Academic Honesty

Castleton University is a learning institution committed to the highest standards of scholarly conduct. The students, faculty, and administration make up a scholarly community whose integrity and success necessarily stem from a mutually agreed upon code of academic standards and principles that promote trust and honesty and prohibit the attempt to gain unfair academic advantage. Membership in the Castleton community means sharing responsibility for upholding and safeguarding these academic standards and principles. Any violation of academic honesty will be considered cheating and will be dealt with accordingly by the appropriate authorities. 

Procedures: Castleton considers all cases of academic dishonesty serious and encourages all full- and part-time faculty to treat each case with the seriousness it deserves. The recommended course of action in those cases where academic dishonesty is suspected is listed below.

  • A faculty member suspecting academic dishonesty should discuss the alleged infraction(s) with the student(s) involved and explain the grounds for concern. 
  • If after meeting with the student, the faculty member concludes that the University’s academic honesty policy has been violated, the faculty member should notify the student in writing of the violation and the penalty that has been levied. Penalties for academic dishonesty levied by the instructor may range from failure on the assignment to failure for the course. (Although the faculty member has authority to issue failing grades without such notification, the establishment of a written record is the only acceptable means of determining whether a student is responsible for repeated misconduct.) In determining penalties, faculty may take into consideration whether or not a student either knowingly or unknowingly committed an infraction. University policy, however, makes no distinction about whether or not plagiarism has occurred on the basis of a student’s intention. 
  • Instructors will notify the Dean of Students about all academic honesty infractions. Reports of academic dishonesty should be made using the “Academic Misconduct Referral Form,” which can be downloaded from the University web site.
  • If a student feels that the instructor’s allegations or penalties are erroneous, then she/he must arrange to meet with the instructor to discuss and attempt to resolve the matter prior to appealing a decision. If a student/instructor conference fails to achieve adequate resolution, any penalty levied by the instructor may be appealed in writing to the Academic Dean or his or her designee within seven days from the date of the instructor’s written notice of penalty. Should the instructor fail to give written notice, the student may appeal within seven days of learning of the penalty. In all cases of appeal, the decision of the Academic Dean or designee is final.
  • The Dean of Students may, at his or her discretion, levy additional penalties up to and including dismissal from the University for serious or repeated violations. In cases where the Dean of Students concludes that an additional penalty may be necessary, the student will be notified within fifteen days of the receipt of the instructor’s notice of imposition of a penalty that a further sanction is being contemplated. If the severity of the offense warrants, the Dean of Students may lodge a complaint against the student in accordance with the Due Process procedures.

Definitions of Infractions: The following list is intended to illustrate the types of behaviors that are considered academically dishonest at Castleton. It is only a partial list; other behaviors may, as well, violate the basic principles of academic honesty.

         A. Plagiarizing in any form. Plagiarism is stealing. Castleton University defines plagiarism as the act of submitting someone else’s work, words, or ideas (in part or in whole) as if they were one’s own, without proper attribution of credit.

Credit must be attributed to both print and online source materials, including books, periodicals, articles, video, music, and images. The Internet has become a powerful research tool, but students should note that its power also has a double effect: the Internet makes committing and detecting and proving plagiarism much easier.

Additionally, Castleton makes no distinction in the definition of plagiarism on the basis of a student’s intent. Students are responsible for taking pains to familiarize themselves with the citation standards and practices in their respective disciplines and courses to avoid plagiarizing.

Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • using a source’s exact words without putting those words in quotation marks-this is plagiarism whether or not there is a note attributing the material to a source;
  • putting a source’s exact words in quotes but failing to provide an endnote, footnote, parenthetical note, or other appropriate form of citation indicating the original source;
  • paraphrasing the words of a source but failing to provide an endnote, footnote, parenthetical note, or other appropriate form of citation indicating the original source;
  • splicing together exact phrasing and/or paraphrases from multiple sources but failing to give credit for each element borrowed (“patchwork” or “mosaic” plagiarism);
  • copying and pasting information from a website without correctly citing the Internet source from which the material was taken. The Internet is not public domain;
  • providing only a list of references without properly attributing specific credit for individual quotations or ideas in the body of the text;
  • creating a paraphrase that does not substantially reword the original text-for example, leaving long phrases of the original wording, substituting synonyms for key words but not rephrasing the material, or simply rearranging the original words;
  • receiving excessive critical input from others to the extent that the final text can no longer be viewed as the work primarily of the student submitting it.

    B. Buying, copying/downloading from the Internet, or commissioning term papers, essays, or comparable documents and/or submitting the work of another (including the work of another student) as one’s own. 

    C. Submitting work that had previously been prepared for another course in fulfillment of the requirements of a subsequent course, except when the student has obtained the explicit prior permission of the current instructor to do so.|

    D. Communicating during an examination session with the intent of supplying information to or receiving information from another student.

    E. Receiving aid in taking examinations through such means as crib sheets or supplementary notes (unless expressly permitted by the instructor); through looking at others’ examinations and/or allowing others to look at yours; or through the use of electronic devices such as cell phones, calculators, portable hard drives, PDAs, mp3 players, etc.

    F. Soliciting, obtaining, or providing an examination or portions thereof either prior or subsequent to an examination session, except as authorized by the instructor.

    G. Substituting for another student or allowing a different individual to represent oneself in any context, including but not limited to class meetings, exams, and online discussions.

    H. Knowingly assisting any person committing an act of academic dishonesty.

    I. Altering, changing, or forging University academic records for either oneself or another.

    J. Infringing the rights of other students to fair and equal access to University library materials and other academic resources.

    K. Degrading, erasing, or in any way tampering with the computer assignments or computer files of others.

    L. Attempting to prevent other users from having access to the University’s computers, computer terminals, or other resources, or degrading the performance of computer equipment.

Any student who is unsure whether a particular behavior is permissible under Castleton’s academic honesty policy should consult either the instructor of the course for which the work is being done, the student’s faculty advisor, or the Academic Dean.