Graduate Studies

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Academic Integrity Tool Kit

Our Academic Integrity Tool Kit contains some tips and strategies for faculty, staff and students to help maintain a culture of academic integrity and responsible conduct of research.  It also includes some sample notices to use in course syllabi, and some sample assignments that you could adopt or adapt for your courses. Finally, we have a list of links to resources.  If you have assignments or resources that you would like to share here, please submit them to GS at with the heading “Academic Integrity/RCR.” We hope you will share with the UNM community ideas that we can add to our tool kit. 

Tips and Strategies for Promoting Academic Integrity and RCR

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For Faculty and Staff

1. Show students that you take academic integrity seriously by taking time to introduce and discuss academic integrity and responsible conduct of research in your class. You can help change the culture

2. Draft a statement for your syllabus that clearly delineates your position on academic integrity and place links in your syllabus to the Dean of Student’s Academic Integrity/Honesty page, UNM Student Code of Conduct, and/or the Graduate Studies Academic Integrity Research Ethics page. (See sample syllabi blurbs)  

3. Ask students to take a tutorial, such as that on the Graduate Studies Academic Integrity page, or have them research and write a brief essay on academic integrity and what constitutes a breach of academic honesty. (See sample assignment)

4. Discuss in class best practices for careful note taking and instruct students how to cite sources, including online sources, properly; do not assume no matter what level of class you are teaching that they already have this knowledge. After this instruction, you can ask students to write down their definition of academic integrity and what constitutes a violation and then have them sign the document to verify their understanding.

5. Assign incremental (sequenced) research and writing assignments where students write their papers in stages; you can start with asking for a topic, a short prospectus, a research bibliography, and a series of drafts.

6. Assign new paper topics each semester for standard courses; ask very specific questions for paper assignments tailored specifically for the materials you introduce in class. Set clear guidelines for collaborative work.

7. Use multiple forms of assignments and assessment measures—a mix of short papers, quizzes, exams, longer papers, project papers, posters, e.g.—to distribute the weight of the assignments broadly. Avoid high stakes assessment strategies, such as midterm, final, and/or final paper.

8. Use new questions or ask old questions in new and different ways for examinations in standard courses.  Use multiple versions of multiple choice/short answer exams and distribute alternately for testing.

9. For more tips, see the Dean of Students’ Academic Integrity/Honesty page as well as the resources in the “resource” section below.

For Students

1. Make a commitment to value and observe best practices with regard to academic integrity and responsible conduct of research; this commitment involves acquiring an understanding of academic integrity and responsible conduct of research, as well as understanding what constitutes academic dishonesty, including cheating, plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, interfering with others’ research, or helping another person engage in misconduct.

2. Very simply, take responsibility for and do your own work. Your professors and instructors are interested in your ideas and analyses.

3. Understand the consequences of violating academic integrity—not just in terms of consequences to you personally, but to the reputation of your research lab and team, department, college, or university. 

4. Plan your time well and give yourself sufficient time to complete your assigned work before it is due. 

5. Develop careful note-taking practices and learn to cite sources properly, whether it be direct quotations or paraphrases and whether it be material from a print, film, Internet, or another electronic source.

6. When doing collaborative work, be sure you are clear about how much and what kind of collaboration is allowed or expected. Ask your instructor if you are not sure.

7. If you are having trouble with the material, talk to your instructor, utilize campus resources such as CAPS or the Graduate Resource Center, and/or form a study group with your peers.

8. Refuse to help anyone else engage in academic and/or research misconduct. 

9. Don’t give your assignments—papers, lab reports, exercises, etc.—to other students.

10. Communicate freely with your professor, instructor, lab supervisor. She or he should be willing to help you ensure that your work reflects the best practices and the standards for academic and research integrity.

What to Do When Things Go Wrong

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Students, faculty, and staff who discover an apparent violation of academic integrity or responsible conduct of research should report the incident to the appropriate person in charge of the course, lab, program, or department. Failure to do so is itself a violation of academic integrity.

For Faculty and Staff

Follow all departmental, college and university guidelines and procedures regarding academic dishonesty. Follow the procedures outlined on the Dean of Students’ Academic Integrity/Honesty page. In brief, you should:

a. Meet with the student and discuss the alleged violation in order to give the student a chance to explain. Be sure to have a colleague, teaching assistant, or staff member present at the meeting; do not meet with the student alone. (Note: Should the student fail or refuse to meet with you, you may decide upon an appropriate sanction without the student’s input, as long as you make a good faith effort to meet with the student and allow a reasonable time-frame for scheduling the meeting.)

b. If a violation has not occurred, drop the matter.

c. If a violation has occurred, consult with your program, department or college, to determine the appropriate sanction. According to UNM policies, you may fail the assignment or examination and/or withdraw the student from the course with a grade of “F.” 

d. Report the violation to your department and to the Dean of Students’ office using the Faculty Adjudication Form provided by that office or by sending written documentation. The Dean of Students may determine that further sanctions may be necessary if the student has a record of repeated violations.

e. If you have evidence of research misconduct, contact the appropriate official in your department, program or college, as well as the RCR Officer in the Office of the Vice President for Research. When possible, you should provide documentation of misconduct; rumor, gossip, innuendo should be treated as such. 

For Students

Follow all departmental, college and university guidelines regarding academic dishonesty and research misconduct

As a witness, you should report the incident to the faculty or staff member who teaches the course, runs the lab, or oversees the program. For research misconduct, you may report fraud, misconduct, or retaliation using the UNM Hotline 1-888-899-6092. You should not confront the person you suspect of misconduct on your own.  If for some reason the faculty or staff member does not follow through, you should approach the appropriate program or department chair or college dean.

If you have been accused of academic or research misconduct and you have had a faculty-imposed sanction imposed against you, you have the right to discuss the matter with the faculty member to resolve the issue. If the informal discussion does not resolve the issue, you may bring a formal appeal following the procedures outlined in section 2.3 of the Student Grievance Procedure. For more information on these procedures, see the Dean of Students’ Code of Conduct FAQ page and section 2.3 of the Student Grievance Procedure.

If you are a graduate student, you should follow the Graduate Student Grievance Procedure set forth in The Pathfinder.  

Academic Dishonesty processes are also outlined in the UNM Faculty Handbook, D100

Research misconduct policies are detailed in the UNM Faculty Handbook, E40


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UNM Resources

Anderson School of Management, Academic Honesty Code:

Center for Academic Program Support, UNM:

College of Education, Academic Integrity and Turn-it-in:

Faculty Handbook: /

Graduate Resource Center:

Graduate Studies, Academic Integrity:

External Resources

Arizona State University Graduate School, Academic Integrity:

International Center for Academic Integrity:

Council of Graduate Schools, Project for Scholarly Integrity:

National Institutes of Health Research Integrity:

National Science Foundation (NSF) Training Requirement for RCR:

Purdue Online Writing Lab, Avoiding Plagiarism:

University of Missouri, Student Rights and Responsibilities:

WICHE, Best Practice Strategies to Promote Academic Integrity in Online Education, Version 2.0 (2009): 

Sample Syllabus Statements and Assignments on Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

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These blurbs and assignments are written in the voice of the instructor; you may alter these statements, of course, as best suits your course and needs.

Syllabi Blurbs

Academic Integrity. Academic integrity encompasses the core values and basic principles of honesty and responsibility that govern our practices as scholars, researchers, and creative artists in the university. Unfortunately, incidents of academic dishonesty, especially plagiarism, have been increasing throughout colleges and universities in the United States. Plagiarism is the act, intentional or unintentional, of using other people’s words or ideas as your own. This trend in part results from the ready availability of papers and resources on the Internet. The university, college, department, and I expect you to write your own papers and to provide full and accurate citations for any specific ideas or language—words, phrases, sentences—that you take from outside sources, including the Internet. Refer to the UNM Pathfinder and the UNM Catalog for the university’s policy on Academic Dishonesty.  Following the guidelines of UNM policy, any act of academic dishonesty in this class will be reported to the department and to the Dean of Student’s office and may result receiving an F on the assignment, dismissal from class with a final grade of F, and even suspension or expulsion from the university, depending upon the severity of the violation.

Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism Policy. Academic dishonesty includes cheating, fabricating or falsifying information or sources, improper collaboration, submitting the same paper for different classes without permission, and plagiarism. Plagiarism occurs when writers deliberately or unintentionally use another person's language, ideas, or materials and present them as their own without properly acknowledging and citing the source. Familiarize yourself with UNM’s Student Code of Conduct and UNM’s policies on academic dishonesty.  

Plagiarism. Plagiarism is taking credit for someone else’s work whether deliberately or unintentionally. This includes but is not limited to turning in all or part of an essay written by someone other than yourself (a friend, an Internet source, etc.) and claiming it as your own, and including information or ideas from research material without citing the source. The University of New Mexico considers plagiarism a serious form of academic dishonesty. Avoid plagiarism by carefully and correctly citing your sources whenever you use someone else’s words, equations, graphics, or ideas.  If you are unsure of something and are worried you may be plagiarizing, come see me, or go to CAPS. Plagiarism in this course results in one or more of the following consequences: failure of the assignment, failure of the course, and/or disciplinary action by the University. Cite sources carefully, completely, and meticulously; when in doubt, cite. Consult the Pathfinder for UNM’s Student Code of Conduct and the Dean of Student’s Academic Integrity/Honesty for more information. 


Academic Integrity/Plagiarism Assignment 1

Please answer each of the following questions with a full paragraph for each answer. This is an “open-book” assignment, but use your own words for each answer. When you complete the assignment, send your answers to me via e-mail as a single Word or pdf file. When you come to class, append a hard copy of your answers to this sheet, and sign and date as indicated below. 

You will receive credit for accurate answers, but I may ask you to retake all or part of the quiz if one or more answer is substantially incorrect, if you do not follow the prompts, or if is your answers show that you do not adequately understand the plagiarism policy.

  1. What is academic integrity?
  2. List at least four types of violations of academic integrity.
  3. According to UNM’s policies, what are the possible consequences of violating the student code of conduct on academic integrity?
  4. Explain what plagiarism is and how it can occur even unintentionally?
  5. What should you do if you are uncertain about how the plagiarism policy applies to your work?
  6. What are some ways that you can avoid plagiarism?

I have answered these questions on the attached sheet.


                             Print Name

____________________________________________        Date: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­  __________________

                            Sign Name

Academic and Research Integrity Assignment 2

Complete the online tutorial on Academic Integrity on the Graduate Studies website (

After taking the tutorial, using two or three sentences for each one, answer the following questions in your own words. 

  1. What is academic integrity?
  2. Why is it important?
  3. What are some examples of academic dishonesty?
  4. What is the Responsible Conduct of Research?
  5. Summarize in a few sentences UNM’s policies on Academic Integrity and the Research Conduct.
  6. Where can you find information about UNM’s policies on Academic Integrity and the Responsible Conduct of Research?
  7. Why is it in your best interest to make a commitment to upholding the standards of Academic and Research Integrity?
  8. Do you make such a commitment?

More Resources