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Scholarly Communication: Ethics


Ethics and academic integrity are essential at The College of Wooster. This brief introduction to those issues will help you understand those terms and how to uphold the standards of the College

From the Scot's Key: Appendix II. Plagiarism

To use or imitate the language, ideas, or thoughts of another person and represent them as one’s own is to commit an act of plagiarism.  

This is true whether:
• the material used is only a brief excerpt or an entire paper or articles;
• the original source is the work of another student or in a publication, including
publications available electronically, either on the Internet or from such
electronic media as CD-Rom;
• the product is a written paper, oral presentation, or an electronic publication
such as a Web page.

It is not the use of others’ ideas that is unethical; writers expect and hope their work will be read and used. However, to use others’ ideas without acknowledgment is literary kidnapping. (In fact, the word “plagiarism” derives from the Latin word for kidnapper.) Merely to paraphrase (as opposed to quoting verbatim and at length) does not relieve one of the obligation to make clear the source of the ideas or to indicate specifically direct quotations. To have mastered material about which you write implies having read and digested it, so that it comes easily in your own words and you could talk with others about it intelligently. Your obligations — out of respect both to the writers you have read and to good craftsmanship — are to make the ideas you have absorbed a part of you and to acknowledge the sources you have used...


From the Scot's Key: SECTION I. Principles

Under the Code of Academic Integrity, a student will not:
B. knowingly represent the work of others, including materials from electronic
sources, as his/her own; (This includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism,
a brief definition of which appears in Appendix II to this Code.)

Local Resources

Plagiarism can be a difficult concept to understand.

In addition to your professors, the writing center, and librarians, you may find these resources helpful: