Academic Integrity and Responsible Conduct of Research


Students should be aware that academic dishonesty (for example, plagiarism, cheating on an examination, or dishonesty in dealing with a faculty member or other University official) or the threat of violence or harassment are particularly serious offenses and will be dealt with severely under Dean’s Discipline.

Graduate students are expected to exhibit the high level of personal and academic integrity and honesty required of all members of an academic community as they engage in scholarly discourse and research.

Scholars draw inspiration from the work done by other scholars; they argue their claims with reference to others’ work; they extract evidence from the world or from earlier scholarly works. When a student engages in these activities, it is vital to credit properly the source of his or her claims or evidence. Failing to do so violates one’s scholarly responsibility.

In practical terms, students must not cheat on examinations, and deliberate plagiarism is of course prohibited. Plagiarism includes buying, stealing, borrowing, or otherwise obtaining all or part of a paper (including obtaining or posting a paper online); hiring someone to write a paper; copying from or paraphrasing another source without proper citation or falsification of citations; and building on the ideas of another without citation. Students also should not submit the same paper to more than one class. This information is adapted from the material published by Purdue University's Online Writing Lab.

Graduate students are responsible for proper citation and paraphrasing, and must also take special care to avoid even accidental plagiarism. The best strategy is to use great caution in the handling of ideas and prose passages: take notes carefully and clearly mark words and ideas not one’s own. When in doubt, consult your professor. Failure to observe these rules of conduct will result in serious academic consequences, which can include dismissal from the university.

Students engaging in research must be aware of and follow University policies regarding intellectual and financial conflicts of interest, integrity and security in data collection and management, intellectual property rights and data ownership, and necessary institutional approval for research with human subjects and animals.

Resources for Plagiarism Education

Resources for Responsible Research Conduct

Columbia’s Office of Research Compliance and Training offers a variety of useful training materials and information.

Students who are or will be supported by funding from the NIH or NSF are required to complete training in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).