What is the difference between academic negligence and academic dishonesty?

Academic Negligence consists of a minor unintentional lapse of ethical academic behavior. It may result from misunderstanding expectations, inadequate pre-college preparation, or inattention to differences in cultural or disciplinary citation practices. Regardless of the lack of intent, academic negligence is a serious matter that identifies a need for further education on academic honesty or the use of sources in academic writing in English. A student should not receive more than one report of academic negligence while at Colby; receiving multiple reports of academic negligence may result in a report of academic dishonesty by the Academic Integrity Coordinator.

Examples of behaviors that may in an isolated instance constitute academic negligence include, but are not limited to:

  • Failure to acknowledge another’s words or research due to misunderstanding or carelessness concerning rules of attribution or citation. In particular:
    • poor paraphrasing of another’s work (with or without a citation)
    • inadequate citation not rising to the level of complete misrepresentation
  • appropriating a classmate’s ideas without credit on an assignment that allows collaboration. The assignment itself should constitute a small portion of the course grade.

When reporting a student for academic negligence, you will need to specify whether they should just have a conversation with you or whether “further education is required.” If the latter, the student will be required to complete this tutorial and show you their certificate verifying completion.

Academic Dishonesty is a significant ethical violation rather than an oversight. It may result an intent to deceive; a willful failure to read, recall or consult course rules; the deliberate failure to learn or apply standard ethical norms for academic work; or intentional carelessness. Although, “standard ethical norms” vary by discipline and culture, the key notion is the “willful failure” or “intent to deceive”. In general, it is fair to expect seniors to have a greater understanding of what constitutes academic honesty than first-semester students.

A report of academic dishonesty may also be filed when a student who is — or should be– aware of ethical academic behavior fails to seek guidance and then engages in that behavior.

Specific examples of behaviors that typically constitute academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to:

  • substantial word-for-word copying of another’s words without quotation marks and appropriate citation, when the student should have known better
  • paraphrasing another’s ideas without citation, when the student should have known better
  • claiming another’s work or a modification of another’s work as one’s own
  • enlisting or attempting to enlist someone else to do an assignment for you
  • deliberately fabricating information or citations
  • violating stated rules for completing an exam, homework assignment, or lab report
  • making misrepresentations to faculty within the context of a course
  • submitting the same work, including an essay that the student wrote, in more than one course without the permission of instructors
  • repeatedly engaging in academic negligence
  • knowingly assisting others in acts of academic dishonesty

A finding of academic dishonesty is a disciplinary finding of the College.