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Academic Integrity

Forms of Academic Dishonesty

There are several other kinds of action that are also considered offences against the standards of academic honesty. Among these are:

  • Cheating
  • Impersonation
  • Aiding and abetting
  • Collusion
  • Falsification and fabrication.

The next five sections will define each of the offences in greater detail.


Cheating happens with a student attempts to get academic credit in a dishonest, disrespectful, unfair, or unethical way. Some forms of cheating include:

  • Getting a copy of an exam or finding out an exam question before it is officially available;
  • Copying another person's answer to a question;
  • Consulting an unauthorized source during an exam;
  • Submitting work done for one class or project in a second class;
  • Submitting work prepared in collaboration with other members of a class without permission from the instructor;
  • Submitting work prepared in whole or in part by someone else and representing that work as your own.


It is a breach of academic honesty to have someone impersonate one's self in class, in a test or examination, or in connection with any other type of assignment in a course. Both the impersonator and the individual impersonated may be subject to disciplinary action.

Aiding & Abetting

It is academic misconduct to encourage, enable or cause others to commit a breach of academic honesty. Anyone who helps or enables another in cheating, impersonation, plagiarism, or any other breach of academic honesty will be subject to the penalties outlined in VCSU's policy. The giver need not be aware of the fact that the receiver will misuse the academic work. Simply providing it enables the receiver to misuse it and thus maybe considered aiding and abetting.

Examples of aiding and abetting include sharing a lab report/formula/assignment/old exam/computer program with another student in person or electronically by email or on a social networking site such as Facebook. Both the owner of the lab report/formula/assignment/old exam/computer program and the person who copied it may be subject to disciplinary action. 


There is a significant difference between collaboration and collusion. Collaboration is working jointly with others and is often encouraged by course instructors. Collusion is working jointly with others when it is not permissible or when the instructor does not authorize working in a group.

Permissible Collaboration includes:

  • Group work that clearly follows the instructions outlined by the instructor
  • Sharing research findings or discussing course materials with other students when these contributions are fully acknowledged in one's individual work

In contrast, collusion includes:

  • Working with another student on an assignment when working in groups has not been approved by the instructor.
  • Dividing sections of an assignment or project among a group and then presenting it as work having been completed individually.
  • Splitting the tasks for group assignments unevenly where some students do most of the work while others do very little.

Fabrication & Falsification

It is a breach of academic honesty to fabricate (make-up) research or results. This includes: statistics, experimental results or data, research methodology, facts, quotations, references or bibliographic material and research and the ideas of others.

It is also a violation of VCSU's V530.01 Academic Integrity Policy to do any of the following: 

  • "Massaging" or dishonest reporting of research, lab results or data, or dry-labbing
  • Misrepresenting the research and ideas of others
  • Falsely reporting having met the responsibilities for a course, practicum or internship
  • Falsifying one's attendance in a course or fieldwork 
  • Falsifying letters of support or letters of reference 
  • Falsifying academic records and transcripts 
  • Misrepresenting the amount of work one has contributed to group assignments and activities
  • Falsifying doctors′ notes or other documentation related to petitions or missed work
  • Modifying graded, returned material then submitting it for re-grading in another course