Biomedical Sciences Training Program

Academic Integrity Policy


This document provides guidelines for academic integrity for graduate students in the BSTP.  Some of this information is University policy and some areas have been expanded to make our standards as clear as possible.


University Policy: 

All forms of academic dishonesty including cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation, and obstruction are violations of academic integrity standards. Cheating includes copying from another's work, falsifying problem solutions or laboratory reports, or using unauthorized sources, notes or computer programs. Plagiarism includes the presentation, without proper attribution, of another's words or ideas from printed or electronic sources. It is also plagiarism to submit, without the instructor's consent, an assignment in one class previously submitted in another. Misrepresentation includes forgery of official academic documents, the presentation of altered or falsified documents or testimony to a university office or official, taking an exam for another student, or lying about personal circumstances to postpone tests or assignments. Obstruction occurs when a student engages in unreasonable conduct that interferes with another's ability to conduct scholarly activity. Destroying a student's computer file, stealing a student's notebook, and stealing a book on reserve in the library are examples of obstruction.


How to cite the work of others:

One of the challenges for scientists is learning how to discuss and acknowledge the ideas of others without copying the words of others.  Here are some guidelines:

Anything you write should be largely or entirely in your own words.  Authorship of a class essay or a scientific paper implies that you wrote the article.  Any piece of scientific writing will refer to the ideas and the work of others.  When you write about the work of others, you must acknowledge the sources you are using.  This is done by citing the work you are using as a basis for your statements. You must do this even if you are rephrasing or describing the work of others.  In a formal work (a scientific paper or an essay for a class), include a bibliography that acknowledges the works of others.  For example:  "Smith and Jones discovered the importance of disulfide bonds in the enzyme by careful comparison of the reduced and unreduced forms of the protein (Smith and Jones, 1996)."

Including direct quotations from the writing of others in your essay is discouraged in scientific writing.  This practice is different from many other scholarly fields, where direct quotes are encouraged. If you must quote directly from another work, the passage must be enclosed in quotation marks and referenced as described above.  Make your quotation as short as possible. 

Students who copy the words of others are engaging in plagiarism, which is a form of academic dishonesty.  Plagiarism can involve copying passages that are as short as one sentence. 

Ask for advice:

If have questions seek advice!  You can seek clarification on how to discuss the work of others, what you can (and can't) do on a take-home exam, or any other topic. 


Academic dishonesty will have consequences.  The mildest will be a reduction in a class grade.  The most serious will be separation from the program.  Over the past 15 years, at least one BSTP student has been separated from the program because of academic integrity.