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Your role

Graduate student

Learn the ASU policy
The ASU Academic Integrity Policy explains student obligations and responsibilities regarding academic integrity. The policy also details the process used when investigating allegations of misconduct.

Ignorance of the policy is no excuse. Even if you unknowingly violate a standard of academic integrity, you are still held responsible.

Don’t get caught up in the blame game—faculty are not able to discuss every nuance of academic integrity in their syllabus or in class. Take the initiative and start the conversation with your faculty about questions you may have.

Know what constitutes an academic integrity violation
Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating, fabrication, tampering, plagiarism or aiding and/or facilitating such activities. At the graduate level, it is expected that students will be familiar with these issues and take personal responsibility in their work. Visit the ASU Academic Integrity Policy webpage for the Definition and Student Obligations to Academic Integrity.

Own your work
The ethics of authorship is a critical issue for graduate students to understand. When does your name go on a shared piece of scholarship? When does your advisor or faculty colleague have the right to put their name on your work? Talk to your department chair or graduate director if you feel bullied into putting a faculty member’s name on your research paper when it is not deserved or appropriate.

If you are concerned about raising eyebrows in your unit, ask your graduate director to host a brown bag session with faculty and graduate students to discuss the ethics of authorship. This will create a shared understanding of appropriate norms.

Use ASU resources

  • Navigate the maze of policies, procedures and issues. Check out the Provost’s Website on Academic Integrity.
  • ASU Libraries hosts a comprehensive website on academic integrity with resources for learning and teaching.

Teaching assistant

As a teaching assistant, your responsibility is to:

educate students on the ASU integrity policy and the expectations in your assignments, class, lab or other ASU settings. Use this guide to help you start a conversation with your class. Your syllabus provides the foundation.
take care with your assignments
Be careful about where you obtain assignments and exams. A cautionary tale: A professor was sanctioned after students in his class found that the test he gave them was lifted from an online test. Learn techniques that make it difficult for students to cheat in the following evaluation instruments:

  • Preventing Plagiarism on in-class Exams (pdf)
  • Preventing Plagiarism on Papers (pdf)
  • Preventing Data Manipulation in the Lab (pdf)

use plagiarism detection software
ASU has plagiarism detection software available that may help you detect cheating on course assignments. For a start-to-finish guide for using Safe Assignment, visit the ASU Help Center.

learn your department and college academic policy
Be prepared before you have to deal with a violation. Talk to your professor or graduate advisor about how violations are handled in your department; At ASU, disputes over academic integrity violations are resolved at the college level. See your college procedures at College Specific Processes.

enforce academic integrity standards
If you ignore suspected violations, you send a message to students that this behavior is acceptable. See the process for handling allegations at Allegations of Academic Dishonesty.

You can also use this checklist as a guide on what to do now.

Professional and scholar

Know the standards of your profession
Each profession and discipline has its own standards of conduct. Part of becoming a member of a profession is learning the standards of behavior expected for the highest level of conduct in your discipline. Discuss the research conduct expectations in your discipline with your advisor and faculty.

  • Have you read the ethical code of conduct for your profession?
  • How long are you required to keep lab records? Data? Notes?
  • Can you Photoshop an image to remove material that is hard to explain?
  • How much can you modify an image to claim it as your own?
  • Does your profession use citations, endnotes, footnotes, program notes, wall credits, or acknowledgements to give credit?
  • What famous violations shaped the code of conduct in your field?
  • What governing body enforces these codes?
  • What issues of academic integrity are controversial in your discipline?
  • What are typical sanctions for violations?
  • In your discipline, what factors determine the order of authorship on papers?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you need to talk to your professors and advisors. Suggest a brown bag seminar on this topic so that your fellow students can learn about these issues along with you.

Learn the appropriate citation style
See the ASU libraries’ comprehensive listing of citation style manuals. This site includes general style manuals for APA, MLA, Chicago and Turabian styles, as well as links to manuals for specific science disciplines.