The legal and ethical issues surrounding the use of information goes beyond properly citing sources and avoiding plagiarism. Researchers should be knowledgeable about issues related to privacy and security, censorship and freedom of speech, as well as have an understanding of intellectual property, copyright and fair use.
Ashland University's Academic Integrity Policy (excerpts)
At Ashland University academic integrity is to be revered, honored and upheld. Therefore, an academic integrity infraction is considered a very serious matter, as it corrupts the educational process and undermines the foundation of our community.
Proper acknowledgment of ideas and sources is central to academic honesty. To insure academic honesty, it is important to examine that which constitutes academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty includes:
Plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional presentation of someone else’s words, ideas or data as one’s own work. In the event the faculty member deems the plagiarism is unintentional, he/she shall typically require the student to complete the assignment again. In the event the faculty member believes the plagiarism is willful, the sanctions in this document will apply. If the work of another is used, acknowledgment of the original source must be made through a recognized documentation practice.
A. Whenever one quotes another person’s actual words,
B. Whenever one uses another person’s idea, opinion or theory, even if it is completely paraphrased in one’s own words, or,
C. Whenever one borrows facts, statistics, or other illustrative materials, unless such
information is of such common knowledge so as not to be questioned.
Fabrication is the intentional falsification or invention of research, data, citations, or other information.
Cheating is an act of deception in that a student represents mastery of information that he/she has not mastered. Cheating may be suspected if an assignment that calls for independent work results in two or more solutions, sequences, or language so similar as to merit the charge. Cheating may be suspected if there is a statistical inconsistency in the student’s performance and the student cannot explain or reproduce both the intricacies of the solution and the techniques used to generate the solution; or in the case of an essay examination, that the student cannot explain or reproduce the thought-processes used to generate the writing.
*Read the complete Ashland University's Academic Integrity Policy for details and consequences.
To avoid plagiarizing, you must change both the sentence structure and the words of the original text.
To paraphrase, follow the steps below:
Generally speaking, you can regard something as common knowledge if you find the same information undocumented in at least five credible sources. Additionally, it might be common knowledge if you think the information you're presenting is something your readers will already know, or something that a person could easily find in general reference sources. But when in doubt, cite; if the citation turns out to be unnecessary, your teacher or editor will tell you.
excerpted from Is It Plagiarism Yet ? from the OWL at Purdue
The NewYork Times regularly exposes cases of plagiarism.
There are some actions that can almost unquestionably be labeled plagiarism. Some of these include buying, stealing, or borrowing a paper (including, of course, copying an entire paper or article from the Web); hiring someone to write your paper for you; and copying large sections of text from a source without quotation marks or proper citation.
But then there are actions that are usually in more of a gray area. Some of these include using the words of a source too closely when paraphrasing (where quotation marks should have been used) or building on someone's ideas without citing their spoken or written work. Sometimes teachers suspecting students of plagiarism will consider the students' intent, and whether it appeared the student was deliberately trying to make ideas of others appear to be his or her own.
However, other teachers and administrators may not distinguish between deliberate and accidental plagiarism. So let's look at some strategies for avoiding even suspicion of plagiarism in the first place
The key to avoiding plagiarism is to make sure you give credit where it is due. This may be credit for something somebody said, wrote, emailed, drew, or implied. Many professional organizations, including the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA), have lengthy guidelines for citing sources. However, students are often so busy trying to learn the rules of MLA format and style or APA format and style that they sometimes forget exactly what needs to be credited. Here, then, is a brief list of what needs to be credited or documented:
Bottom line, document any words, ideas, or other productions that originate somewhere outside of you.
There are, of course, certain things that do not need documentation or credit, including:
Is It Plagiarism Yet ? from the OWL at Purdue
Paraphrasing Example 1.
If the existence of a signing ape was unsettling for linguists, it was also startling news for animal behaviorists (Davis 26).
Unacceptable Borrowing of Phrases
Davis observed that the existence of a signing ape unsettled linguists and startled animal behaviorists (26).
Unacceptable Borrowing of Structure
Davis observed that if the presence of a sign-language-using chimp was disturbing for scientists studying language, it was also surprising to scientists studying animal behavior (26).
Davis observed both linguists and animal behaviorists were taken by surprise upon learning of an ape’s ability to use sign language (26).
Paraphrasing Example 2.
The automotive industry has not shown good judgment in designing automotive features that distract drivers. A classic example is the use of a touch-sensitive screen to replace al the controls for radios, tape/CD players, and heating/cooling. Although an interesting technology, such devices require that the driver take his eyes off the road.
- Tom Magliozzi and Ray Magliozzi, Letter to a Massachusetts state senator, p.3
Radio show hosts Tom and Ray Magliozzi argue that the automotive industry has not demonstrated good judgment in devising car features that distract drivers. One feature is a touch-sensitive screen that replaced controls for radios, tape/CD players, and heating/cooling. Although the technology is interesting, such devices require that a driver look away from the road (3).
Radio show hosts Tom and Ray Magliozzi claim that motor vehicle manufacturers do not always design features with safety in mind. For example, when designers replaced radio, CD player, and temperature control knobs with touch-sensitive panels, they were forgetting one thing: To use the panels, drivers would need to take their eyes off the road (3).
Examples taken from, Hacker, Diana. Rules for Writers. 5th ed. Boston: Beford/St. Martin’s, 2004.
From Emily Nimsakont.