Academic Integrity assumes that students complete and present work that represents their own efforts and that they represent the efforts of others accurately and fairly. Cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, forgery, obstruction, multiple submissions, complicity, and other misconduct in research and creative endeavors including computer misuse and misuse of intellectual property will not be tolerated. These expectations are fundamental to the credibility of working journalists and are explicit and firm requirements for all work produced by our graduate and undergraduate majors. Definitions of these acts can be found under University of South Florida Regulation Number USF3.027.

Depending upon the seriousness of infraction and level of intent, graduate students who violate academic integrity requirements can expect the following: an “F” or “Zero” grade on the subject paper or assignment; an “F” in the relevant course; an “FF” in the course, which leads to expulsion from the University; academic dismissal from the program; revocation of the degree if academic dishonesty is discovered after the degree is conferred. Students are required to know what counts as a violation of academic integrity. Ignorance is not an acceptable excuse.


Definition: Cheating is using or attempting to use materials, information, notes, study aids, or other assistance in any type of examination or evaluation which have not been authorized by the instructor.


  1. Students completing any type of examination or evaluation are prohibited from looking at or transmitting materials to another student (including electronic reproductions and transmissions) and from using external aids of any sort (e.g. books, notes, calculators, photographic images or conversation with others) unless the instructor has indicated specifically in advance that this will be allowed.
  2. Students may not take examinations or evaluations in the place of other persons. Students may not allow other persons to take examinations or evaluations in their places.
  3. Students may not acquire unauthorized information about an examination or evaluation and may not use any such information improperly acquired by others.
  4. Instructors, programs and departments may establish, with the approval of the colleges, additional rules for exam environments and behavior. Such rules must be announced in advance in a course syllabus or other advance written notice to students.


Definition: Plagiarism is intentionally or carelessly presenting the work of another as one’s own. It includes submitting an assignment purporting to be the student’s original work which has wholly or in part been created by another person. It also includes the presentation of the work, ideas, representations, or words of another person without customary and proper acknowledgement of sources. Students must consult with their instructors for clarification in any situation in which the need for documentation is an issue, and will have plagiarized in any situation in which their work is not properly documented.


  1. Every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or appropriate indentation and must be properly acknowledged by parenthetical citation in the text or in a footnote or endnote.
  2. When material from another source is paraphrased or summarized in whole or in part in one’s own words, that source must be acknowledged in a footnote or endnote, or by parenthetical citation in the text.
  3. Information gained in reading or research that is not common professional knowledge must be acknowledged in a parenthetical citation in the text or in a footnote or endnote.
  4. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, the use of papers, reports, projects, and other such materials prepared by someone else.

Fabrication, Forgery and Obstruction


  • Fabrication is the use of invented, counterfeited, altered or forged information in assignments of any type including those activities done in conjunction with academic courses that require students to be involved in out-of-classroom experiences.
  • Forgery is the imitating or counterfeiting of images, documents, signatures, and the like.
  • Obstruction is any behavior that limits the academic opportunities of other students by improperly impeding their work or their access to educational resources.


  1. Fabricated or forged information may not be used in any laboratory experiment, report of research, or academic exercise. Invention for artistic purposes is legitimate under circumstances explicitly authorized by an instructor.
  2. Students may not furnish to instructors fabricated or forged explanations of absences or of other aspects of their performance and behavior.
  3. Students may not furnish, or attempt to furnish, fabricated, forged or misleading information to University officials on University records, or on records of agencies in which students are fulfilling academic assignments.
  4. Students may not steal, change, or destroy another student’s work. Students may not impede the work of others by the theft, defacement, mutilation or obstruction of resources so as to deprive others of their use.
  5. Obstruction does not include the content of statements or arguments that are germane to a class or other educational activity.

Multiple Submission

Definition: Multiple submissions are the submissions of the same or substantially the same work for credit in two or more courses. Multiple submissions shall include the use of any prior academic effort previously submitted for academic credit at this or a different institution. Multiple submissions shall not include those situations where the prior written approval by the instructor in the current course is given to the student to use a prior academic work or endeavor.


  1. Students may not normally submit any academic assignment, work, or endeavor in more than one course for academic credit of any sort. This will apply to submissions of the same or substantially the same work in the same semester or in different semesters.
  2. Students may not normally submit the same or substantially the same work in two different classes for academic credit even if the work is being graded on different bases in the separate courses (e.g. graded for research effort and content versus grammar and spelling).
  3. Students may resubmit a prior academic endeavor if there is substantial new work, research, or other appropriate additional effort. The student shall disclose the use of the prior work to the instructor and receive the instructor’s permission to use it PRIOR to the submission of the current endeavor.
  4. Students may submit the same or substantially the same work in two or more courses with the prior written permission of all faculty involved. Instructors will specify the expected academic effort applicable to their courses and the overall endeavor shall reflect the same or additional academic effort as if separate assignments were submitted in each course. Failure by the student to obtain the written permission of each instructor shall be considered a multiple submission.


Definition: Complicity is assisting or attempting to assist another person in any act of academic dishonesty.


  1. Students may not allow other students to copy from their papers during any type of examination.
  2. Students may not assist other students in acts of academic dishonesty by providing material of any kind that one may have reason to believe will be misrepresented to an instructor or other University official.
  3. Students may not provide substantive information about test questions or the material to be tested before a scheduled examination unless they have been specifically authorized to do so by the course instructor. This does not apply to examinations that have been administered and returned to students in previous semesters.

Misconduct in Research and Creative Endeavors

Definition: Misconduct in research is serious deviation from the accepted professional practices within a discipline or from the policies of the University in carrying out, reporting, or exhibiting the results of research or in publishing, exhibiting, or performing creative endeavors. It includes the fabrication or falsification of data, plagiarism, and scientific or creative misrepresentation. It does not include honest error or honest disagreement about the interpretation of data.


  1. Students may not invent or counterfeit information.
  2. Students may not report results dishonestly, whether by altering data, by improperly revising data, by selective reporting or analysis of data, or by being grossly negligent in the collecting or analysis of data.
  3. Students may not represent another person’s ideas, writing or data as their own.
  4. Students may not appropriate or release the ideas or data of others when such data have been shared in the expectation of confidentiality.
  5. Students may not publish, exhibit, or perform work in circumstances that will mislead others. They may not misrepresent the nature of the material or its originality, and they may not add or delete the names of authors without permission.
  6. Students must adhere to all federal, state, municipal, and University regulations or policies for the protection of human and other animal subjects.
  7. Students may not conceal or otherwise fail to report any misconduct involving research, professional conduct, or artistic performance of which they have knowledge.
  8. Students must abide by the University’s policies on Misconduct in Research where applicable, which can be found in the University’s Policies and Procedures Manual at the General Counsel’s website.

Computer Misuse

Definition: Misuse of computers includes unethical, or illegal use of the computers of any person, institution or agency in which students are performing part of their academic program.


  1. Students may not use the University computer system in support of any act of plagiarism.
  2. Students may not monitor or tamper with another person’s electronic communications.

Misuse of Intellectual Property

Definition: Misuse of intellectual property is the illegal use of copyright materials, trademarks, trade secrets or intellectual properties.


  1. Students may not violate state or federal laws concerning the fair use of copies.