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Academic Integrity and Research Ethics

Academic Integrity
Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity in the College. All students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts.  (Please see Senate Policy 49-20 Academic Integrity)

Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the EMS community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.

To protect the rights and maintain the trust of honest students and support appropriate behavior, EMS faculty will regularly communicate high standards of integrity and reinforce them by taking reasonable steps to anticipate and prevent acts of dishonesty in all assignments. At the beginning of each course, the instructor will provide students with a statement clarifying the application of EMS academic integrity policies to that course.

Although it is the prerogative of the individual course instructor to pursue violations of academic integrity, the College strongly encourages all faculty to inform their students of the College policy on academic dishonesty and to include a definitive statement in their course syllabi describing unacceptable behavior and the sanctions to be applied should a violation occur. In the case of the latter, a sanction might indicate that a first cheating infraction would lead to a score of zero on the examination or assignment in which the violation occurred, and a second incident would result in an F grade (failure) in the course. A more extensive list of possible sanctions relevant to specific violations may be found in the Sanctioning Guidelines for Academic Integrity Violations. Moreover, faculty statements also should include conditions or criteria that uniquely apply to the course. For example, large and crowded classrooms require the need for extra care and civility on the part of students to avoid irritation to their neighbors. It is of the utmost importance that students be reminded frequently and clearly about the importance of academic integrity to the educational and scientific enterprise and the consequences to those who chose to violate basic rules of honest behavior.  Please review Penn State's Senate Policy G-9 Academic Integrity.

Research Ethics
Both graduate and undergraduate students should carefully review Penn State's Policy AD47 General Standards of Professional Ethics, which pertains to the expectation of integrity and ethical, scholarly behavior for the entire Penn State community; and Policy RA10, which details the long and serious process for handling inquiries and/or investigations into questions of ethics related to research and other scholarly activities.