ETHICS OF SCHOLARSHIP
Hampshire College is part of a broader community of scholars, a community where ideas, hypotheses, new concepts, and carefully established facts are the currency. None of us, faculty or students, is able to survive without borrowing from the work of others. Just as we expect to have our work recognized in examination reports; reappointments and promotions; or the footnotes of those who borrow from us, so must we carefully recognize those from whom we borrow.
Brief guidelines are presented below for the proper acknowledgment of sources upon which we draw for course papers, examinations, oral presentations, artistic productions, and so on. We acknowledge the work of others not only in gratitude to them, but also to provide our readers with the opportunity to consult our sources if they wish to review the evidence, consider other interpretations, or to determine the basis for the cited passage.
In the evaluation of scholarly work, the writer’s creativity in locating appropriate sources and using them well can be assessed only if those sources are identified.
The failure to acknowledge one’s sources is more than a failure to be properly socialized into a community of scholars. Writers who fail to note sources are, at best, ignorant, and, at worst, dishonest. Unacknowledged borrowing from the work of others in any medium is a fundamental repudiation of the deepest values of the academic community.
Plagiarism (from the Latin for “kidnapper”) is a term covering everything from inadvertently passing off as one’s own the work of another because of ignorance, time constraints, or careless note-taking, to hiring a ghost writer to produce an examination or course paper. This range of possibilities is spelled out in more detail in the following list of examples.
Material should not be attributed to a source from which that material was not obtained. That is, one must not pass off primary sources as if they had been consulted when, in fact, the material in the oral presentation or written work is based upon a secondary source. The use of secondary source material is permissible when properly cited.
Data fabricated or altered in a laboratory experiment or field project is an instance of academic fraud. While it is not plagiarism, it is clearly a first cousin and it is not acceptable.
INTENTIONAL POOR DOCUMENTATION
As scholarly writers, we are expected to acknowledge our indebtedness for phrases, sentences, charts, diagrams, figures, and for longer verbatim quotations. Writers prepare for this necessity by taking careful notes on exact wording and spelling; page numbers; and source identification. It is particularly important to present verbatim quotations exactly as they are in the original sources, including any errors. Paraphrases require documentation, and they must be a true restatement of the original rather than simply a rearrangement of the words in the sources. There are a number of methods of documentation. The form of the reference list or bibliography or footnote style may vary by discipline. There are a number of style manuals that describe the documentation rules for various academic disciplines. Some are in the reference collection at the library.
PAPERS WRITTEN BY OTHERS
Presenting papers or sections of papers (including web sites) bought, borrowed or stolen from others as one’s own is the most blatant form of plagiarism. There is no conceivable excuse for this behavior, including ignorance.
UNACKNOWLEDGED MULTIPLE AUTHORS OR COLLABORATION
The notion that intellectual work is and should be a lonely and fiercely independent enterprise is overemphasized. At Hampshire College, students are encouraged to collaborate on work for courses, examination, and even Division III “independent study projects.” For example, students are encouraged to have better spellers look at their work if that is necessary, and faculty members show drafts of their work or discuss their ideas with colleagues. In almost any book or article, writers recognize their indebtedness to colleagues who have criticized their work in footnotes or reference lists. Students, too, should acknowledge the assistance of their collaborators. In joint examinations or class projects, the contributions of each member of the group should be made clear and every member of the group should have an understanding of the whole project.
UNACKNOWLEDGED MULTIPLE SUBMISSION
Using the same paper or portions thereof for several purposes without prior approval (for example, a course at another college and a Division I examination paper, publication in several scholarly journals, or submission to several classes) is generally considered to be illegitimate. Such multiple submission is, however, entirely acceptable if that borrowing is agreed to by the parties involved.
It is, in fact, encouraged at Hampshire College when students want to pursue an idea further or when they have undertaken work well beyond that required for the original purpose of the paper or presentation. Academic Dishonesty: Procedures for dealing with violations Academic dishonesty (plagiarism, fabrication, or falsification of data) is a breach of the ethics of scholarship and a violation of one of the central norms of an academic community.
Allegations of academic dishonesty are most likely to arise from work done in a course or for a divisional project. The accusation is usually brought by a member of the college faculty. When it is clear to a faculty member that a charge of plagiarism is appropriate, the procedure is as follows:
1. Consultation with the school dean and dean of academic support and advising: The faculty member will inform the student, the school dean, and the dean of academic support and advising of the accusation. Both the faculty member and the student will meet with the School dean who will
a) consult with the center for academic support and advising to see if there are previous incidents,
b) hear both sides, and
c) recommend a course of action.
If the school dean concurs with the charge of academic dishonesty and determines that it is a first offense, s/he will choose one of the following options, depending on the seriousness of the offense:
a. Write a letter of warning to the student, with a copy to the dean of academic support and advising; or
b. Refer the matter to the dean of academic support and advising, who will write a letter of warning to the student.
In addition to the letter of warning, further sanctions available at stage 1a. or 1b. may include removal of all record of the course being taken (in the case of plagiarism in a course paper), or a decision to set aside the project in question and require the student to do an alternate project on a different topic with a different committee (unless the committee concerned agrees to continue working with the student).
c. In cases of egregious violation, the school dean or dean of academic support and advising may refer the case to the dean of student affairs for disciplinary action, as outlined below.
2. Referral of the case to the dean of students for disciplinary action: Second or multiple offenses concerning plagiarism or other violations of the ethics of scholarship (as well as egregious first offenses) will be referred by the school dean or the dean of academic support and advising to the dean of the college for further disciplinary action. The dean of students will consult with the dean of the faculty in deciding disciplinary action. Sanctions available include disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion from the college.
3. Appeals: The student has the right to appeal the finding of academic dishonesty and/or disciplinary sanction to the president. 4. Record of cases of academic dishonesty: All cases of academic dishonesty should be reported in writing to the dean of academic support and advising. A record of all cases will be maintained by the center for academic support and advising. The center for academic support and advising will be responsible for monitoring recommended actions and insuring appropriate confidentiality. The center for academic support and advising will also keep a summary of all cases, without identifying specifics, to aid in determining appropriate action.
(The student handbooks of Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and of Princeton University were employed extensively as source material in drafting the above statement on Ethics of Scholarship)
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