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Research Guides

INFO 2010: Information Literacy in the Disciplines

This guide contains some of the readings for INFO 2010: Information Literacy in the Disciplines.

Academic Honesty and Plagiarism

Academic honesty is at the heart of the academic/scholarly system. We rely on the ethics, integrity, and honesty of our colleagues which enables us to advance our knowledge, make new discoveries, apply what we have learned to solve problems, and inspire others to join the scholarly conversation and start the cycle over again. You are a member of this academic community, and you are required to be honest in your scholarly/academic endeavors. Giving credit to others by citing our sources is one way to maintain our academic integrity, and how we avoid plagiarism and its consequences.

All the information you create and share formally or informally, in academic settings or personal settings has value. All the information you consume has value (covered in Module 4). That value may be assigned by others in terms of how much money you are charged to use it, think of your textbooks and the cost of library databases. It may have intrinsic value that varies from one context to another. An article about a super nova explosion 65 light years from earth my have no value to you if you are a biologist, or it may be invaluable when you discover that the blast could have stripped earth of its ozone layer and caused one of the great extinction events in earth's history. 

You will join this academic conversation by writing a research paper, doing a research study, working on projects, synthesizing ideas, developing conclusion, and sharing your results with your professors, your classmates, or others in your discipline.

Academic honesty and integrity also means valuing the intellectual contributions of others when building upon and using those ideas to develop your own conclusions. This is done by giving their ideas recognition through citations. Giving credit to others by citing your sources is one way to maintain your academic integrity, and how we avoid plagiarism and its consequences.

Plagiarism is not illegal. It is an ethical violation. There are no fines, trials, or jail time associated with plagiarism.  However there are consequences. For you as a student, those consequences could be getting an F on the assignment you plagiarized, getting an F in the class, or if the violation is major, getting expelled from college. Their are also consequences in the working world. You could lose your reputation which is very important in many professions including academics. You could lose your job, or you could lose both.