CMSV 308 Academic Integrity

Policy Name: Academic Integrity

All College of Mount Saint Vincent Master of Science Physician Assistant Program students are required to familiarize themselves with the Academic Honesty protocol and context included below.

Mount Saint Vincent maintains and affirms a strong policy of academic honesty. Every member of the academic community has a duty to neither cheat nor condone cheating. Principles of honesty should be reflected in all aspects of student work, including examinations, research papers, laboratory work, oral reports, logs, and all work submitted in fulfillment of course requirements. These principles also apply to the borrowing and careful use of library and all other learning material, and to the expectation that a student’s work is his/her own work and not the prior work of others.

Plagiarism is the act of passing off as one’s own, the words or ideas of another, and is a serious form of academic dishonesty. The following description of plagiarism from the College’s Graduate Academic Policies should serve as a guide for graduate student work:

“Plagiarism may take the form of repeating another’s sentences as your own, paraphrasing someone else’s argument as you own, or even presenting someone else’s line of thinking in the development of a thesis as though it were your own. In short, to plagiarize is to give the impression that you have written or thought something that you have in fact borrowed from another. Although a writer may use other persons’ words and thoughts, they must be acknowledged as such.”

Examinations, papers, laboratory work, oral reports, logs, and any other materials submitted in fulfillment of course requirements must be the student’s work. All documented types of academic fraud committed—including the illicit giving and receiving of information on tests, the presentation of false data, plagiarism, and multiple submissions are therefore subject to penalties, found below. A documented academic integrity violation by a graduate student or a student in the program will result in academic dismissal from the College of Mount Saint Vincent.

Academic Honesty Violations 

1. Intentional Plagiarism

  • Plagiarism is the misrepresentation of someone else’s words, ideas, or data as one’s own work. Students should be advised to state the source of ideas when these are known, since this lends strength to their answers and is part of the ethics of scholarship. The following acts constitute plagiarism. No student shall:
    • Intentionally represent as one’s own work, the work, words, ideas, arrangement of ideas, research, formulae, diagrams, statistics, or evidence of another.
    • Paraphrase, quote, or paste in material without citing the source in the text.
    • Submit as one’s own a copy of, or the actual work of, another person, either in part or in entirety, without appropriate citation (e.g. term-paper mill products, internet downloads, etc.).
    • Reproduce another professional or student’s work so closely that any reasonable person would conclude plagiarism had occurred.
    • Share computer files, programs, or written papers and then submit individual copies of the results as one’s own individual work.
    • Copy another student’s test answers.
    • Copy, or allow another student to copy, a computer file that contains another student’s assignment, homework, lab reports, or computer programs and submit it, in part or in its entirety, as one’s own.
    • Submit substantially the same material in more than one course without prior authorization from each instructor involved.
    • Take sole credit for ideas that result from a collaboration with others.
  • The following do not constitute plagiarism:
    • The use of ideas which are judged to have become common knowledge. It would, however, constitute plagiarism if the student, being aware that the idea was not his or her own, expressly claimed authorship for the idea.
    • Instances in which the idea came from informal discussions with other members of the academic community, which were not initiated with the deliberate intent of providing information on the topic in question. However, if the source of an idea is remembered, the source must be acknowledged.
    • Instances when students are specifically instructed by the instructor of that course that the borrowing of another’s or others’ work is considered appropriate.

2. Unintentional Plagiarism

  • Plagiarism is not only the failure to cite but the failure to cite sources properly. If a source is cited but in an inadequate way, the student(s) may still be guilty of unintentional plagiarism. It is therefore crucial that students understand the correct way to cite. The rules are relatively simple:
    • For exact words, use quotation marks or a block indentation, with the citation.
    • For a summary or paraphrase, show exactly where the source begins and exactly where it ends.
  • In its policies and disciplinary procedures, the College of Mount Saint Vincent Master of Science Physician Assistant Program will seek to recognize and differentiate its penalties between intentional plagiarism (as defined above) failure to cite sources properly (unintentional plagiarism).
  • While both forms are violations of the College’s Academic Honesty protocols, a student’s first instance of unintentional plagiarism may not necessarily be penalized but instead utilized as a professional teaching tool.

3. Cheating

  • Cheating is an act, or an attempted act, of deception by which a student seeks to misrepresent that he/she has mastered knowledge on a test or evaluation that he/she has not mastered. No student shall:
    • Knowingly procure, provide, or accept examination materials or descriptions of such materials, except when authorized by the instructor.
    • Complete, in part or in total, any examination or assignment for another person.
    • Knowingly allow any examination or assignment to be completed, in part or in total, for himself or herself by another person (e.g. take-home exams which have been completed in full or in part by someone else).
    • Copy from nearby student’s test, paper, or lab report.
    • Use unauthorized sources of information such as: crib sheets, answers stored in a calculator, or unauthorized electronic devices.
    • Store answers in electric devices and allow other students to use the information without the consent of the instructor.
    • Employ aids excluded by the instructor in undertaking coursework.
    • Look at another student’s exam during a test or use texts or other reference materials (including dictionaries) when not authorized to do so.
    • Alter graded class assignments or examinations without the full knowledge and consent of the instructor, and then resubmit them for regrading or reconsideration.

4. Fabrication

  • Fabrication is the intentional use of invented information or the falsification of research or other findings with the intent to deceive. The following cases constitute fabrication:
    • Citing data or information not actually presented in the source indicated.
    • Listing sources in a bibliography not used in the academic exercise.
    • Submission in a paper, lab report, or other academic exercise, of falsified, invented, or fictitious data or evidence, or deliberate and knowing concealment or distortion of the true nature, origin, or function of such data or evidence.
    • Submitting as one’s own any academic exercise (e.g. written work, printing, sculpture, etc.) prepared totally or in part by another.
    • Taking a test for someone else or permitting someone else to take a test for you.
    • Providing fraudulent excuses for absences.
    • Claiming that work was “lost” by a faculty member when it was never completed.

5. Inappropriate Professional Behavior

  • Inappropriate professional behavior includes:
    • Unprofessional conduct in patient settings, simulations, professional meetings, and the classroom setting.
    • A student who demonstrates inappropriate professional behavior will be considered in violation of the ethical code set forth by the program.

Please note: This list is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of offenses. Students should consult their instructor if in doubt about the honesty of an action.

What Constitutes Proof of Plagiarism?
Some supported documentation (e.g. or a Google search) that provides citation references or a copy of the original document that functioned as the source of the plagiarism.

Penalties for Academic Honesty Violations

First Offense

  • Student will appear in front of the Professional Conduct Review Committee (PCRC) where a determination will be rendered and forwarded to the Academic Performance Committee (APC) for a final disciplinary recommendation including, but not limited to:
    • Student will be placed on ‘Professional Warning’ and/or ‘Professional Probation’ dependent on the seriousness of the violation.
    • PCRC may recommend student dismissal to the APC based upon the nature of the violation.

Multiple Offenses (This is defined as any prior offense that has been reported and is part of the student’s record/or multiple offenses are reported simultaneously).

  • If a student was previously issued a professional warning, the student will automatically be placed on ‘Professional Probation’ or be dismissed from the program.

Third Offense

  • Dismissal from the College of Mount Saint Vincent.

Please note: A student will not be allowed to withdraw from the program in which there is a charge of violating the college’s Academic Honesty protocols.