Definitions of Academic Integrity Violations


If a student is uncertain about an issue of academic integrity, they should consult the faculty member to resolve questions in any situation prior to the submission of the academic exercise. Violations of academic integrity include but are not limited to the following.

  • Cheating

    Definition: Cheating is intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices or materials in any academic exercise.


    1. Students completing any examination are prohibited from looking at another student’s examination and from using external aids (for example, books, notes, calculators, conversation with other) unless specifically allowed in advance by the faculty member.
    2. Students may not have others conduct research or prepare work for them without advance authorization from the faculty member. This includes, but is not limited to the services of commercial term paper companies. 
  • Fabrication, falsification and forgery

    Definition: Fabrication is the intentional invention and unauthorized alteration of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Falsification is a matter of altering information while fabrication is a matter of inventing or counterfeiting information for use in any academic exercise or University record. Forgery is defined as the act to imitate or counterfeit documents, signatures, and the like.


    1. “Invented” information shall not be used in any laboratory experiment, report of results or academic exercise. It would be improper, for example, to analyze one sample in an experiment and then “invent” data based on that single experiment for several more required analyses.
    2. Students shall acknowledge the actual source from which cited information was obtained. For example, a student shall not take a quotation from a book review and then indicate that the quotation was obtained from the book itself.
    3. Falsification of University records includes altering or forging any University document and/or record, including identification material issued or used by the University.
  • Multiple submission

    Definition: Multiple submission is the submission of substantial portions of the same work (including oral reports) for credit more than once without authorization from instructors of all classes for which the student submits the work.


    Examples of multiple submission include submitting the same paper for credit in more than one course without all faculty members’ permission; making revisions in a credit paper or report (including oral presentations) and submitting it again as if it were new work.

  • Plagiarism

    Definition:  Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s language, ideas, or other material without making the source(s) evident in situations where there is a legitimate expectation of original work.  Plagiarism does not occur when efforts to promptly identify sources by making source use apparent to the audience of the submitted material are obvious.  Plagiarism may not necessarily include mistakes in citation style.

    A legitimate expectation of original work exists for numerous circumstances, including (but not limited to): scholarly writing, technical presentations and papers, conference presentations and papers, online discussion postings, grant proposals, patents, book and other manuscripts, theses and dissertations, class assignments, artistic works, computer code, algorithms, and other creative works.

    This definition applies to the entire WMU community, which includes all faculty; students; staff; visiting faculty, scholars, administrators; and any other person governed by academic research and other policies of the University.

  • Complicity

    Definition: Complicity is intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.


    Examples of complicity include knowingly allowing another to copy from one’s paper during an examination or test; distributing test questions or substantive information about the materials to be tested before the scheduled exercise; collaborating on academic work knowing that the collaboration will not be reported; taking an examination or test for another student, or signing another’s name on an academic exercise.

    Collaboration and sharing information are characteristics of academic communities. These become violations when they involve dishonesty. Faculty members should make clear to students expectations about collaboration and information sharing. Students should seek clarification when in doubt.

  • Academic computer misuse

    Definition: Academic computer misuse is the use of software to perform work which the instructor has told the student to do without the assistance of software.