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Definitions of Academic Dishonesty

Academic Misconduct is behavior and/or action by a student that has the effect of interfering with the education, pursuit of knowledge, or fair evaluation of a student’s performance or work. As a result, Academic Misconduct is prohibited at Boise State University. Academic Misconduct can be intentional or unintentional and includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, fabrication or falsification of information, inappropriate or unauthorized collaboration, and research misconduct. Students who engage or attempt to engage in any of the below identified behaviors and/or actions may be found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

  1. Cheating. Cheating involves the unauthorized possession, use, or attempt to possess or use information, materials, notes, study aids, or other devices in any academic exercise (including but not limited to an assignment or examination), or any unauthorized communication with another person during such an academic exercise, that would result in an unfair advantage over fellow students.

  2. Plagiarism. Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use or incorporation, without specific or proper acknowledgment or citation, of ideas, data, or language of another person’s work in, or as the basis for, one’s own work that is offered for academic consideration, credit, or public presentation or as part of an application for admission to the University or a University Program. Lack of knowledge of proper citation is not a valid excuse for plagiarism. It is the responsibility of the student writing the material to know the proper methods for appropriate citation and/or to seek guidance/help when attempting to learn the proper methods for citation or use another’s work so that proper attribution is given to the other person. Plagiarism can be committed in any type of academic exercise by representing as one’s own, without proper attribution, another individual’s words, phrases, ideas, sequence of ideas, information or any other mode, or content of expression.

  3. Unauthorized Collaboration. Students should complete all academic coursework and assignments on their own, unless otherwise instructed or granted permission by the Faculty member. Working with others on an assignment unless it has been explicitly permitted by the Faculty member is not allowed. Unauthorized collaboration can also include working too closely with others on assignments that the Faculty member has given explicit permission to collaborate on when the collaboration violates the expectations set by the Faculty member.

  4. Fabrication or Falsification. Fabrication or falsification includes but is not limited to reporting experiments or measurements or statistical analyses never performed; manipulating or altering data or other manifestations of research to achieve a desired result; falsifying or misrepresenting background information, credentials or other academically relevant information; or selective reporting, including the deliberate suppression of conflicting or unwanted data. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data and/or results.

  5. Research Misconduct. Research misconduct includes, but is not limited to, sabotage of another’s experiment, research and/or fabrication, falsification or misrepresentation of research and/or data, plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. Any violation by a student of University Policy #5060 Misconduct in Research is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

Additionally, Faculty are encouraged to take into consideration whether it is believed the student engaged in academic negligence or a more intentional act of academic dishonesty (but not both). Academic negligence includes, but is not limited to, the act of a student who, through ignorance, carelessness, or mistaken academic work, engages in behavior that, upon initial review, appears to be a deliberate act of Academic Misconduct but ultimately is found not to be intentional in the act. Academic Dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, determining a student intentionally acted in a way to gain an unfair advantage over other students. It is the role of the Faculty to determine the severity of the behavior and determine the appropriate sanction. The University considers both academic negligence and academic dishonesty to be acts of Academic Misconduct and both are therefore violations of the Student Code of Conduct.  

Excerpted from Section 8 of the Boise State Policy 2020 The Student Code of Conduct, where longer lists of examples that constitute cheating and plagiarism can be found.