Ethics & Integrity

Definition, Policy and Procedures


Roger Williams University exists to foster the mature pursuit of learning, which is premised upon the exercise of honest practice when representing data, findings and the sources of ideas used in an academic exercise. The University expects students to observe these principles of academic integrity which ensure the excellence of their education and the value of their diploma.

The following activities are considered serious violations of academic integrity of the institution:

Cheating: Intentional using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information or citation in any academic exercise.

Fabrication: Intentional or unauthorized falsifications or invention of any information or citation in any academic exercise.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is best defined as incorporating the words or ideas of another person into a paper or presentation without properly crediting the source from which they came.

Plagiarism is a violation of ethical practices. The author who commits plagiarism attempts to claim another person’s work as his or her own. Thus, plagiarism is both a form of intellectual theft and intellectual fraud. In its worst form, plagiarism may consist of directly copying large or small portions of either printed works or, as frequently happens in schools, written papers of another student. There are, however, more subtle forms of plagiarism as well. Paraphrasing, or changing an author’s ideas or words, is also a form of plagiarism if the source of the idea being paraphrased is not acknowledged, and this form of plagiarism is equal to direct copying.

No matter what the cause, universities consider plagiarism to be a serious offense-the most serious academic crime there is. Faculty members react against plagiarism because they consider it an attack on one of the values that universities hold sacred-honesty in the pursuit of knowledge.

Because universities consider plagiarism a serious offense, they treat violations seriously. Roger Williams University is no exception. A first offense may result in failure of the course involved, plus an entry on the student’s permanent record. A second offense is punishable by expulsion from the University.

Fraud: Intentionally altering, forging, or encouraging another person to alter or forge, official records of the institution, or assisting others in such activities.
Willful Damage: Intentionally damaging another’s creative work or property.

Services for Students with Disabilities

In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), students with disabilities will not be discriminated against on the basis of their disability. Students with disabilities (learning, medical, physical, psychological) who wish to receive academic accommodations are required to submit the appropriate documentation to verify their eligibility under Section 504/ADA. If you require academic accommodations such as extended time for quizzes/tests please visit the Disability Support Services office in the Center for Academic Development (Main Library) to schedule an appointment with a DSS staff member.

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