Plagiarism is the act of using ideas, words, or work from another source (including content creating tools) and presenting it as one's own without giving credit to the source creator(s). This may encompass portions of a work or an entire work. Works of original expression include but are not limited to papers, speeches, poetry, movies, videos, protected pieces of art, illustrations, and musical compositions.
Plagiarism can result from either deliberate dishonesty or ignorance of citational procedures. Deliberate plagiarism is especially serious and warrants more severe sanctions, but even plagiarism based on ignorance of procedures is a punishable offense, especially when it occurs more than once. Any student who seeks clarification on what constitutes plagiarism should consult the pamphlet "Plagiarism Explained" which is available at the SJU and CSB Writing Centers.
Plagiarism is an act of dishonesty and violates the mission and spirit of the educational enterprise at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University. It also violates the rights of other students.
I. General Procedure
A. An instructor suspecting a student of academic misconduct must meet with the student and present evidence of the specific offense
B. If the student agrees that the alleged act of academic misconduct has occurred, a penalty is determined by the student and faculty person. A written acknowledgment specifying the offense and the penalty is signed by the instructor, the student and a third party witness to guarantee that the student has been shown the agreement and read it (Report of Academic Misconduct Form). The evidence of academic misconduct and the written acknowledgments are then placed in a closed file in the office of the Dean of Curriculum and Assessment.
C. If, in spite of the evidence presented by the instructor the student maintains his or her innocence, the student may contact the Assistant Dean/Director of Academic Advising and request that an appeals process be initiated (see Appeals Process below). In such contested cases it is the responsibility of the student to provide detailed information demonstrating that the assignment in question is the product of his or her own work, or evidence refuting the allegations presented.
D. By refusing to view the evidence, or by refusing to acknowledge having viewed it, a student will not prevent imposition of the instructor's recommended penalty nor prevent the case from going into the closed file.
E. The penalty determined by the instructor (or by the Dean of Curriculum and Assessment in cases of a second or third offense) will stand unless and until the student is found innocent on appeal. If the student is found innocent on appeal the material will be removed from the closed file and destroyed.
F. A student accused of academic misconduct who maintains his/her innocence has the right to remain enrolled in the course while the appeal process is pending.
G. The closed file located in the Dean of Curriculum and Assessment's office will be destroyed two years after a student has graduated. In the cases of students who transfer to other institutions, or who for other reasons leave the College of St. Benedict or St. John's University without graduating, the closed file will be destroyed five years after the student's departure.
H. The proof of academic misconduct in an earlier offense does not imply any assumption of misconduct when a student is accused in a future case.
Penalties for academic misconduct vary according to whether the case involves a first or a repeat offense, and according to the character of the offense itself. If the evidence of academic misconduct comes to light only after course grades have been turned in, the instructor may change the course grade retroactively.
A. The penalty for a first offense of academic misconduct is commensurate with the type of misconduct, ranging from failure of the assignment to failure of the course in which the academic misconduct occurred, as decided upon by the faculty member and the student.
B. The process of written acknowledgment and closed file described in section I will be implemented.
C. If a student commits two acts of academic misconduct of similar type in different courses concurrently, it is at the Dean of Curriculum and Assessment’s discretion whether they are regarded as one or two offenses. If the two instances seem to manifest from a single misunderstanding, and the student can demonstrate his or her lack of understanding, they may be regarded as one offense. The priority throughout this process is to help the student learn about proper citation, the dignity of intellectual property, their own and others, and the requirements of the CSB/SJU educational mission.
A. The instructor should follow the general procedure indicated above. The Dean of Curriculum and Assessment will be aware that this is not the student's first instance of academic misconduct, and because of the increased gravity of the situation, will consult with the instructor and other parties deemed necessary to learn as much as possible about this instance of misconduct. The faculty member and academic dean will discuss a penalty commensurate with the gravity of the incident, which is ordinarily failure of the course in which the academic misconduct occurred.
B. If a student commits two acts of academic misconduct of similar type in different courses concurrently, it is at the Dean of Curriculum and Assessment’s discretion whether they should be regarded as one or two offenses.
C. The process of written acknowledgment and closed file described in Section I will be implemented.
D. If the incident of academic misconduct is egregious, the student may be suspended or expelled from the college after a second offense. This decision will be made by the Dean of Curriculum and Assessment.
A. The instructor should follow the general procedure indicated above. Following this, the Dean of Curriculum and Assessment will be aware that this is not the student's first instance of academic misconduct, and because of the increased gravity of the situation, will consult with the instructor and other parties deemed necessary to learn as much as possible about this instance of misconduct. The student will fail the class in which the academic misconduct occurred.
B. The student will be expelled from the college.
C. The steps of written acknowledgement and closed file described in Section I will be implemented.
A. The appeal process for academic misconduct is initiated by a student through a formal request made to the Assistant Dean/Director of Academic Advising.
B. The student is given an opportunity to provide detailed information related to the academic misconduct and disputing the evidence presented. The student may present any or all of the following:
• a prepared, written statement rebutting the evidence;
• material evidence that supports the claim that the work is the student's own and that documents the process by which the assignment in question was generated;
• the testimony of any others who may have been involved in the incident.
C. The Assistant Dean/Director of Academic Advising will review the materials and evidence presented by the student and request further clarification from instructor(s) and/or the student as needed and consult the Dean of Curriculum and Assessment.
D. The Assistant Dean/Director of Academic Advising will notify the student and the instructor as to the outcome of the appeal. The decision of the Assistant Dean/Director of Academic Advising is final.