Terminology: definitions and examples

Academic Misconduct (ăk′ə-dĕm′ĭk mĭs-kŏn′dŭkt)
Actions and/or behaviors that do not follow the Code of Student Conduct
or are defined by the Academic Dishonesty Policy

What is Academic Misconduct

Any action that misrepresents a student or group’s work, knowledge, or achievement, provides a potential or actual unequitable advantage, or compromises the integrity of the educational process.

Code of Student Conduct

Like most universities, Oregon State has a written Code of Student Conduct (Code) that explains  what is expected of students.

As a university student, you are expected to  know and follow the Code of Student Conduct. This means you need to be familiar with the Code.

Community Expectations

While we are going to review some of the university’s expectations in this tutorial, we encourage you to become familiar with the Code of Student Conduct so that you are aware of all community expectations.

“Community Expectations” means following the rules and regulations that are laid out by the university. The university is your community and as a member of this community and as university students, you are expected to follow its rules.

You are also expected to follow all city, state, and federal laws.

Academic Dishonesty Policy

The University has a specific policy about Academic Dishonesty in the Code of Student Conduct. Academic Dishonesty is defined as:

“An act of deception in which a Student seeks to claim credit for the work or effort of another person, or uses unauthorized materials or fabricated information in any academic work or research, either through the Student’s own efforts or the efforts of another.”
(Oregon Administrative Rule 576-015-0020.2)

Academic Misconduct or Dishonesty means that you do something that is not honest or true, such as cheating on a test or copying someone else’s work.

What is Academic Misconduct

At Oregon State, we take academic misconduct seriously

We have created this tutorial to help you understand what Academic Misconduct is and how to avoid it. That's kind of complicated, so let’s take a look at some specific examples.

The Types of Academic Misconduct

There are different types of academic misconduct recognized at this university. We'll take a closer look at each of these and give you some examples. These types of academic misconduct are shown below.

Click each one to explore.


What is Assisting?

Oregon State University defines “assisting” as:

“Any action that helps another engage in academic misconduct. Examples include, but are not limited to, providing materials or assistance without approval, altering someone's work, grades or academic records, taking a test/doing an assignment for someone else, compelling acquisition, selling, bribing, paying or accepting payment for academic work or assistance that contributes to academic misconduct, etc.”

(Code of Student Conduct; Section 4.2 Academic Misconduct)

Additional Examples

  • Taking a test for a friend
  • Doing homework assignments or essays for someone
  • Using another student’s clicker or other electronic device for them
  • Allowing someone to copy your exam or homework
  • Sharing your old test with another student















Clickers are becoming more common in the classroom as a way to track your attendance or even take quizzes. You cannot take a quiz for another student or enter their attendance when they are absent.


What is cheating? 

Oregon State University defines “cheating” as:

“Unauthorized assistance, or access to or use of unauthorized materials, information, tools, or study aids. Examples include, but are not limited to, unauthorized collaboration or copying on a test or assignment, using prohibited materials and texts, unapproved use of cell phones, internet, or other electronic devices, etc.”
(Code of Student Conduct; Section 4.2 Academic Misconduct)

Additional Examples

  • Copying someone else's material during a test or on an assignment
  • Using notes or a “crib sheet” during a quiz or exam
  • Using an answer workbook or solutions’ manual without the instructor’s permission
  • Using your cell phone or other electronic device during an exam unless you have been told by the professor that this is OK.
  • Working together with others on assignments, quizzes, or tests without permission
  • Paying or bribing someone to get the test, project, report answers, or to change a grade
  • Buying a paper online










Sure, you can buy a paper online but it’s not a good idea. Often these papers are easy to spot and they are generally not very good. A paper or research project represents what you have learned. To purchase a paper and misrepresent your understanding of the material is unethical.


What is Falsification?

Oregon State University defines “falsification” as:

“Fabrication or invention of any information. Examples include, but are not limited to, falsifying research, inventing or falsely altering data, citing fictitious references, falsely recording or reporting attendance, hours, or engagement in activities such as internships, externships, field experiences, clinical activities, etc.”

(Code of Student Conduct; Section 4.2 Academic Misconduct)

Additional Examples

  • Making up data or recording untrue results for a science lab assignment
  • Listing incorrect or fake sources in a paper
  • Citing sources in your paper that you did not actually read
  • Inventing or exaggerating information










It does not matter if you are keeping track of our calories for a nutrition class or recording scientific research data, you need to be accurate and honest. If you change the data to meet your instructor’s expectations, then you are being academically dishonest.

Unauthorized Recording and Use

What is Unauthorized recording and use?

Oregon State University defines “Unauthorized recording and use” as:

“Recording and/or dissemination of instructional content without the express permission of the instructor(s), or an approved accommodation coordinated via Disability Access Services.”

(Code of Student Conduct; Section 4.2 Academic Misconduct)



What is Plagiarism?

Oregon State University defines “plagiarism” as:

“Representing the words or ideas of another person or presenting someone else's words, data, expressed ideas, or artistry as one's own. Examples include, but are not limited to, presenting someone else's opinions and theories as one's own, using another person's work or words (including unpublished material) without appropriate source documentation or citation, working jointly on a project and then submitting it as one's own, etc.”

(Code of Student Conduct; Section 4.2 Academic Misconduct)

Additional Examples

  • Not acknowledging (citing) the original source or not quoting original source material properly. This includes copying and pasting information from the internet or from a book/article and not indicating in your paper or project where you found the information
  • Working together with a friend on a project or paper but submitting it as your own
  • Using someone else’s work and claiming it as your own











Whether it’s for a report, presentation or computer code, you cannot copy someone else’s work and use it without giving them credit. Not doing so is plagiarism.

Sea level rise. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved September 3, 2015, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level_rise


What is Tampering?

Oregon State University defines “tampering” as:

“Interfering with an instructor’s evaluation of work by altering materials or documents, tampering with evaluation tools, or other means of interfering.”

(Code of Student Conduct; Section 4.2 Academic Misconduct)


  • Changing or adding answers on assignments or tests that have already been graded and then asking for a change of grade
  • Changing any information on an official, signed document, such as a change grade slip or registration form
  • Changing computer records, such as your grades, courses taken, or attendance records.

















Changing answers on a test after it has been graded or changing any official university documents is considered tampering.

Multiple Submissions of Work

Multiple Submissions of Work

Oregon State University defines “multiple submissions of work” as:

“Using or submitting work completed for another or previous class or requirement, without appropriate disclosure, citation, and instructor approval.”

(Code of Student Conduct; Section 4.2 Academic Misconduct)

Although it may sound reasonable, it is not OK to hand in a paper or project you did for one class in another class. Yes, you did the work but you did it for another instructor in another class.

Question: In this module, you have learned about 5 different types of academic dishonesty.
Task: Match the following scenarios below with the type of academic dishonesty.

Multiple submissions
of work
recording and use
Unauthorized collaboration (working together) with others during assignments, quizzes, or tests
Working jointly on a project with someone but submitting it as your own
Doing homework assignments or essays for someone
Listing incorrect or untrue sources in a paper
Adding answers on assignments or tests after being graded
Submitting to a professor, without prior permission, any work you did for another course
Recording and posting a video of class lecture without permission