Scholarly activity at the graduate and postdoctoral level takes many forms, including, but not limited to, classroom activity, laboratory or field experience, writing for publication, presentation, and forms of artistic expression. Integrity in all of these activities is of paramount importance, and The Graduate School of the University of Connecticut requires that the highest ethical standards in teaching, learning, research, and service be maintained.
Scholarly integrity encompasses “both research integrity and the ethical understanding and skill required of researchers/scholars in domestic, international, and multicultural contexts.” It also addresses “ethical aspects of scholarship that influence the next generation of researchers as teachers, mentors, supervisors, and successful stewards of grant funds” (Council of Graduate Schools, Research and Scholarly Integrity in Graduate Education: A Comprehensive Approach, 2012).
The Graduate Faculty Council, in accordance with the provisions of its By-Laws, has adopted this policy concerning scholarly integrity in graduate education and research and has approved the procedures set forth herein for addressing alleged violations. The Dean of The Graduate School shall coordinate the reporting, investigation, and determination of alleged breaches of scholarly integrity by graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in accordance with this policy. Members of the Graduate Faculty have primary responsibility to foster an environment in which the highest ethical standards prevail. All members of the University community have a responsibility to uphold the highest standards of scholarship, which encompasses activities of teaching, research, and service, and to report any violation of scholarly integrity of which they have knowledge. Instructors have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent scholarly misconduct in their courses and to inform students of course-specific requirements.
Note: Student misconduct other than scholarly misconduct, as defined herein, is governed by The Student Code, which is administered under the direction of the Office of the Provost. Enforcement of its provisions is the responsibility of the Director of Community Standards. At the Health Center, student misconduct other than scholarly misconduct is governed by the Health Center Rules of Conduct.
Definitions of Scholarly Misconduct
Scholarly misconduct is broadly defined as a failure to uphold standards of scholarly integrity in teaching, learning, research, or service.
For the purpose of this Policy, scholarly misconduct shall be deemed to include, but not be limited to, the following types of misconduct. The list is not intended to be exhaustive, but does identify major categories of scholarly misconduct, and provides illustrations where appropriate.
- Cheating involves dishonesty during a course, on an examination required for a particular degree, or at other times during graduate study, e.g., copying the work of another student.
- Plagiarism involves using another person’s language, thoughts, data, ideas, expressions, or other original material without acknowledging the source. (adapted from Council of Writing Program Administrators, Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices, 2003).
- Distorted reporting involves “any omission or misrepresentation of the information necessary and sufficient to evaluate the validity and significance of research, at the level appropriate to the context in which the research is communicated” (D. Fanelli, Nature, 494:149; 2013).
- Fabrication or Falsification of Grades involves any form of falsification of coursework or tampering with grades, e.g., a student making unauthorized changes to her/his own grades or an instructor consciously misreporting grades of students.
- Misrepresentation involves taking an examination for another student, submitting work done by another individual as one’s own, submitting the same work for evaluation in two or more courses without prior approval, unauthorized use of previously completed work or research for a thesis, dissertation, or publication, or making false, inaccurate, or misleading claims or statements when applying for admission to The Graduate School or in any scholarly or research activity, including publication.
- Academic or Research Disruption involves unauthorized possession, use, or destruction of examinations, library materials, laboratory or research supplies or equipment, research data, notebooks, or computer files, or it might involve tampering with, sabotage of, or piracy of computer hardware, computer software, or network components.
- Fabrication or Falsification in Research involves falsification of, tampering with, or fabricating results or data.
- Research Violations include violation of protocols governing the use of human or animal subjects, breaches of confidentiality, obstruction of the research progress of another individual, or disregard for applicable University, local, State, or federal regulations.
- Professional Misconduct involves violation of standards governing the professional conduct of students in particular fields (e.g., pharmacy, nursing, education, counseling, therapy).
- Deliberate Obstruction involves hindering investigation of any alleged act of scholarly misconduct.
- Aiding or Abetting involves actions that assist or encourage another individual to plan or commit any act of scholarly misconduct
A version of this policy was first (1st) approved and adopted by the Board of Trustees on November 10, 1998. It was amended on April 24, 2013. This version was approved and adopted by the Board of Trustees on March 26, 2014.