Academic and Research/Creative Activity Integrity

(Graduate Handbook 1.5)

General (Graduate Handbook 1.5.A)

Miami University is a scholarly community whose members believe that excellence in education is grounded in qualities of character as well as of intellect. We respect the dignity of other persons, the rights and property of others, and the right of others to hold and express disparate beliefs. We believe in honesty, integrity, and the importance of moral conduct. We defend the freedom of inquiry that is the heart of learning and combine that freedom with the exercise of judgment and the acceptance of personal responsibility.

Miami demands the highest standards of professional conduct from its students, faculty, and staff. As a community of scholars, our fundamental purpose is the pursuit of knowledge.  Integrity in research and creative activities and in academic study is based on sound disciplinary practices and expectations, as well as a commitment to the values of honesty and integrity.

The faculty have the right and the obligation to set standards for ethical and honest academic study and research and creative activity. The graduate faculty are responsible for communicating and discussing these standards with their graduate students. Students are also responsible for knowing and understanding these standards and misunderstanding does not justify the violation of academic integrity.  If a student is in doubt about appropriate academic conduct in a particular situation, he or she should consult with the instructor in the course, the department chair/program director, or the Dean of the Graduate School in order to maintain the highest standards of academic honesty.

As appropriate to their area of academic study and research or creative activities, graduate students should receive instruction on responsible conduct of research that includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Research involving human subjects (Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects Research)
  • Research involving vertebrate animals (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee)
  • Research involving radiation ( Radiation Safety Committee)
  • Laboratory safety
  • Security including issues related to the handling of transgenic plants and pathogenic organisms (Institutional Biosafety Committee)
  • Ethical collection, analysis, attribution, and sharing of data and results of research.
  • Compliance with applicable state and federal regulations, conflicts of interest and grant and contract requirements.

Violation of responsible conduct of research guidelines may be considered a violation of research/creative activity integrity.

Criteria (Graduate Handbook 1.5.B)

Whereas many standards of conduct are discipline specific, there are well-established standards that apply to all graduate students in all disciplines. All students are expected to engage in ethical behavior in their academic study and in all forms of scholarship.  Unethical or dishonest conduct in academic study or in research and creative activity will lead to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

Definitions of Unethical or Dishonest Conduct in Academic Study (Graduate Handbook 1.5.B.1)

Unethical or dishonest conduct in academic study (academic dishonesty) includes, but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, falsification, or obtaining an unfair advantage in any academic activity.  A finding of academic dishonesty requires that there is a significant departure from accepted academic practices of the relevant academic community.

  1. Academic Activity: the submission or presentation of student work for evaluation, faculty or peer review, grading or academic credit. This includes, but is not limited to academic assignments, thesis or dissertation work, proficiency exams, or oral exams.
  2. Aiding and Abetting Academic Dishonesty: (a) providing material, information, or other assistance to another person with knowledge that such aid would be used in unethical or dishonest academic activity; or (b) providing false information in connection with any inquiry regarding academic integrity.
  3. Cheating: (a) using unauthorized notes, study aids, or information on an examination; (b) altering a graded work after it has been returned, then submitting the work for regarding without the instructor’s permission; (c) allowing another person to do one’s work and submitting that work under one’s own name; or (d) submitting identical or substantially similar papers for credit in more than one (1) course without prior permission from the course instructors.
  4. Plagiarism: submitting material that in part or whole is not entirely one’s own work without attributing those same portions to their correct source.
  5. Fabrication or Falsification: (a) falsifying or inventing any information, data or citation; (b) presenting information or data that was not gathered in accordance with standards or guidelines defining the appropriate methods for collecting or generating information, or data and failing to include an accurate account of the method by which the information or data was gathered or collected.
  6. Obtaining an Unfair Advantage: (a) unauthorized collaborating on an academic assignment; (b) retaining, possessing, using or circulating previously given examination materials, where those materials clearly indicate that they are to be returned to the instructor at the conclusion of the examination; or (c) intentionally obstructing or interfering with another student’s academic work.

Definitions of Unethical or Dishonest Conduct in Research or Creative Activity (Graduate Handbook 1.5.B.2)

Unethical or dishonest conduct (misconduct in research /creative activity) includes, but is not limited to fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research activity or results or in any creative activity. Misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.  A finding of misconduct requires that: (a) there be a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research/creative activity community; and (b) the misconduct be committed intentionally, or knowingly, or recklessly.

  1. Creative Activity: Creative activity refers to work of a scholarly nature designed to develop or contribute to knowledge and experience. This encompasses, but is not limited to, creative activity in the fine arts and humanities. Examples include performances, exhibitions, recordings, master classes, presentations, lecture-demonstrations, the creation of original work (compositions, plays, poetry, designs, and other pieces of art), and the development of pedagogical materials.
  2. Research: Research is a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to knowledge and includes all basic and applied research in all fields. This includes, but is not limited to, research in natural science, education, economics, linguistics, psychology, social sciences, statistics, and research involving human subjects and animals.
  3. Fabrication: Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
  4. Falsification: Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
  5. Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results or words without giving appropriate credit.
  6. Obtaining an Unfair Advantage: (a) unauthorized collaborating on a research or creative activity; (b) intentionally obstructing or interfering with another student’s research or creative activity.

Procedures for Reporting and Adjudicating Cases of Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct in Research/Creative Activity (Graduate Handbook 1.5.C)

Reporting Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct in Research/ Creative Activity (Graduate Handbook 1.5.C.1)

Course instructors, thesis advisors or dissertation directors who believe a student has engaged in misconduct in research/ creative activity or academic dishonesty shall report the alleged incident to their department chair/program director. Other persons, including students, who believe they have knowledge of misconduct in research/ creative activity or academic dishonesty, shall report the alleged dishonesty to the instructor of the course, thesis advisor, or dissertation director for which the dishonesty is alleged to have occurred. If, after reasonable inquiry, the course instructor, thesis advisor, or dissertation director finds the report credible, he or she will report the alleged incident to his or her department chair/program director.

In reporting the alleged incident to the department chair/program director, the course instructor shall provide an account of the incident and include all relevant documentation.

Written Notification To Student of the Charge (Graduate Handbook 1.5.C.2)

The department chair/program director shall notify the accused student in writing of the charge of misconduct in research/ creative activity or academic dishonesty and will schedule a hearing with the accused student. The department chair/program director will notify the student, via the student’s University electronic mail address, of the hearing no fewer than seven (7) class days prior to the hearing. (Note: any reference to class days in this manual includes final exam week.)

  • The notification will include the charge and a copy of the report made by the instructor, thesis advisor, or dissertation director with all supporting documentation, the date, time and location of the hearing, and will refer the student to the procedures outlined in this section.
  • In the notification, the student also will be informed that if he or she has been found responsible for a prior violation of misconduct in research/ creative activity, academic dishonesty or for a violation of Section 102 (Dishonesty) of the Code of Student Conduct that suspension from the University for a semester is the minimum sanction that will be imposed if the student is found responsible for the alleged incident.
  • The student also will be informed prior to the hearing that he or she may request to meet with the graduate director or the department chair/program director in which the academic dishonesty is alleged to have occurred to review these procedures and the charges against him or her.
  • If the case of misconduct or dishonesty involves a student serving as a substitute for someone else in meeting a course expectation (e.g., taking an examination), both the student enrolled in the class and the student alleged to have provided prohibited academic assistance will be charged, and the charges may, at the discretion of the department chair/program director, be addressed in a single hearing during which both students are present.

Procedures for Conducting the Hearing (Graduate Handbook 1.5.C.3)

Department chairs/program directors may conduct the hearing on the academic dishonesty charge or they may identify a designee to conduct the hearing. The designee need not be from the department/program in which the charge originates. The department chair/program director must, at the request of the student, identify a designee to conduct the hearing.

  • Any individual identified as a designee to conduct the hearing must have graduate level status.
  • Accused students may have a staff or faculty member from the University present to advise them.

At the hearing the instructor, advisor, or director shall present the accused student and department chair/program director or designee with the documentation of academic dishonesty, including any supporting witnesses or information. The accused student will have the opportunity to respond, submit a written statement, invite witnesses to attend on his or her behalf, and ask questions of witnesses called by the instructor.

Procedures for Adjudicating Cases of Academic Dishonesty (Graduate Handbook 1.5.C.4)

Following the hearing, the department chair/program director or designee shall determine whether the student has committed an act of misconduct in research/ creative activity or dishonesty. The greater weight of the evidence is sufficient for the department chair/program director or designee to conclude the student committed misconduct or dishonesty.

If the department chair/program director or designee concludes that the student did not commit misconduct in research/ creative activity or academic dishonesty, the department chair/program director or designee will in writing inform the student, the faculty member bringing the charges, and the Graduate School Dean or his or her designee.

If the department chair/program director or designee concludes that the student committed misconduct in research/ creative activity or academic dishonesty, the department chair/program director or designee, after conferring with the faculty member, will determine a recommended sanction to be made to the Graduate School Dean or his or her designee of the Graduate School.

  1. The department chair/program director or designee will first determine if the student has been found responsible for any previous acts of dishonesty.
    1. The department chair/program director or designee will contact the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution or the Provost’s Office to determine if the accused student has been found responsible for any violations of Section 102 (Dishonesty) of the Code of Student Conduct. If the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution reports that the student has been held responsible for a violation of Section 102 (Dishonesty), the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution will forward to the department chair/program director or designee a brief description of the incident.
    2. The department chair/program director or designee will inquire of the Office of the Provost if the student has been held responsible for any previous acts of misconduct in research/creative activity or of academic dishonesty as a graduate student.
  2. If the department chair/program director or designee determines that the violation is the first instance for which the student has been found responsible, the department chair/program director or designee will recommend to the Graduate School Dean or his or her designee one or more sanctions.
  3. If the case involves two (2) students, one of whom substituted for another in completing a part of the course, both students are subject to sanctions as described in Section 1.5.D.
  4. The department chair/program director or designee will provide a report to the Graduate School Dean or his or her designee and will notify the student in writing of his or her decision.
    1. The notice to the Graduate School Dean or his or her designee will include the name of the student, the student’s identification number, full details of the case, and the recommended sanction.
    2. The notice to the student will be sent to the accused student via the student’s University electronic mail address. The notice will include a statement of the student’s right to appeal the decision of the department chair/program director or designee as outlined in Section 1.5.E.

Consequences of Failure to Attend the Meeting  (Graduate Handbook 1.5.C.5)

If the student fails to attend a scheduled meeting, the Chair or Chair’s designee may conclude that the student did in fact commit the academic dishonesty or research misconduct as charged. The Chair or Chair’s designee shall consult the Guidelines for Sanctions and the student’s academic records to determine whether the student has previously been found responsible for academic dishonesty or misconduct in research/creative activity. The Chair or Chair’s designee shall issue a report and recommend a sanction to the Graduate School Dean or his or her designee. If the recommended sanction is not in accordance with the Guidelines or there has been a previous finding of academic dishonesty or misconduct in research/creative activity, the Chair or Chair’s designee may elect to recommend a sanction in accordance with the Guidelines.  A student sanctioned under this provision has no right to appeal.

Guidelines for Determining Sanctions for Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct in Research/Creative Activity(Graduate Handbook 1.5.D)

Guidelines for Determining Academic Dishonesty Sanctions  (Graduate Handbook 1.5.D.1)

This document recognizes that each case of dishonesty is unique and therefore provides recommended as opposed to required sanctions. Sanctions should be appropriate to the offense, and any offense could result in dismissal from the university.

  1. Aiding and Abetting Academic Dishonesty: the recommended range of sanction is failure of the assignment to suspension for one semester.
  2. Cheating, Fabrication or Falsification, or Plagiarism:
    1. in any academic conduct other than a degree- qualifying or final examination, thesis or dissertation, the recommended sanction ranges from failure of the assignment to failure of the course.
    2. in written or oral degree-qualifying or final examinations, thesis or dissertation: the recommended sanction is dismissal. If the degree has already been granted, it may be revoked.
  3. Intentional, negligent, knowing or reckless violation of any standards applicable to an academic assignment: the recommended sanction is suspension for one semester.
  4. Suspensions may be imposed immediately or at the close of an academic period.

Guidelines for Determining Misconduct in Research/Creative Activity Sanctions (Graduate Handbook 1.5.D.2)

  1. Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing
    research/creative activity or in reporting activity or results in research/creative activity:
    the recommended sanction is dismissal. If the degree has already been granted, it may be
    revoked.
  2. Intentional, negligent, knowing or reckless violation of regulations and guidelines
    applicable to research/creative activity: the recommended sanction is suspension for one
    semester.

Guidelines for Determining Sanctions for Second Violations  (Graduate Handbook 1.5.D.3)

Suspension from the University for a semester is the minimum sanction; the recommended sanction for any second violation of this policy is dismissal.

1.5.E Appeals of the Department Chair/Program Director or Designee’s Finding and Recommendations(Graduate Handbook 1.5.E)

A student found responsible for an act of misconduct in research/creative activity or academic dishonesty by a department chair/program director or designee may appeal the decision in writing to the Graduate School Dean or his or her designee five (5) class days following the student’s receipt of the notice of the findings of the hearing from the department chair/program director or designee. (Note: any reference to class days in this manual includes final exam week.)

  1. Appeals may be made on three (3) grounds: (a) procedural defects, (b) new evidence, either or both of which were sufficiently substantial to have affected the outcome of the case, or (c) inappropriate sanction recommended.
  2. If the Graduate School Dean or his or her designee concludes there were procedural defects or new evidence was available which was sufficiently substantial to have affected the outcome of the case, the Graduate School Dean or his or her designee will order a new hearing by the department chair/program director or designee. The department chair/program director or designee shall identify a designee to hear the case anew.
  3. If the Graduate School Dean or his or her designee concludes the sanction was inappropriate, he or she will impose the appropriate sanction.  Otherwise, the Graduate School Dean will impose the sanction from the department chair/program director.

Sanctions (Graduate Handbook 1.5.F)

After acting upon any appeals and giving due consideration to the recommendation of the department chair/program director or designee, the Graduate School Dean or his or her designee will impose the final sanction. Should the Graduate School Dean or his or her designee disagree with the recommendation of the department chair/program director or designee, he or she will consult with the department chair/program director or designee and faculty member prior to changing the recommended sanction.

If the Graduate School Dean or his or her designee concludes that failure for the course is the appropriate sanction, the Office of the Registrar will record the grade of F for the course with a transcript notation of academic dishonesty. If the student officially withdraws from the course and the recommended sanction was failure for the course, a grade of F shall be imposed with a transcript notation of academic dishonesty.

If the Graduate School Dean or his or her designee concludes that suspension is the appropriate sanction, the Office of the Registrar will place the notice “Suspension for Dishonesty” on the student’s academic record. Similarly, dismissal for academic dishonesty shall be noted on the student’s academic record as “Dismissal for Dishonesty.”

  1. In imposing the sanction of suspension, the Graduate School Dean or his or her designee may suspend the student either immediately or at the close of the current academic term. A sanction of dismissal will take effect immediately.
  2. Suspensions will not be for less than the remainder of the current academic term nor more than the remainder of the current academic term plus up to two succeeding semesters (not including summer and winter terms). Suspended students may not attend summer school at Miami during a period of suspension.
  3. Academic credit earned elsewhere during a period of suspension will not be accepted in transfer. Incomplete grades may not be removed during periods of suspension or dismissal.

The Graduate School Dean or his or her designee will notify the student via the student’s University electronic mail address of his or her decision. The Graduate School Dean or his or her designee will send copies of the finding as well to the instructor filing the initial complaint, the department chair/program director or designee who conducted the hearing, the Office of the Registrar, and the Office of the Provost. No sanctions will be imposed until any appeals of the decision by the Graduate School Dean or his or her designee.

Records of Academic Dishonesty (Graduate Handbook 1.5.G)

The Office of the Provost is responsible for maintaining records of any adjudication of academic dishonesty. Records of these hearings are kept confidential to the extent permitted by law.

  1. Records of hearings regarding academic dishonesty resulting in a finding of not responsible will be maintained in the Office of the Provost until the end of the academic year in which the finding is made at which time they are destroyed.
  2. Records of disciplinary actions resulting in a finding of responsible and sanctions other than suspensions or dismissals are maintained by the Office of the Provost for seven academic years following the date the finding is made at which time they are destroyed.
  3. Records of disciplinary actions resulting in a finding of responsible and a sanction of suspensions or dismissals are maintained indefinitely by the Office of the Provost. A notation of suspension or dismissal is reflected on the student’s official University academic record (transcript) maintained by the Office of the Registrar.
  4. Academic credit earned elsewhere during a period of suspension or dismissal shall not be accepted in transfer. Incomplete grades may not be removed during periods of suspension or dismissal for dishonesty.
  5. At any time after seven years from the date of the finding in which a sanction less than dismissal was imposed, a student or former student may petition the Provost or his or her designee to have the person’s records of academic dishonesty expunged. In consultation with the Dean of Students, the decision to expunge will be based on the severity of the violation(s), the person’s disciplinary record as a whole (including incidents adjudicated by the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution), and evidence of good behavior since the violation(s). If the record is expunged, any notation of academic dishonesty or suspension for academic dishonesty will be removed from the official academic record maintained by the Office of the Registrar.
  6. A student who has been dismissed from the University may not request to have his or her record expunged. However, the Provost has the authority to expunge the record and remove the notation in extraordinary circumstances any time after seven academic years from the date the finding was made.

Graduation (Graduate Handbook 1.5.H)

All Miami University academic integrity charges against a student must be resolved and sanctions completed before a student is eligible to graduate.

Previous (Other Academic Regulations)

Next (Student Conduct)


Revised 2016

Bookmark the permalink.