Preventing Academic Misconduct
“You are a member of an academic community at one of the world’s leading research universities. Universities like Berkeley create knowledge that has a lasting impact in the world of ideas and on the lives of others; such knowledge can come from an undergraduate paper as well as the lab of an internationally known professor. One of the most important values of an academic community is the balance between the free flow of ideas and the respect for the intellectual property of others. Researchers don’t use one another’s research without permission; scholars and students always use proper citations in papers; professors may not circulate or publish student papers without the writer’s permission; and students may not circulate or post materials (handouts, exams, syllabi — any class materials) from their classes without the written permission of the instructor.”
The UC Berkeley Office of Educational Development encourages instructors to use or revise this paragraph as appropriate to communicate with students about the broad topic of academic integrity.
Most students understand, in a general way, that their academic achievements are premised on academic integrity: honesty, fairness, trust, respect, accountability, and responsibility. The academic community thrives when all members adhere to these habits of integrity, and GSIs have an important role in fostering students’ commitment to academic integrity.
Students generally want to do things right, but academic misconduct does occur. Sometimes the students err because they’re not aware of the rules, and some students commit academic misconduct knowing that they are doing so.
Academic misconduct is, fortunately, the exception rather than the norm. However, it does occur. Most GSIs will encounter it in some form in their teaching careers. For that reason, it is important to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and of the procedures for addressing it. It is no less important to know the most common causes of academic misconduct so that, with appropriate instruction, it can be avoided.
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