Research Integrity Policy

  • Springfield Township Middle School is a learning community that values honesty, integrity, and respect for property. The school’s library and classrooms are filled with many sources of information, including books, magazines, newspapers, online media, and other reference materials. We are fortunate to have access to so many sources for learning and recognize that all information has ownership. If we do not respect the rights of the owner and credit our sources, we are stealing. Plagiarism is using the exact words, media, or ideas of another without giving credit. Plagiarism is not limited to written work and applies to other formats such as images, video, and sound recordings. To use any resource as part of an online project, students must have written permission from the artist. Researchers can also use Creative Commons sources which provide copyright-friendly images, video, sound recordings, and text which have the artists’ permission for use under specified conditions. Best practice calls for researchers to give credit where credit is due and/or seek permission to use material in student work. The middle school recognizes that students are in the process of learning about research integrity. Plagiarism is unacceptable, and students will be held accountable to use information and ideas responsibly and ethically. If a student turns in plagiarized work, teachers and administrators will guide him/her through an instructional process aimed to teach responsible and ethical use of information. 

    A student who plagiarizes will 

    • participate in an instructional conference with his/her teacher, librarian, and/or administrator to discuss the plagiarized work and how it can be corrected
    • have the opportunity to redo the assignment in question, or lose one letter grade as a penalty
    • receive credit for the assignment only if he/she submits an acceptable revised copy by the date specified by the teacher, librarian, and/or administrator

    In all cases of plagiarism, the student’s parent/guardian will be notified. A repeat offense of plagiarism will be handled on a case-by-case basis following the above guidelines and may include a detention to redo work and/or a loss of two letter grades. A student who blatantly plagiarized two or more times may lose the opportunity to redo work and receive credit for the assignment in question. In such a case, the student will receive a zero for the plagiarized assignment.