About Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Failing to uphold Academic Integrity is a serious issue at the University whether the students are sitting in a lecture hall, a small classroom or at their kitchen table working online. The following resources will help explain the Academic Integrity policies, procedure and practices at Penn State.

Penn State Faculty Senate Policy on Academic Integrity

Recognizing the importance of academic integrity to the Penn State community, the University Faculty Senate adopted a new Academic Integrity policy, Spring 2000. The shared conviction, represented in the procedures that follow, is that academic integrity is best taught and reinforced by faculty as an element of the teaching and learning process. Only in the limited instances in which faculty believe that disciplinary, as well as academic, sanctions are called for should the process move to the Office of Student Conduct.  See full details at University Policy on Academic Integrity.

College of Earth and Mineral Sciences on Academic Integrity

Full details are available on the EMS website.

Practices and Procedures

The EMS Academic Integrity Committee has revised the College's practices pertaining to academic dishonesty cases.  Important new procedures in place for contested cases include:

  1. Contested cases that go to a hearing provide both the accused student and the course instructor the opportunity to speak (separately) to the committee;
  2. A quorum of at least five committee members—including at least one student member—must  be present at the hearing;
  3. Conference call or Skype attendance will be available for either the student or instructor if in-person attendance at the hearing is not possible (especially for on-line course cases);
  4. Cases will be adjudicated and resolved based on the existence of a “preponderance of the evidence,” which translates as “more likely than not,”
  5. Cases will be resolved by means of a majority vote by the committee (versus unanimous vote);
  6. Technical experts will assist in determining culpability for online course cases;
  7. If prior infractions of academic dishonesty exist, the Conduct Review Subcommittee will make recommendations for a conduct review and possible conduct sanctions to the Office of Student Conduct.
  8. The former “Precedent Tables” have been replaced by the current “Sanctioning Guidelines,” per an update to the University’s G-9 Academic Integrity policy.

World Campus on Academic Integrity

World Campus Academic Integrity Policy.

Additional Resources


Turnitin is a web-based writing assessment toolkit which allows instructors to provide feedback to students through markup tools, rubrics, proofing tools and originality reports to detect plagiarism. Find out more at

TLT's Plagiarism Tutorial

The Plagiarism Tutorial for students was created by Teaching & Learning with Technology.

iStudy for Success!

iStudy for Success! is a website containing tutorials for students including learning modules on plagiarism, copyright, and academic integrity.

Plagiarism Prevention

This website "Plagiarism: Avoid the Consequences" provides a nice overview of what plagiarism is and how to prevent it.