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Copyright & Fair Use Information & Resources: Plagiarism

Information on Academic Integrity

Academic Honesty. Students are expected to be honorable and observe standards of conduct appropriate to a community of scholars. Additionally, students are expected to behave in an ethical manner. Individuals who disregard the core values of truth and honesty bring disrespect to themselves and the University. A university community that allows academic dishonesty will suffer harm to the reputation of students, faculty and graduates. It is in the best interest of the entire university community to sanction any individual who chooses not to accept the principles of academic honesty by committing acts such as cheating, plagiarism, or misrepresentation. (See Also “Academic Honesty”)

Student Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism

Collier Library Resources

UNA Student Copyright Notice

UNA courses may incorporate material contributed or licensed by individuals, companies, or organizations that may be protected by U.S. and foreign copyright laws. All persons reproducing, redistributing, or making commercial use of this information are expected to adhere to the terms and conditions asserted by the copyright holder. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use as defined in the copyright laws may require the written permission of the copyright owners. Copyright use as outlined in the TEACH Act is not yet valid at the University of North Alabama.

Cheating & Plagiarism Defined

Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized materials or  information; giving or receiving unauthorized assistance during an  examination or other academic exercise.

Plagiarism: using another's words or ideas without acknowledgment.

Examples include:

· failing to use quotation marks when quoting from a source; and

· failing to reference distinctive ideas from a source.

Misrepresentation: falsifying, altering, or misstating the contents of  academically related documents, sources, or assignments.

In essence, plagiarism means to use someone else’s work without giving proper credit to the originator. The “work” could be published or unpublished materials, including such things as art, computer programs, graphs, music, websites, or any other form of creative or original expression. The act of plagiarism can be committed deliberately, as in purchasing a research paper from a commercial source (term paper mill), “borrowing” a completed paper from a student who had previously taken the same class, having someone else write a paper for you, or by downloading material from the Internet and submitting it as your own work.  It can even be submitting a paper that you prepared for one class as fulfillment for an assignment in another class without receiving permission from your instructor. The latter is a form of “self plagiarism.”

 Plagiarism can also occur unintentionally.  This happens when you have been careless in taking notes—neglecting to record quotations word-for-word or omitting quotations marks and the appropriate citation for the source of the quotation. It can also happen when you have not paraphrased another’s words properly, when you have neglected to cite or give credit to authors as you have summarized their work, or when you have incorrectly assumed that a fact is common knowledge and thus have failed to indicate the source of your information.  Ignorance or a lack of understanding is no excuse for plagiarism—it is still wrong!