Dept. of Computer Science & EngineeringAdministrative Information
Department of Computer Science & Engineering
Academic Honesty Guidelines
Last revised: 2009 December 10
This document addresses the definition of plagarism and presenting fake
output from a program, both of which are ways, but not the only ways, of
cheating or being dishonest.
The following items are useful to read.
- York University
Senate Policy on Academic Honesty -- A more
comprehensive, but non exclusionary, listing of forms of dishonesty and the
range of penalites that may be impossed when dishonesty is proven.
- Academic Integrity at York University.
This website contains sections tailored to Faculty, TAs, and Students, and also contains General Materials. A very useful resource with a variety of concrete strategies on how to encourage AI at York.
- Academic Integrity Tutorial.
The tutorial is a tool that can be used by anyone who wants to learn more about academic integrity. The tutorial is applicable for all subject and research areas and any level of study. The website also includes an academic integrity checklist, case studies, and allows learners to test themselves.
York University Academic Integrity Guidelines.
A pamphlet describing acceptable and
unacceptable behaviour with respect to academic integrity.
- Overview of Academic Integrity on the VPA&P website
- The Departmental statement on plagiarism and cheating in the departmental
This page table of contents
The following is an interpretation of the Senate document to help people understand the intent
of the academic honesty guidelines.
- The Department takes the matter of academic honesty very seriously.
- Academic honesty is essentially giving credit where credit is due. And not
misrepresenting what you have done and what work you have produced. When a
piece of work is submitted by a student it is expected that all unquoted and
uncited ideas and text are original to the student. Uncited and unquoted
text, diagrams, etc., which are not original to the student, and which the
student presents as their own work is considered academically dishonest.
- Statement 2 does not imply that students must work, study and learn in
isolation. The Department encourages students to work, study and learn
together, and to use the work of others as found in books, journal articles,
electronic news, private conversations, etc.. In fact, most pieces of work
are enhanced when relevant outside material is introduced. Thus instructors
expect to see quotes, references and citations to the work of others. This
shows the student is seeking out knowledge, integrating it with their own
work, and perhaps more significantly, reducing some of the drudgery in
producing a piece of work.
- Information can be divided into four types
- the person's own ideas
- common knowledge
- paraphrase/summary from another's work
- direct quotation, includes photocopy of diagrams, tables, etc.
Type 1 information is the person's own interpretation, program or ideas.
Type 2 information is tricky. In computer science this could consist of
ideas and information learned in other courses, since a purpose of a course is
the dissemination of common knowledge, and in general life experiences. If in
doubt treat as type 3 information.
Type 3 requires a citation to the original work(s) and a brief statement
crediting the author(s). Quotations are not used. See point 7.
Type 4 requires quotation and citation. For diagrams, tables and other
directly copied (photocopied) material quotes are inappropriate but citation
- If students collaborate on small parts of a work then each student must
give notice that this took place by citing their collaborators.
amounts of work are essentially identical, then it is best to submit a single
work using joint authorship. It is disrespectful to instructors to submit two
essential identical pieces of work, even if notice is given.
- As long as appropriate citation and notice is given students cannot be
accused of academic dishonesty. Instructors will evaluate each piece of
work in the context of their course and instructions given. If single
authorship reports are expected, then joint authorship will receive lower
marks; for example, split the grade among the authors, receive an F or some
other rule could be used, this is instructor and course dependent.
- In citations state where the original work comes from, who the author
is, what use was made of the work; copied, paraphrased, general idea used as
basis, alternate technique for comparison, etc.
- If you cannot get your code to run, it is a good practice to let us
know what tests you would have run and what the results of these test
would have been had you been able to produce working code. You,
however, must clearly document that this is what you are doing. If you
hand in a program and what looks like output to the program, hoping
that the marker will think that your program runs, then you are
cheating and will be punished accordingly. Note, if you are not
knowledgeable enough to get your program to run, what makes you
confident that the mistake is not easily detectable by the instructor or TA.
The Department of Computer Sicence resides in the Faculty of Science & Engineering. All
cases of academic dishonesty pertaining to CSE courses are dealt with by the Faculty of Science & Engineering Committee on Examinations and Academic Standards.
The range of penalties is defined by Senate (see York University
Senate Policy on Academic Honesty ).
Penalities are meant to be calibrated according to the offence (also Senate policy). For a first offence low- to mid-range penalties are typical depending on the severity of the offence.
For a second offence penalties are much more severe and may include suspension from the University and transcript notation.
In all cases, if the offence is confirmed, a course may *not* be dropped. The student may in fact be reinstated in the course while a matter is being investigated.
Furthermore, if the offence is confirmed a confidential file is kept in the Dean's Office, which is only consulted when deciding penalty if a second offence is confirmed.
Procedure for Investigating Academic Honesty
- The Instructor keeps the original piece of work. The work should be evaluated as normal, the grade recorded, and a photocopy should be given back to the student.
- Determine the appropriate associate dean of the FPAS and send their secretary the work plus
a cover letter detailing why you believe academic dishonesty has occurred.
For example, indicating pages and paragraphs where uncited copying occurs; indicating where
two or more students have identical work when expectations are they worked independently;
indicating where test answers have been altered, etc.
- The instructor should, as a matter of curtesy, notify (email) the student(s) that they
are proceeding with a charge of academic dishonesty. You can point them to this document.
DO NOT discuss the case with the student(s). Politely tell them the following.
- You suspect a breach of academic honesty has taken place.
- You have outlined your views and notified the associate dean. You are presenting a case.
You are not determining
- The matter is now in the hands
of associate dean who will arrange an exploratory meeting.
- The associate dean will decide on the merits
of the case as outlined below.
- The associate dean's office arranges a time for an exploratory meeting with them, the student(s) and the instructor.
- At the exploratory meeting
- At both the Exploratory Meeting and any subsequent meetings or a hearing before CEAS (see below) the student may have a representative with them.
- A determination of innocence may occur and the matter is dropped.
- An admission of guilt may occur and the student may agree to a proposed penalty, in which case the matter is sent for ratification to the Committee of Examinations and Academic Standards (CEAS) -- note that CEAS may reject the penalty if they deem it to be too low or too high for the offense. If this happens a hearing on penalty is required.
- If the student accepts responsibility but does not agree to the proposed penalty the case is sent to CEAS for a hearing on penalty only; or if the student does not accept responsibility the case is sent to CEAS for a full hearing. At a hearing the student may present their views or have a representative argue their case, witnesses may be called by either the student or the Associate Dean who is "prosecuting" the case. At a hearing the instructor may be called as a witness if required.