Academic Integrity Violations

Student sitting alone working on a laptop.

All UB students are expected to uphold high standards of academic integrity. As a result, students are responsible for knowing what constitutes an act of dishonesty, and a lack of awareness is not considered an excuse. At UB, academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Aiding in Academic Dishonesty

In addition to committing dishonest acts to benefit yourself, academic integrity forbids unauthorized assistance to others. This is defined in the policy as, “knowingly taking action that allows another student to engage in an act of academic dishonesty including, but not limited to completing an examination or assignment for another student or stealing an examination or completed assignment for another student.” Students are also responsible for protecting their work from others (e.g., not leaving laptops unattended and open to assignments).

Cheating

Cheating involves using any unauthorized aids in academic work. The policy explains that cheating “includes, but is not limited to: (1) use of any assistance not authorized by the course instructor(s) in taking quizzes, tests or examinations; (2) dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the course instructor(s) in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems or carrying out other assignments; or (3) stealing tests or other academic material belonging to the course instructor(s).” If there are questions about what resources are allowed to be accessed or the level of collaboration that is allowed to occur, instructors should be asked to specify the guidelines.

Falsifying Academic Materials

Honesty is the foundation of the teacher-student relationship. Any falsification of academic materials obviously erodes that relationship. Examples from the policy are “fabricating laboratory materials, notes, reports or any forms of computer data; forging an instructor’s name or initials; resubmitting an examination or assignment for reevaluation which has been altered without the instructor’s authorization; or submitting a report, paper, materials, computer data or examination (or any considerable part thereof) prepared by any person other than the student responsible for the assignment.”

Misrepresenting Documents

No university or official document, record or form of identification can be misused in any way. The policy defines this as “forgery, alteration, or misuse of any university or official document, record or instrument of identification.” Examples might be altering a transcript or tampering with a student ID.

Plagiarizing

Plagiarism is the act of using the words or ideas of other people and representing them as one’s own. It can consist of the copying of text from other sources, or it can consist of the unwitting failure to credit sources of ideas and words. The policy definition is, “copying or receiving material from any source and submitting that material as one’s own, without acknowledging and citing the particular debts to the source (quotations, paraphrases, basic ideas), or in any other manner representing the work of another as one’s own.” Plagiarism is an act that is especially offensive in the academic community where ideas and words are held in such high regard.

Purchasing Academic Documents

Buying assessment materials from another person, company or vendor constitutes a serious breach of academic integrity. Often called “contract cheating,” this practice is an egregious form of plagiarism and misrepresentation since students are deliberately misleading instructors about what they know or have learned. It is defined in the policy as "purchasing an academic assignment intended for submission in fulfillment of any course or academic program requirement.”

Selling Academic Assignments

All submitted work must entirely represent the effort of the student in the course. As explained in the policy, “selling or offering for sale any academic assignment to any person enrolled at the University at Buffalo. No person shall offer any inappropriate assistance in the preparation, research, or writing of any assignment, which the seller knows, or has reason to believe, is intended for submission in fulfillment of any course or academic program requirement.”

Submitting Previously Submitted Work

This is defined as “submitting academically required material that has been previously submitted, in whole or in substantial part, without prior and expressed consent of the instructor.” Students should recognize that reusing their own work (in whole or in part) for multiple assignments, either in a single course or in multiple courses, is self-plagiarism. Prior and expressed consent of all faculty members involved is required for this to ever be allowable. Faculty have the right to expect that all work done in their course is original.