Academic & Research Integrity

This is a guide for learning more about academic and research integrity, both in a general sense and specific to the policies at WPI.

What is Academic Integrity?

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. Academic integrity is expressed through a set of values or principles that center around creating and submitting original work and giving credit to other people's ideas. Students are expected to uphold their academic integrity through the following (bullet points based on Michigan State's Academic Integrity page):  

  • Expressing your own ideas
  • Crediting your sources of information
  • Acknowledging all collaboration on assignments
  • Accurately reporting research results
  • Maintaining honesty during exams

 

Why Should You Care About Academic Integrity?

Honest and responsible scholarship is integral to the advancement of knowledge. Academic integrity is a fundamental principle of learning and a necessary foundation for all academic institutions, particularly those dedicated ti independent project-based education, such as WPI. Dishonest academic conduct undermines the learning process in multiple ways:

  • denies students an opportunity to gain confident command of the material they are credited with knowing
  • hinders students' recognition of their own strengths and weaknesses when learning new material and developing their skills
  • provides incorrect information for instructors, stopping them from providing critical feedback necessary to the learning process
  • demeans the degree that the institution awards

The principles of academic integrity not only encourage students to get the most out of their experiences in the academic sphere, but also carry on to their professional lives in the forms of codes of conduct, funding requirements, and company ethics policies. Researchers in all disciplines are expected to use information ethically and honestly.

Forms of Academic Dishonesty at WPI

The following are examples of different forms of what is considered academic dishonesty at WPI. This information is also available on WPI's page on Academic Integrity, located here, and the information is adapted from the University of Oklahoma, Norman Campus; Harvard University; and other colleges and universities. 

 

Plagiarism: Using as one's own the words, ideas, data, code, or other original academic material of another without providing proper citation or attribution. The following are all examples of plagiarism:

  • Misrepresenting the work of another as one's own

  • Inaccurately or inadequately citing sources

  • Paraphrasing (using the ideas of others in your own words) without citation.

Fabrication: Falsification, misrepresentation, or the invention of any information, data, or citation in an academic exercise. The following are examples of fabrication:

  • Inventing or changing laboratory data and/or research

  • Altering grades or other official records

  • Citing a source in a bibliography that was not used 

  • Changing exam solutions after the fact

Cheating: Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise. The following are examples of cheating:

  • Using and submitting purchased papers

  • Using unauthorized materials or sources of information, such as a cheat sheet, preprogrammed calculator, etc.

  • Copying another student's academic work

  • Unauthorized communication during an examination 

Facilitation: Helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty. The following are examples of fabrication:

  • Inventing or changing laboratory data and/or research

  • Altering grades or other official records

  • Citing a source in a bibliography that was not used 

  • Changing exam solutions after the fact