Information for Students

Upholding Honesty

Academic integrity and honesty are basic values of Ohio University.  Students are expected to follow standards of academic integrity and honesty.  Academic misconduct implies dishonesty or deception in fulfilling academic requirements.  It includes, but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, un-permitted collaboration, forged attendance (when attendance is required), fabrication (e.g., use of invented information or falsification of research or other findings), using advantages not approved by the instructor (e.g., unauthorized review of a copy of an exam ahead of time), knowingly permitting another student to plagiarize or cheat from one's work, or submitting the same assignment in different courses without consent of the instructor.

The Importance of Academic Integrity

Academic integrity suggests that students are honest and forthright in their academic endeavors.  Moreover, having such integrity suggests that you are forthright and honest in all aspects of your life.  Because academic misconduct may imply dishonesty, you may be affected in the following ways by those who engage in academic misconduct:
1.  Your degree from Ohio University will be degraded if it is believed that Ohio University students and alumni are dishonest.
2.  You will not receive the full credit for work that you have done honestly because those who were dishonest will likely receive a higher grade.
3.  You may lose a job opportunity or a slot at a desired graduate school to a person who engaged in dishonest behavior and maintained a higher grade point average.
4.  Faculty members may distrust students and create an atmosphere that allows little stimulation and creativity for honest students.

Forms of Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct is an A1 violation of the Ohio University Student Code of Conduct and is defined by the student code of conduct as dishonesty or deception in fulfilling academic requirements.  It includes, but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, un-permitted collaboration, forged attendance (when attendance is required), fabrication (e.g., use of invented information or falsification of research or other findings), using advantages not approved by the instructor (e.g., unauthorized review of a copy of an exam ahead of time), knowingly permitting another student to plagiarize or cheat from one's work, or submitting the same assignment in different courses without consent of the instructor.
To assist you in understanding Academic Misconduct the following are examples:

1.  Cheating Cheating is defined as any attempt by a student to answer questions on a test, quiz, or assignment by means other than his or her own knowledge.  Examples:
a.  Using the textbook or other materials, such as a notebook, not authorized for use during an examination.
b.  Using technology (i.e. cell phones, laptop computers, social media, text messages, etc.) to aid in the completion of work when not permitted to do so.
c.  Observing the work of another student or allowing another student to plagiarize, copy, or observe your work.
d.  Using unauthorized material during a test, notes, formula lists, notes written on clothing, etc.
d.  Taking a quiz, exam, or similar evaluation in the place of another person.
e.  Providing or requesting assistance from another person in a manner prohibited by the instructor.
f.  Using a laboratory, computer, or calculator improperly or without authorization.
g.  Changing material on a graded exam and then requesting a regarding of the exam.
h.  Acquiring unauthorized knowledge of an examination or any part of an examination.
i.  Submitting the same paper in two different courses without the knowledge and consent of instructors.
j.  Signing in persons other than yourself for class attendance
2.  Plagiarism - Plagiarism is defined as the presentation of the ideas or the writing of someone else as one's own.  Examples:
a.  Reproducing another person's work, whether published or unpublished  (this also includes using materials from companies that sell research papers).
b.  Submitting as your own any academic exercise (written work, computer printout, sculpture) prepared totally or in part by another.
c.  Allowing another person to substantially alter or revise your work and submitting it as your own.
d.  Using another's written ideas or words without properly acknowledging the source.  If a student uses the words of someone else, he or she must put quotation marks around the passage and add indication of its origin, such as a footnote. 
e.  Simply changing a word or two while leaving the organization and content substantially intact and failing to cite the source is plagiarism. Students should also take note that failure to acknowledge study aids such as Cliff's Notes or common reference sources, such as Wikipedia constitutes plagiarism.

If a student is unsure about a question of plagiarism or cheating, he or she is obligated to consult his or her instructor on the matter before submitting the material.  If you have any questions, consult the Office of Community Standards.

Student Conduct Procedures of Ohio University Regarding Academic Misconduct

When academic misconduct is displayed, two issues arise: the issue of the grade in the class over which the professor has authority, and the issue of dishonest or deceptive behavior over which the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility has authority to take disciplinary action.  Academic dishonesty is an A-1 violation of the Ohio University Student Code of Conduct.  Both issues are of great importance and must be addressed if the university is to maintain high academic standards, confront deceptive behavior, and assist in changing unethical behavior.

Should a faculty member suspect that you have been involved in academic misconduct, he or she will normally confront you and then determine what action should be taken.  The instructor may impose the appropriate grade penalty and/or file a formal disciplinary referral with the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility.  If the instructor accuses you of misconduct and takes action, one or both of the following may occur:
1.  A grade penalty, such as an F, may be imposed on the project or in the course.
2.  A formal student conduct referral may be filed with the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility.

If the instructor files a formal disciplinary referral against you with the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility:
1.  You will receive written notification from the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility including the time and date of your scheduled procedural interview.
2.  During your procedural interview, the hearing authority will outline your rights and options, clarify the charge that has been filed against you, and provide you an opportunity to explain your perspective of the incident.
3.  You have the right to admit or deny the charge.
4.  Should you admit to the charge, the hearing authority will impose a disciplinary sanction appropriate to address the misconduct.
5.  Should you deny the charge, you have the right to a hearing so that a broader exploration of the facts and circumstances may occur.
6.  If you are found responsible for misconduct either by your admittance or through the course of a hearing, the result could be a disciplinary sanction of expulsion, suspension, probation, or reprimand, and any additional conditions of sanction that may be appropriate.

The Appeal Process at Ohio University Regarding Academic Misconduct

Two levels of appeal are provided by the code of conduct. If a student wishes to appeal the outcome of his/her disciplinary case, they must use the appeal process as described in the section on Appeals under Code of Conduct Procedures.  If a student wants to appeal the grade penalty, she or he should consult the following people, in sequence, until a decision has been reached:
1.  The professor of the class.
2.  The chairperson of the department in which the class is being taught.
3.  The dean of the college in which the class is being taught.
4.  The university ombuds.

"I have been accused of academic misconduct!"

If you are charged with academic misconduct, don't panic! Read the charges carefully.
You may consider speaking with the professor to clarify the situation and/or pursuing clarification during your procedural interview with your hearing authority in the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility. You may also consider speaking with a representative from Students Defending Students.

Students Defending Students is a volunteer organization that advises and counsels students who have been charged with violating the Ohio University Student Code of Conduct. This service is free. These volunteers will help you prepare your response to the charge by talking with the parties involved, providing education about the judicial process, and answering questions.

Students Defending Students
(740) 593-4045