Acaemic Integirity

What is academic integrity?

Northeastern University expects students to complete all examinations, tests, papers, creative projects, and assignments of any kind according to the highest ethical standards, as set forth either explicitly or implicitly in this Code or by the direction of instructors.

The following is a broad overview, but not an all-encompassing definition, of what constitutes a violation of academic integrity.

Cheating: The University defines cheating as using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise. When completing any academic assignment, a student shall rely on his or her own mastery of the subject.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Unauthorized use of aids such as but not limited to notes, text, the Internet, cell phones, etc. to complete any academic assignment.
  • Copying from another student’s academic work.
  • Unauthorized communication during an examination.
  • Handing in the same paper for more than one course without explicit permission from the instructor(s).
  • Intentionally viewing a test before it is administered.
  • Storing notes in a portable electronic device for use during an examination.

Fabrication: The University defines fabrication as falsification, misrepresentation, or invention of any information, data, or citation in an academic exercise.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Inventing data, facts, or sources for an academic assignment.
  • Altering the results of a lab experiment or survey.
  • Citing a source in a bibliography that was not used.
  • Stating an opinion as a scientifically proven fact.

Plagiarism: The University defines plagiarism as using as one’s own the words, ideas, data, code, or other original academic material of another without providing proper citation or attribution. Plagiarism can apply to any assignment, either final or drafted copies, and it can occur either accidentally or deliberately. Claiming that one
has “forgotten” to document ideas or material taken from another source does not exempt one from plagiarizing.

The following sources require citation:

  • Word-for-word quotations from a source, including another student’s work.
  • Paraphrasing (using the ideas of others in your own words).
  • Unusual or controversial facts not widely recognized.
  • Audio, video, digital, or live exchanges of ideas, dialogue, or information.

Students unclear as to whether or not a source requires citation should speak with their professor or consult the Writing Center in 412 Holmes Hall.

Unauthorized Collaboration: The University defines unauthorized collaboration as instances when students submit individual academic works that are substantially similar to one another. While several students may have the same source material, any analysis, interpretation, or reporting of data required by an assignment must be each individual’s independent work unless the instructor has explicitly granted permission for group work.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Submitting work that closely matches that of another student, even when the work is to be original to the student handing in the assignment.
  • Sharing a take-home examination, case write-up, lab report, or any other assignment with a peer without express permission from the instructor.

Participation in Academically Dishonest Activities: The University defines participation in academically
dishonest activities as any action taken by a student with the intention of gaining an unfair advantage over other students.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Misrepresenting oneself or one’s circumstances to an instructor.
  • Stealing an examination.
  • Purchasing a pre-written paper.
  • Selling, loaning, or otherwise distributing materials intended for the purpose of cheating, plagiarism, or other academically dishonest acts.
  • Destroying, altering, stealing, or forging another student’s work, library materials, laboratory materials, academic records, course syllabi, or examination/course grades.
  • Intentionally missing an examination or assignment deadline to gain an unfair advantage.
  • Forging information or signatures on official University documents.

Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: The University defines facilitating academic dishonesty as intentionally or knowingly helping or contributing to the violation of any provision of this policy.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Doing academic work for another student.
  • Making available previously used academic work for another individual who intends to resubmit the work for credit.

Obligation to Uphold Academic Integrity: All members of the Northeastern University community have a role in upholding the Academic Integrity Policy. Any member of the community who witnesses a violation of this policy should report it to the appropriate faculty member or the Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution (OSCCR). All instructors are required to refer to Northeastern’s Academic Integrity Policy in their course syllabi.


Short Film: A Student's Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism and Understanding Citations.