Academic Honesty

UAF students are expected to honor the Student Code of Conduct, which requires students to “conduct themselves honestly and responsibly, and to respect the rights of others”.

Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated.  In the context of coursework, acts that violate the Student Code of Conduct will result in at least a zero score for the assignment involved and may also result in more severe consequences, including a failing grade for the course or expulsion from the University.  Violations will be reported to the department chair and the Dean of Students. Acts of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, the following.

  • Plagiarism (see below)
  • Cheating on exams, assignments or homework. This includes referring to written or online sources of information and obtaining assistance from another individual, except when such acts are explicitly permitted by the instructor.
  • Helping others to cheat on exams, assignments, or homework
  • Obtaining an extension on an exam or assignment through false pretenses
  • Turning in an assignment that was prepared for a different class, unless you have received permission to do so
  • Falsifying grade records
  • Giving your clicker to someone else or using someone else’s clicker

Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s ideas, text, or graphics without acknowledging the source.  Plagiarism is a serious form of academic dishonesty.  Examples include the following.

  • Failing to cite the source of an idea or finding, thus implying it is original to you
  • Copying text from a print source, including websites, books, reports, or articles, whether published or unpublished, without placing the text in quotation marks and citing the source
  • Using artificial intelligence software to generate text or solve problems without both obtaining permission from the instructor to do so and clearly identifying the source
  • Changing a few words within a copied block of text to obscure its resemblance to the original, with or without attribution
  • Presenting a graph or table created by someone else, or based on someone else’s data, without citation

A few simple rules to prevent plagiarism:

  1. Write original sentences and always cite when you’ve drawn on a source for ideas or information.
  2. If you must reproduce the original wording, place quotation marks around copied text and cite the source.  But note that direct quotation is not common practice in science writing, so it is best to write in your own words whenever possible.
  3. If you are unsure whether or how to cite a source, ask your instructor, TA, or a librarian for help.
Fair Use of Copyrighted Material

The limited use of copyrighted material for purposes of education and research is permitted under US law by the Fair Use doctrine.

US Code Title 17, Chapter 1, § 107: Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Fair Use FAQs

 Copyright violation and plagiarism are related but distinct offenses.  Reprinting a large portion of a copyrighted book without citing the source would constitute both plagiarism and a violation of copyright law.  However, one could fail to cite non-copyrighted material, thereby plagiarizing but not violating copyright, or cite responsibly while reproducing a substantial portion of a copyrighted document, thereby avoiding plagiarism but violating copyright.

As a rough rule of thumb, you may copy and distribute up to about 10% of a book for class use.  However, you cannot make the copied section publically available.  If you post the document online, it must be on a password-protected site such as Blackboard.  Make sure the author, date, title, and publication information is included on the copy you distribute.

You may make a journal article available to students as long as you do not post it publically.  Posting on Blackboard and handing out paper copies in class are acceptable.  When possible, provide students with an electronic link to the article, rather than providing a pdf.

All materials posted on the web are copyrighted.  Although the use of a single photograph for educational purposes falls under fair use guidelines, you should use a picture only if you have the photographer’s permission.  You can limit a web search to deliver only pictures for which the photographer has given permission for use or modification.  In Google, run your image search, then choose Search Tools, Usage Rights, and check the level of permission you require.  When in doubt, use the “Non-commercial reuse with modification” filter.  Always cite the photographer or the website.

Yes.  Because a single figure is only a small portion of a scientific article, copying the figure for the purpose of education or research communication falls under fair use.  Be sure to cite the figure properly.


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