Ethics & Integrity

The following information and more can be found on the University’s Academic Standards webpage.

Definition, Policy and Procedures

Roger Williams University exists to foster the mature pursuit of learning, which is premised upon the exercise of mutual trust and honest practice when representing data, findings and the sources of ideas used in an academic exercise. The University expects students to observe these principles of academic integrity that ensure the excellence of their education and the value of their diploma.

N.B.: The sharing or selling of copyrighted course materials without the instructor’s written permission is a violation of both academic integrity and copyright law. Such violations carry consequences and are punishable, even beyond the term of the course.

Examples of breaches of academic integrity include but are not limited to:

Cheating: Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information or citation in any academic exercise. Examples include, but are not limited to

  • Copying from another student on exams or assignments;
  • Altering graded exams or assignments and resubmitting them for a new grade;
  • Submitting the same paper for two classes without both instructors’ written permission.

Fabrication: Unauthorized falsifications or invention of any information or citation in any academic exercise. Examples include, but are not limited to

  • Using made-up citations in papers or other assignments;
  • Representing collaborative work as the result of individual effort;
  • Collaborating on graded assignments beyond the extent authorized by the instructor.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is best defined as the incorporation of words and ideas of another person in an attempt to claim that person’s work as one’s own. Thus, plagiarism fails to engage in civil, scholarly discourse. It is sometimes a form of intellectual theft and is always a form of intellectual fraud.

In its worst form, plagiarism may consist of directly copying large or small portions of either printed or online works, or, as frequently happens in schools, written papers of another student, without properly crediting the source(s) from which they came. There are, however, more subtle forms of plagiarism as well. Paraphrasing, which is the process of using alternative expressions to communicate the meaning of another author’s words, is also a form of plagiarism, unless the sources of those ideas are acknowledged. Roger Williams University provides resources and advice to students to help avoid plagiarism. See How to Avoid Plagiarism ( and the Cite Right Manual ( Students are encouraged to consult their instructor if they have questions regarding proper documentation of sources and avoiding plagiarism. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to

  • Quoting or paraphrasing someone else’s work without correct citation;
  • Copying work of another and representing it as your own;
  • Purchasing a paper, essay or other work;
  • Having someone else do your work for you.

Fraud: Altering, forging, or encouraging another person to alter or forge, official records of the institution, or assisting others in such activities. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to

  • Taking an exam for someone else;
  • Changing the grade on an assignment and representing it as the original.

Willful Damage: Damaging another’s creative work or property.

Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: Assisting or aiding someone else in committing a
breach of academic integrity. Examples include, but are not limited to

  • Allowing another student to copy a paper, problem set, exam or other assignment that is meant to be completed individually;
  • Taking an exam or completing an assignment for another student;
  • Obtaining a copy of an exam ahead of time for oneself or another student.

Consequences of a Breach of Academic Integrity

Civil discourse and the entire academic project depend on mutual trust among the community of scholars that is Roger Williams University. Even a minor breach of academic integrity diminishes that trust. Accordingly, the consequences of a breach of academic integrity, depending on severity, include:

  • Failure on the assignment on which the breach occurred;
  • Failure of the class in which the breach occurred;
  • Academic probation for one semester;
  • Suspension for one semester;
  • Separation (dismissal) from the Roger Williams University community.