Violations of Academic Integrity

Violations of academic integrity include but are not limited to the following categories:

This policy applies to all courses, program requirements, and learning contexts in which academic credit is offered, including experiential and service-learning courses, study-abroad programs, internships, student teaching and the like. If an instructor finds that a student has violated the Academic Integrity Policy, the appropriate initial sanction is at the instructor’s discretion. Actions taken by the instructor do not preclude the college or the university from taking further action, including dismissal from the university. Conduct that is punishable under the Academic Integrity Policy could also result in criminal or civil prosecution.


Cheating is any action that violates university expectations or instructor’s guidelines for the preparation and submission of assignments. This includes but is not limited to

  • unauthorized access to examination materials prior to the examination itself;
  • use or possession of unauthorized materials during the examination or quiz;
  • having someone take an examination in one’s place;
  • copying from another student;
  • unauthorized assistance to another student; or
  • acceptance of such assistance.


Plagiarism is a major form of academic dishonesty involving the presentation of the work of another as one’s own. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to the following:

  • The direct copying of any source, such as written and verbal material, computer files, audio disks, video programs or musical scores, whether published or unpublished, in whole or part, without proper acknowledgement that it is someone else’s.
  • Copying of any source in whole or part without proper acknowledgement.
  • Submitting as one’s own work a report, examination paper, computer file, lab report or other assignment that has been prepared by someone else. This includes research papers purchased from any other person or agency.
  • The paraphrasing of another’s work or ideas without proper acknowledgement.

Fabrication, Falsification or Sabotage of Research Data

Fabrication, falsification or sabotage of research data is any action that misrepresents, willfully distorts or alters the process and results of scholarly investigation. This includes but is not limited to

  • making up or fabricating data as part of a laboratory, fieldwork or other scholarly investigation;
  • knowingly distorting, altering or falsifying the data gained by such an investigation;
  • stealing or using without the consent of the instructor data acquired by another student;
  • representing the research conclusions of another as one’s own; and
  • undermining or sabotaging the research investigations of another person.

Destruction or Misuse of the University’s Academic Resources

Destruction or misuse of the university’s academic resources includes but is not limited to

  • unauthorized access to or use of university resources including equipment and materials;
  • stealing, destroying or deliberately damaging library materials;
  • preventing, in an unauthorized manner, others’ access to university equipment, materials or resources;
  • using university equipment, materials or resources to destroy, damage or steal the work of other students or scholars.

Given the importance of computers to the academic functioning of the university, computer usage is of particular concern under this general heading. Violations of this nature may also fall under the Code of Student Conduct and Judicial Proceedings.

Alteration or Falsification of Academic Records

Alteration or falsification of academic records includes any action that tampers with official university records or documents. This includes but is not limited to:

  • any alteration through any means whatsoever of an academic transcript, a grade or grade change card;
  • unauthorized use of university documents including letterhead; and
  • misrepresentation of one’s academic accomplishments, awards or credentials.

Violations of this nature may also fall under the Code of Student Conduct and Judicial Proceedings.

Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct is any action that deliberately undermines the free exchange of ideas in the learning environment, threatens the impartial evaluation of the students by the instructor or adviser, or violates standards for ethical or professional behavior established by a course or program. This includes but is not limited to:

  • attempts to bribe an instructor or adviser for academic advantage;
  • persistent hostile treatment of, or any act or threat of violence against, an instructor, adviser or other students; and/or
  • actions or behavior that violate standards for ethical or professional behavior established by a course or program in an off-campus setting and could damage the university’s relationship with community partners and affiliated institutions.

Violations of this nature may also fall under the Code of Student Conduct and Judicial Proceedings.


Complicity is any intentional attempt to facilitate any of the violations described above. This includes but is not limited to:

  • allowing another student to copy from a paper or test document;
  • providing any kind of material — including one’s research, data, or writing — to another student if one believes it might be misrepresented to a teacher or university official;
  • providing information about or answers to test questions.

Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement, which is the unprivileged use of another’s original work of authorship, is an offense distinct from plagiarism, although the two can overlap. Copyright infringement can occur when a large amount of a work is copied (with or without credit), if a film or song is duplicated (digitally or otherwise), or a translation or sequel is created. Students who must sample significant quantities of a work protected by copyright should familiarize themselves with the academic “Fair Use” defense to infringement to ensure they are engaging in privileged activity. Examples of copyright infringement could include:

  • unauthorized downloading of an entire movie from the Internet, even for purposes of academic criticism;
  • copying an entire poem into a thesis;
  • use of a photograph without permission;
  • translating a protected work and publishing it online.

Niagara University adopted a new Academic Integrity Policy, effective fall semester, 2007. The complete text of the policy, including the university’s “Academic Integrity Disciplinary Procedures” is available at It is expected that students with familiarize themselves with and abide by this policy.

Academic Freedom

Students should review the Niagara University “Policy on Ownership of Student-Created Intellectual Property,” found at so they can learn about this aspect of Academic Freedom.