University of South Florida places great emphasis in ensuring students conduct
school work and research, whether it be at the graduate or undergraduate level,
according to certain standards. These
standards are not only regarding quality, but also integrity. Students are prohibited from turning in work
that is not completely their own, unless directions are explicitly given by the
instructor. Specific guidelines are
outlined by the university to ensure infractions are clearly defined, along
with their corresponding consequences.
Essentially, academic dishonesty is
any unauthorized help that is given by or received by a student. This includes stealing intellectual property
without properly citing the sources used, creating false data to complete an
assignment or research, offering anyone a payment for completing work, and
submitting one work for more than one grade, whether it be in the same class or
a different one in any semester. Academic
dishonesty also concerns student rights.
Every student has the right to an unobstructed education, so there are
consequences for those that infringe upon those rights. As well, group work is an important topic
governed by these same regulations. Groups
are responsible for all work that they submit, and only those that actively
participated in the group should receive credit given upon completion of assignments. These same rules apply to research, with a
strong emphasis on the aforementioned rule that no data should in anyway be
manipulated or falsified for any reason.
All research should be conducted in a professional manner and abide by
all ethical rules set out for that field of study. In addition to following all school rules,
students must also meet state and federal laws in academic pursuits. There are some exceptions to these rules, and
in any case that there are questions, it is best to talk with all professors
involved prior to any submission of work to get explicit permission.
Consequences for these actions are
dependent on several criteria such as whether the student is studying at the
graduate or undergraduate level, the severity of academic dishonesty, and
number of academic dishonesty violations committed by the student. Graduate students are held to different
standards with their own set of rules, mostly determined by the professor. Even one FF given to a student can be grounds
for expulsion from the school. Undergraduate
students are not held to such standards, and can have multiple charges of
academic dishonesty before being removed from the university entirely.
Punishment dealt to students are
categorized into four categories for undergraduate students. These categories are ranked from one to four,
with the first as the least and the fourth as the most severe. Infraction severity is based on the overall intention
of the student and the portion of his or her grade that is affected by those actions.
If intention seems minimal, and there is
a small affect on the student’s grade, consequences will be dealt accordingly, whereas
if there is obvious intention to conduct dishonest work and there is a major affect
on the student’s grade, an FF or academic dismissal can be assigned.
In the event that a student is accused
of committing an offense, there is a detailed process that must be followed with
strict timelines. After being notified of
the violation, the student being accused may appeal to the university to fight any
academic dishonesty charges.