Department of Computer Science

Policy on Academic Integrity

The Handbook on the Rights and Responsibilities of Students at MTSU states the University policy on academic integrity and academic misconduct in general terms. Academic misconduct is a disciplinary offense and is defined as:

  1. Plagiarism. The deliberate adoption or reproduction of ideas or words or statements of another person as one's own without proper acknowledgment.
  2. Cheating. Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise. The term academic exercise includes all forms of work submitted for credit or hours.
  3. Fabrication. Intentional or unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
  4. Facilitation. Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to violate a provision of the institutional code of academic misconduct.
The following seeks to clarify the University policy relative to work done in computer science courses. While it is not possible to enumerate all possible instances of academic misconduct in Computer Science, some examples are:
  1. Copying, without the express permission of the instructor, all or part of someone else's program design, logic, or code, and transforming it into work that you represent as your own.
    Academic misconduct will be suspected if an assignment calls for independent development of a program and results in two or more programs so similar that one can be converted to another by mechanical transformation(s) such as, but not restricted to: changing variable names, rearranging statements, and altering documentation.
    Academic misconduct will also be suspected if a student cannot explain the intricacies of their submitted program solution and the techniques used to generate that solution.
  2. Fabricating compilation results, execution results, or time stamps.
  3. Copying another student's exercise or test answers.
  4. The use of prohibited aids, cribs, notes, or "proxies" during a test.
  5. Modifying or deleting another person's computer file(s) without their permission.
  6. Allowing another student to copy your program, assignment, or test answers.

You are NOT guilty of academic misconduct if you do any of the following:

  1. Accept assistance from your instructor or authorized lab assistant.
  2. Get or give help on minor syntax or logic errors.
  3. Discuss assignments to clarify what is being asked.
  4. Collaborate with other students on an assignment or project when given permission by the instructor. In such instances, all collaborators must be listed.
  5. Study course concepts or generic programming strategies with other students in preparation for an assignment or test.
  6. Copy code from a source authorized by the professor. In such cases, the author of the code should be cited.

CONSEQUENCES OF CHEATING: After giving the student notice of the allegations and an opportunity to explain his or her actions, the instructor may assign a penalty ranging from zero credit for the assignment or examination to assigning an F for the course. The specific disciplinary procedures are contained within the Handbook on the Rights and Responsibilities of Students at MTSU .