Academic Honesty Policy

Policy and Procedures

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering expects its students to conform to, and to adopt as their own, the highest standards of integrity, honesty, and professionalism.That is, we expect our students to abide by the University Honor Code which states:

“As a Mississippi State University student I will conduct myself with honor and integrity at all times. I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor will I accept the actions of those who do.”

Conduct that does not meet minimum standards of integrity, honesty, and professionalism is defined by the University as Academic Misconduct and is described in Academic Operating Policy and Procedure (AOP) 12.07. This policy is available on the web at http://www.msstate.edu/dept/audit/mainindex.html in Volume II – Academic Affairs, Section 12 Academic OP/Student (Academic Misconduct 12.07). AOP 12.07 gives a detailed description of the Policies and Procedures for Handling Academic Misconduct, including the student’s rights. Computer Science and Engineering faculty will follow these procedures in instances of academic misconduct.

Cheating

Students in CSE classes are expected to follow the guidelines in Academic Misconduct 12.07. In addition, unless otherwise explicitly stated by the instructor:

  1. All of a student’s work must be done exclusively by himself or herself.
  2. No assistance may be given or received by a student during any graded class assignment, quiz, or exam.
  3. No memory aids of any type (written, electronic, etc.) may be used by a student during any graded class assignment, quiz, or exam.
  4. Communication of solution material in any way must be avoided. This includes oral or written communication, email, web posting, leaving solutions around for others to see, comparing solutions among students, viewing code or solution sets from other semesters, etc.
  5. If your instructor permits code belonging to others to be examined, any code used must be cited and referenced properly (see Plagiarism).

Fabrication and Falsification

Fabrication or falsification of work or results in research papers or research-type assignments is prohibited. For example, claiming that a program behaves in a certain way, produces particular results, or demonstrates a given property that has not been confirmed either through rigorous theoretical analysis or empirical evidence would constitute falsification. Giving results from an experiment that has not, in fact, been conducted would also be fabrication or falsification.

Multiple Submissions

Submitting the same program for two different assignments is not allowed. However, it is understood that many students over their academic career have developed their own “library” of programming tools, snippets of code, functions, etc. to aid in their programming. Use of such materials would be acceptable. The primary concern with multiple submissions is receiving credit for the same work twice. In this regard, a program, written report, or any other material submitted for a grade in one course is not allowed to be submitted for credit in another course.

Plagiarism

Scientists naturally use and build upon the works of others. However, it is important to cite the source of ideas and words that did not originate with you and which you use in your works. Using some else’s ideas and/or words without giving proper credit constitutes plagiarism. The basic rules for avoiding plagiarism are: (1) do your own work, and (2) give credit whenever you use someone else’s work. These rules apply whether you are saying something in a talk, publishing it in a paper, writing it on a take-home exam or homework, or coding it in a program.

Guidelines for Avoiding Plagiarism

The following guidelines are intended to aid Computer Science students in avoiding plagiarism. Specific instructions given by the course instructor may supersede these guidelines:

  1. Do your own work unless specifically told that collaboration is allowed.
  2. Document your sources in programming assignments.
    • a.In general, you may obtain help from faculty members, the course coordinator, your instructor, or lab assistants for a course without having to give credit to them for helping you.
    • b.The instructor for a course will specify the level of assistance (if any) from others that is permitted for programming assignments. The instructor will also specify whether or not you are allowed to use code from external sources (such as code from textbooks, electronic sources, etc.) for programming assignments.
    • c.If you use code written by another person (whether given to you personally, copied from a book, downloaded from an electronic source, or otherwise) you should include comments before and after the section of code that is not your own, identifying the source of the code. You must do this even if you change the code. The sources of algorithms should be cited in the same way. All changes should be clearly indicated.
  3. Properly cite your sources in written assignments.
    • a. Properly cite your sources in written assignments. Paraphrasing is expressing someone else’s ideas in your own words. This does not mean just changing or rearranging words to make the sentence look different. To avoid the temptation to simply rearrange words, it is best not to have the original source visible while writing your paper. Instead, read the paper until you understand the ideas, then express those ideas in your own words.
    • b. Cite your sources. Cite the source of any algorithm, idea, or paraphrased words obtained from anyone else using the citation style specified by the instructor. Put the citation at the end of the information obtained from the other person; if the information that you paraphrase is longer than one paragraph, put a citation at the end of each paragraph.
    • c. Quote the source. Quote the source (put quotations around the words) any time you use someone else’s exact words. Then put a citation at the end of the direct quotation.
    • d. Provide a bibliography. At the end of any paper, you should include a reference list giving the exact source of any citation within the body of the paper. The CSE department follows the IEEE reference list style; papers using this format will be accepted in any CSE class unless the instructor specifies another format. Examples of citations and references using this style for citing computer science publications including electronic sources are given at Here . The CSE department’s guidelines for preparing dissertations, theses, and project reports are available at Here .
    • e. Consult a guidebook. If you are in doubt about the proper way to cite a source you may wish to consult style manuals such as the Chicago Manual of Style or A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate L. Turabian, and grammar handbooks such as The Little Brown Handbook.
  4. Cite your sources in presentations. When describing someone else’s work in a presentation, the source must be made clear while the work is being described. You must also give appropriate credit to others for diagrams, examples, etc. that you use or adapt from their work.

Complicity

CSE students are expected to do their own work unless otherwise told by their instructors. Not only does this mean not copying from someone else’s work (see plagiarism), it also means not providing one’s own work for others to use. In particular, a student should not provide any portion of code that he or she has developed for other students to use for their own solutions or submissions to assignments. In other words, do not provide assistance in any manner not allowed by the instructor.

Conclusion

The discussion and suggestions given above are intended to assist Computer Science students in developing an understanding of and a professional attitude toward ethical and honorable behavior. If you ever are in doubt about any of these issues, please discuss them with your instructor, advisor, or other faculty member.