Academic Integrity | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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Academic Integrity

The following offenses, or attempts to commit these offenses, constitute violations of academic integrity:

Plagiarism and other misappropriation of the work of another

Plagiarism is the willful or unintentional act of using, without proper acknowledgement, another person’s or persons’ words, ideas, results, methods, opinions, or concepts. It does not matter whether the appropriated information is published or unpublished, academic or nonacademic in content, or in the public or private domain. The act of claiming as one’s own work any intellectual material created by another or others is wrong and will be treated as a serious violation of academic integrity.

It is recognized and understood that a student’s work may often draw from previously published material and works for reference and inspiration, and the Brown School encourages this type of exploration. However, student work claimed or presented as original but which has been lifted without significant change from other sources, including magazines, the Internet, fellow students or colleagues, is unacceptable and will be treated as a violation of this policy.

To avoid plagiarism, students are expected to be attentive to proper methods of documentation and acknowledgement by following the citation format indicated by their instructor (typically APA or AMA) and students should:

  • Enclose every short quotation in quotation marks. If the quotation is longer than 40 words or four typed lines, it should be set off by indenting it the same amount as the paragraph indent (a half inch; this kind of indentation is called a “block” quote and does not require quotation marks). Correct citation of the source must follow the quote in both cases.
  • Correctly cite the source of quotes, summaries, paraphrases, concepts, ideas, conclusions, statistics or other factual data that is not considered common knowledge.
  • Properly format and include in-text parenthetical, endnote, or footnote citations and match them to the list of references at the end of the paper.
  • Appropriately acknowledge and cite the source of material, whether published in print or electronically or obtained from lectures, interviews, and other oral forms of communication.
  • Follow the form of model in-text citations, footnotes, endnotes, and reference, works cited, or bibliography entries in a standard handbook of style or the form recommended by the instructor, typically including the author’s(s’) name(s), date of publication, title of document and publication, and physical or electronic location of document or publisher to enable the reader to locate and examine the sources.
  • Acknowledge to the instructor in the endorsement of a paper all the help of persons who have contributed to the research or writing of that assignment (the assistance of the Communication Lab need not be acknowledged).
  • Obtain explicit permission from instructors in all courses concerned before submitting written work that is substantially the same to meet the requirements of more than one course or more than one paper in the same course. Typically such submission is discouraged because it does not reflect work done to fulfill the objectives of the course in which it is submitted after the first time.
  • Avoid self-plagiarism by acknowledging and properly citing material written in other contexts (such as publications written for nonprofits or NGOs before attending Brown School).

Cheating, Copying, or Collaborating on Assignments without Permission

When a student submits work with their name on it, it is a written statement that credit for the work belongs to that student alone. If the work was a product of collaboration, each student is expected to clearly acknowledge in writing all persons who contributed to the work. Unless the instructor explicitly states otherwise, it is dishonest to collaborate with others when completing any assignment or test, performing laboratory experiments, writing and/or documenting computer programs, writing papers, reports, or case write-ups, and completing problem sets. If a student has any questions regarding the instructor’s definition of allowable behavior, it is their responsibility to ask for clarification prior to engaging in collaboration.

To avoid cheating, copying, or unauthorized collaboration, a student should never:

  • Copy someone else’s work or answers during an examination or assignment or use or provide unapproved assistance for an examination or assignment.
  • Use any device or material to assist in the completion of an exam or assignment that is not explicitly authorized by the course instructor.
  • Use, copy or paraphrase the results of another person’s work and represent that work as their own, regardless of the circumstances.
  • Permit another student to copy your work.
  • Submit work as a collaborative effort that they did not contribute a fair share of the effort.
  • Submit a group member’s work as their own.


  • When a student submits work with their name on it, they are in effect stating the work is theirs and only theirs, unless they acknowledge in an endorsement all the help of persons who have contributed to the completion of the assignment.
  • If the instructor allows group work, students must be sure they understand the degree of acceptable collaboration, and they must contribute their fair share of the effort.
  • If one’s name is on an assignment, one has attested to the integrity of the work; therefore, individual group members may be held accountable for a class group’s academic integrity violation.

Fabrication or Falsification of Documents, Data, or Records

It is dishonest to fabricate, falsify, or otherwise provide misleading data or other material presented in research papers, studies, projects, reports, publications, assignments, and other academic and professional circumstances.

To avoid fabrication or falsification of one’s work, a student should never:

  • Alter information on any exam or class assignment being submitted for a re-grade.
  • Alter, omit, or invent data to submit as one’s own findings.
  • Improperly adjust or revise data for analysis or reporting.
  • Deceptively omit conflicting data or deceptively select data to report.
  • Knowingly publish information that will mislead or deceive readers.
  • Fail to properly credit collaborators, including joint authors.
  • Forge signatures of authorization on practicum timesheets, evaluations, or other documents.
  • Falsify information on an official academic record, grade report, letter of permission or reference, drop/add form, ID card, or other document.
  • Falsify time on a timesheet at Washington University or practicum site.

Research Misconduct

It is a violation of this policy to engage in research misconduct or otherwise fail to adhere to the University’s research policies and guidelines, which can be found at Research misconduct includes but is not limited to failure to adhere to or to receive the approval required for work under research regulations of federal, state, local, or University agencies or departments.

Obstruction of the Academic Activities of Another

Students are prohibited from obstructing or interfering with the scholarly research and academic activities of another individual. Examples include but are not limited to stealing, tampering with, damaging, or destroying research papers, data, supplies, equipment, designs, drawings, other products of research or academic work, or such other property of others that is related to academic endeavors, or impeding access to shared resources such as library materials, studio materials, or computer software and hardware.

Abuse of Confidentiality

It is a violation of this policy for a student to release information, ideas, or data of others that were provided to them with the expectation that the student would maintain such information, ideas, or data as confidential, including client and practicum agency information. For example, a student may be exposed to or asked to participate in confidential grant proposals, review of manuscripts, or other applications for honors and awards that should be considered confidential and not disclosed to unauthorized persons.

Other Forms of Deceit, Dishonesty, or Inappropriate Conduct

Under no circumstances is it acceptable for a student to:

  • Engage in any behavior that would be reasonably labeled deceit, dishonest, or inappropriate in an academic and professional setting. If you are ever in doubt, please ask either the professor or the assistant to the instructor.
  • Submit the same work, or essentially the same work, for more than one course without explicitly obtaining permission from all instructors. A student must disclose when a paper or project builds on work completed earlier in his/her academic career.
  • Request an academic benefit based on false information or deception. This includes requesting an extension of time, a better grade, or a recommendation from an instructor.
  • Misrepresentation of experience or ability. This includes providing false information concerning academic achievement or background in an area of study. For example, falsely reporting the substance of an internship, omitting transcripts or other academic information on an application for admission or other University records.
  • Steal, deface, or damage academic facilities or materials. e. Collaborate with other students planning or engaging in any form of academic or professional misconduct.
  • Submit any academic work under someone else's name other than his/her own. This includes but is not limited to sitting for another person's exam; both parties will be held responsible.
  • Publish or attempt to publish collaborative works without the permission of the other participants.
  • In addition, any offense defined as academic misconduct within the Washington University Student Conduct Code may also constitute a violation of this policy.

In addition, any offense defined as academic misconduct within the Washington University Student Conduct Code may also constitute a violation of this policy. Violations of Academic or Professional Integrity are taken seriously at the Brown School, and such behaviors may result in disciplinary action against the offending student(s).