of others by placing the words of others within quotation marks, with appropriate citations to the sources of quoted text. Neglecting to do so is plagiarism: stealing the words, images or ideas of others without clearly acknowledging the source of that information.
The prohibition of plagiarism is not unique to educational institutions. If the expression of an idea is recorded in any way or fixed in some medium — such as a piece of writing, drawing, photograph, painting, or web page — it is considered intellectual property and is protected by U.S. Copyright Law. To plagiarize is to steal the property of someone else, a blatant infringement of the law (Turnitin Research Resources, 2005).
Plagiarism in any form, however minor, is a violation of the UNL Student Code of Conduct, section B.1.1c, which defines plagiarism as: "Presenting the work of another as one's own (i.e., without proper acknowledgment of the source) and submitting examinations, theses, reports, speeches, drawings, laboratory notes or other academic work in whole or in part as one's own when such work has been prepared by another person or copied from another person." Graduate students are held to a "zero tolerance" standard for all aspects of the Student Code of Conduct, including plagiarism. The most common sanction for graduate students who engage in plagiarism is suspension or expulsion.
The following sections explain what plagiarism is and offer strategies to help you give proper credit when you use the words and ideas of others.
If you have questions about the proper way to cite someone else's words or ideas in your own writing, ask your instructor or contact an adviser in the Writing Assistance Center, 115 Andrews Hall, 402-472-8803.
When to give credit
To avoid plagiarizing, give credit every time you:
- use or refer to another person's idea, opinion or theory from a "magazine, book, newspaper, song, TV program, movie, web page, computer program, letter, advertisement, or any other medium" (OWL, 2003)
- cite or state any facts or statistics that are not common knowledge
- quote another person's exact spoken or written words, either taken from the media listed above or heard first hand through conversation, interview or email (and these words must be placed within quotation marks)
- reprint (or use as a basis for graphics you create) any graphics, illustrations or pictures from any of the media listed earlier
- paraphrase another person's spoken or written words
Terms to know
- Common knowledge
Facts that can be found in many places and are likely to be known by many people.
Example: John F. Kennedy was elected president of the United States in 1960.
This is generally known information — you do not need to document this fact. However, you must document facts that are not generally known, as well as ideas that interpret facts.
Example: According to the American Family Leave Coalition's new book, Family Issues and Congress, President Bush's relationship with Congress has hindered family leave legislation (6).
The idea that Bush's "relationship with congress has hindered family leave legislation" is not a fact, but an interpretation; therefore, you need to cite your source.
A verbatim repetition of someone's words. When you quote, place the passage in quotation marks and document the source according to a standard documentation style.
Example: According to Peter S. Pritchard in USA Today, "Public schools need reform but they're irreplaceable in teaching all the nation's young" (14).
- Using someone else's ideas but putting them in your own words. This is the skill you will use most often when incorporating source material into your own writing. Although you use your own words to paraphrase, you still must acknowledge the source of the information.
Examples of proper use of others' words and ideas
To illustrate an example of plagiarism, as well as proper ways to use the words and ideas of someone else, we present a short original passage, followed by examples of a plagiarized paraphrase and an acceptable paraphrase.
Dengue virus infections in humans can be subclinical or can cause illnesses ranging from a mild, flulike syndrome with rash and some hemorrhagic manifestations (dengue fever [DF]) to a severe and sometimes fatal disease, with coagulopathy, capillary leakage, and hypovolemic shock (dengue hemorrhagic fever [DHF]).
This is the original text from page 1 of "Dengue Fever in Humanized NOD/SCID Mice" by D.A. Bente, et al. in the Journal of Virology, November 2005.
Dengue virus infections in humans can range in intensity from subclinical manifestations, to a mild flulike illness with a rash and some hemorrhaging (dengue fever [DF]) to a severe and sometimes fatal disease with blood clotting defects, leaking capillaries, and hypovolemic shock (dengue hemorrhagic fever [DHF]).
|This is considered plagiarism because the writer has:
Dengue virus infections affect humans in a variety of ways. In some, the disease doesn't show up at all; others may have a rash and some minor bleeding, while still others may experience severe bleeding, shock, and even death (Bente et al., 2005).
|This is acceptable paraphrasing because the writer:
Acceptable paraphrase with quotation
In humans, dengue virus infections can range from mild to severe, from a flu-like syndrome "to a severe and sometimes fatal disease, with coagulopathy, capillary leakage, and hypovolemic shock" (Bente, et al., 2005, p.1).
|This is acceptable paraphrasing because the writer:
Choosing the path to academic integrity
Myths and misconceptions can make plagiarism seem to be the "easy way out", but it's never the right choice.
(Love, 1998, as cited in Karrmann, 2005; Manninen, 2005)
Sources citedLove, Patrick G. (1998). Factors Influencing cheating and plagiarism among graduate students in a college of education." College Student Journal December: 539-50. Academic Search Elite. EBSCO. 3 Mar. 2000. http://www.ebscohost.com/. As cited in Plagiarism Prevention (2005), http://www.uwplatt.edu/library/reference/plagiarism.html. Elton Karrmann Library: University of Wisconsin, Platteville.
Manninen, Tuomas (2005). Plagiarism resources and links. http://cft.uiowa.edu/featured/academic-integrity. Center for Teaching: University of Iowa.
OWL (Online Writing Lab). (2003). Avoiding plagiarism. http://owl.english.edu. Purdue University.
Standler, Ronald B. (2000). Plagiarism in colleges in USA. http://www.rbs2.com/plag.htm.
Turnitin Research Resources (2005). How to paraphrase properly. http://plagiarism.org/citing-sources/how-to-paraphrase.
Portions of this material were used or adapted with permission from
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