Academic Dishonesty

Academic Dishonesty: Historical Background

Academic Dishonesty: Responses to Academic Dishonesty

Academic Dishonesty: Technology and Academic Dishonesty

Academic Dishonesty: Individual and Institutional Responsibilities

Broadly stated, academic dishonesty involves the use by individuals in academia of unethical means such as fraud or plagiarism to achieve success in educational and job performance. Academic dishonesty by students, the primary focus of this entry, includes their copying or stealing examinations, cheating on examinations, plagiarizing reports and term papers, buying term papers, using a variety of strategies for crib notes, and, more recently, using cell phones or Internet connections in order to pass exams. Student infringement on Copyright and intellectual property rights is especially prevalent when individuals plagiarize term papers.

Examples of faculty dishonesty include falsifying data to gain research grants, plagiarizing materials in their published works, failing to reveal criminal records in employment interviews, exaggerating academic or work credentials, taking credit for articles that are ghostwritten by others, and fabricating or manipulating data to reach conclusions that are threatening to ethical research. Further, excessive absences by faculty members from assigned duties may be considered as dishonest.

Administrators in higher education may engage in academic dishonesty when they use their positions to award contracts in return for financial or other rewards, falsify academic records, and, in rare cases, allow students of prominent business or government officials or athletic prowess to acquire degrees without attending classes or completing degree requirements.

James J. Van Patten

See also Cheating and Academic Discipline; Disciplinary Sanctions and Due Process Rights; Educational Malpractice

Further Readings

  • Hechinger, J. (2008, July 22). Business schools try palm scans to finger cheats. The Wall Street Journal, p. D1.
  • McCabe, D. L. (2005). It takes a village: Academic dishonesty and educational opportunity. Liberal Education, 91(3), 26–31.
  • Ryesky, K. H. (2007). Part time soldiers deploying adjunct faculty: A war against student plagiarism. Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal, 1, 119–152.
  • Schell, B., & Martin, C. (2004). Cybercrime. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
  • Sinclair, J. A. (1962). Aristotle: The politics. Baltimore: Penguin Books. 

Legal Citations

  • Board of Curators of the University of Missouri v. Horowitz, 435 U.S. 78 (1987).
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Pub. L. No. 93-380 (1974).
  • McMillan v. Hunt, 968 F.2d 1215 (6th Cir. 1992).
  • United States v. Diekman, docket numbers 2:00-CR-01073, 2:01-CR-00654, 5:01-CR-20115, 2:01-CR-00878 (C.D. Cal. 2001).