LAS Plagiarism Policy

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LAS Plagiarism Policy

 

Plagiarism Policy

 

College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences

 

Approved by the Faculty, 12/5/06

 

1. Definition of ‘plagiarism’

 

Plagiarism is defined in the UCCS Bulletin and in the Schedule of Courses as follows:

 

Use of distinctive ideas or words belonging to another person, without adequately

 

acknowledging that person’s contribution.

 

Thus defined, plagiarism includes (but is not limited to) the following:

 

1. Copying phrases and/or sentences from a source without putting the material in quotation marks and/or without adequate acknowledgment of the source;

 

2. Mosaic copying phrases and/or sentences from a source without putting the material in quotation marks and/or without adequate acknowledgment of the source;

 

3. Using a source’s ideas, opinions or theories without adequate acknowledgment of the source;

 

4. Paraphrasing a source’s words, ideas, opinions, or theories without adequate acknowledgment of the source;

 

5. Using a source’s facts, statistics, or illustrative material without adequate acknowledgment of the source;

 

6. Submitting as one’s own work that is written or published by another author.

 

A source is an individual, team, or unnamed author of some published or publicly presented or written piece of work. Sources can include other students.

 

An author is the originator of some idea(s) or string of words, either a phrase or phrases or a sentence or sentences.

 

A piece of work is published if it is (a) a book by some commercial or private press; (b) an article in a journal or magazine or newspaper; (c) a working or professional paper of some recognized organization; (d) the content of some website; or (e) other technological forms of archiving not covered by (a) – (d).

 

A piece of work is presented if it is: (a) a public oral presentation; (b) a radio/television/ video/compact disc/digital video disk presentation; or (c) other technological forms of archiving not covered by (a) and (b).

 

A piece of work is written if it is available either as a hard copy or an electronic copy.

 

Acknowledgment of a source is providing correct bibliographical information, in an accepted disciplinary format, for phrases, sentences, ideas, opinions, theories, statistics, or illustrative material used from a source.

 

Adequate acknowledgment is acknowledgment for each phrase, sentence, idea, opinion, theory, statistic, or illustrative material used from a source. (Acknowledging a source once in a paper (or paragraph) and subsequently copying, mosaic copying, using or paraphrasing from that source without subsequent acknowledgment is plagiarism.)

 

Mosaic copying is copying in which certain words of some phrase and/or sentence from a source are changed in some way (deleted, replaced).

 

Paraphrasing a source is the act of replacing some or most words in a phrase and/or sentence from a source with synonyms for those words.

 

2. Plagiarism and Intent

 

Plagiarism is sometimes thought by students (and faculty) to require a guilty mind, either an intention to plagiarize or trying or meaning to plagiarize. Students (and faculty) also sometimes think that absence of such an intention or ignorance of plagiarism is sufficient to exonerate them. None of these beliefs are true. As defined, plagiarism is a crime of extension, not of intention: if there is sufficient evidence of copying, use without acknowledgment, or submission of another’s work, plagiarism is committed, regardless of the student’s intention or lack thereof and regardless of the student’s knowledge or lack thereof.

 

While intent or lack thereof is not relevant for establishing plagiarism, it may be relevant for determining appropriate sanction. Some students are simply not aware that what they have done is plagiarism and such ignorance can be factored into a faculty member’s decisions about whether to impose a sanction, and, if so, how severe a sanction. But to infer from a student’s not knowing that his/her action was plagiarism that his/her action was not plagiarism is contrary to university policy.

 

3. Standard of Proof for Establishing Plagiarism

 

Plagiarism must be proven if sanctions by a faculty member, program director, department chair, dean, or vice-chancellor against a student are to be imposed. Suspicion of plagiarism is not sufficient for sanctioning a student. (However, suspicion of plagiarism is sufficient to discuss that suspicion with the student.) Kinds of proof that are sufficient for establishing plagiarism include:

 

(1) A hard copy of the relevant passage(s) from the source(s);

 

(2) An electronic copy of the relevant passage(s) from the source(s);

 

(3) A hard or electronic admission of guilt from the student alleged to have plagiarized and addressed to the alleging faculty member.

 

4. Range of Sanctions

 

Sanction against established plagiarism is imposed against the student committing an established act of plagiarism.

 

Sanctions that faculty can take and that do not require action by the Chair and/or Dean’s Office include, in degree of severity:

 

(1) downgrade the student on the assignment in which the plagiarism occurs, with the opportunity to rewrite;

 

(2) downgrade the student on the assignment in which the plagiarism occurs, without the opportunity to rewrite;

 

(3) fail the student on the assignment in which the plagiarism occurs, with the opportunity to re-write;

 

(4) fail the student on the assignment in which the plagiarism occurs, without the opportunity to re-write;

 

(5) downgrade the student for the course;

 

(6) fail the student for the course;

 

Sanctions that faculty can take and that require action by the Chair and Dean’s Office include, in degree of severity:

 

(7) recommend that the student receive an oral reprimand from the Dean;

 

(8) recommend that the student receive a written reprimand from the Dean;

 

(9) recommend that a reprimand be put in the student’s record until

 

graduation;

 

(11) recommend that a reprimand be put in the student’s permanent record;

 

(12) recommend that the student be put on academic probation;

 

(13) recommend immediate suspension of the student, with opportunity for re-admission;

 

(14) recommend suspension of the student at the conclusion of the semester, with opportunity for re-admission;

 

(15) recommend immediate suspension or suspension at the conclusion of the semester of the student, with stipulated conditions for re-admission;

 

(16) recommend expulsion of the student without opportunity for re-admission.

 

5. Students’ Rights

 

Students have the right to appeal sanctions imposed by faculty and/or the College Dean. If a student chooses to appeal, a hearing process, described in detail at the following url: http://www.uccs.edu/dos/studentconduct, is engaged.

 

6. Suggested Procedure

 

The suggested procedure for faculty to follow for resolving a plagiarism case is as follows:

 

(1) upon establishing that plagiarism has occurred, notify the student in writing or in person of that fact and establish, again in writing, a time to meet to discuss the matter;

 

(2) upon meeting with the student, present evidence of plagiarism and request explanation;

 

(3) upon determining that the evidence of plagiarism is sufficient to warrant sanction, inform the Dean’s Office and check with the Dean’s Office for previous Honor Code infractions and then determine the appropriate sanction;

 

(4) upon determining that the infraction is so egregious that a sanction more serious than failing the student for the course is appropriate, make such a recommendation to the College Dean through the Department Chair or Program Director;

 

(5) upon making such a recommendation to the College Dean through the Department Chair or Program Director, forward all evidence of plagiarism to the Dean’s Office, along with a record of any and all meetings with the student concerning the plagiarism.

 

If (5), then, upon receiving the faculty member’s record of the infraction, the Dean or his/her appointee will meet with the faculty member and with the student and determine whether the recommended sanction is warranted. If the Dean or appointee concurs with the recommendation of the faculty member, he/she will inform the faculty member, the Chair or Director, and the student of that concurrence and inform the student of his/her right to appeal that decision to the Office of the Dean of Students. If the Dean or appointee does not concur with the recommendation of the faculty member, he/she will inform the faculty member, the Chair or Director, and the student of that failure to concur and inform the faculty member of his/her right to appeal that decision to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.