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Clemson Computer Science Department Academic Honesty Policy

Since the Computer Science Department is part of the University, the general academic policies on cheating and plagiarism apply within the Department. The following statements reflect the department's interpretation of university policy; but in any case where current university policy differs from the following statements, university policy takes precedence.

The Clemson catalog states the following policy on Academic Integrity

As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson's vision of this institution as a "high seminary of learning." Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others. Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree. Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form.

Academic Integrity Policy

  • Any breach of the principles outlined in the Academic Integrity Statement is considered an act of academic dishonesty.
  • Academic dishonesty is further defined as:
    • Giving, receiving, or using unauthorized aid on any academic work;
    • Plagiarism, which includes the copying of language, structure, or ideas of another and attributing the work to one's own efforts;
    • Attempts to copy, edit, or delete computer files that belong to another person or use of Computer Center account numbers that belong to another person without the permission of the file owner, account owner or file number owner;
  • All academic work submitted for grading contains an implicit pledge and may contain, at the request of an instructor, an explicit pledge by the student that no unauthorized aid has been received.
  • It is the responsibility of every member of the Clemson University community to enforce the Academic Integrity Policy.
These policies suffice for much of our work, including examinations and written assignments. However, they do not deal explicitly with course work involving computers; thus, the policies must be extended to cover those cases.

The decision as to whether a student cheated depends on the intent of an assignment, the ground rules specified by the instructor, and the behavior of the student. Two guidelines help an instructor decide if cheating has occurred:

  • Program plagiarism will be suspected if an assignment that calls for independent development and implementation of a program result in two or more solutions so similar that substantial sections can be converted to another by mechanical transformation.

  • Cheating will be suspected if a student who was to complete an assignment independently cannot explain both the intricacies of his or her solution and the techniques used to generate the solution.
  • It is unreasonable to expect a complete definition of cheating; each case is important enough to be given careful, individual scrutiny. It is, however, helpful to have guidelines and precedents.


    The following are some examples of cases that are clearly cheating
    • Obtaining and using all or part of someone else's work and turning it in as your own (with or without the other person's knowledge). Turning in a completely duplicated assignment is a flagrant offense.
    • Allowing someone else to obtain and use your work.
    • Several people writing one program and turning in multiple copies, represented (implicitly or explicitly) as individual work.
    • Using any or part of someone else's work without proper acknowledgment. This includes accepting aid in correcting logic errors.
    • Stealing an examination or a solution from the instructor. This is an extremely flagrant offense.
    • Submitting material(s) obtained from the Internet and/or World Wide Web as one's own work without proper acknowledgment of the source is a flagrant offense.

    Unless specified otherwise by the course instructor, the following examples are cases generally considered not cheating:

    • Turning in work done alone or with the help of the instructor or designated aides (e.g., laboratory instructor).
    • Submission of one assignment for a group of students if the group work is explicitly permitted (or required).
    • Submitting material(s) obtained from the Internet and/or World Wide Web and attributing the source and author. Examples:
      • An article in an outline publication:
        	Settles, Craig. "A Dose of Reality.: Internet World, July 1996.
        	Online. Internet. 22 July 1996. Available

      • A code segment incorporated in a programming assignment:
        	/*the following code segment was obtained from the source code
        	listed at*/
        	/*end of duplicated code segment*/

    The following may or may not be considered as cheating, depending upon the individual instructor's preferences:

    • Getting or giving help on how to use debuggers, editors, utilities, etc. (some assignments may explicitly prohibit this).
    • Getting or giving help on how to solve minor syntax errors.
    • High-level discussion of course material for better understanding.
    • Discussion of assignments to understand what is being asked for.
    • Accepting help from friends, tutors, etc. and clearly acknowledging that help. However, there may be a grade penalty.
    • The use of re-engineering tools, e.g., generating Java from byte code.

    The instructor and the instructor's syllabus should be consulted by the student for specific details about what the instructor considers as incidents if academic dishonesty.

    The following policies apply to all cases of cheating and plagiarism: When cheating is suspected, instructors will take reasonable action to establish whether it actually occurred. If it has, the instructor will apply appropriate disciplinary action.

    • Academic honesty is the individual responsibility of each student. Students should report violations of this policy either to the faculty member of the affected course or to the department chair or dean in the course area or to the student's academic advisor.
    • Penalties for the offense of academic dishonesty are entirely at the discretion of the instructor, consistent with the procedures outlined under the Dishonesty Policy stated in the current Student Handbook.
    • For either repeated offenses or a flagrant offense by any student, the department shall refer the incident directly to the University.
    In the event that a faculty member accuses a student of cheating and imposes a penalty, the student who believes that the accusation is unjust has the right to request that the charge of cheating be reviewed by the Department Chair and/or the Student Grievance Committee.

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