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Ethics of Scholarship

Students at Hampshire College are part of a broader community of scholars and artists, a community in which ideas, hypotheses, new concepts and images, and carefully established facts are the currency. None of us is able to survive without borrowing from the work of others. Just as we expect to have our work recognized in the footnotes of those who borrowed from us, so must we carefully recognize those from whom we borrow.

Brief guidelines are presented in this section for the proper acknowledgment of sources upon which we draw for course assignments, papers, examinations, oral presentations, artistic productions, and so on. We acknowledge the work of others not only in gratitude to them, but also to provide our readers with the opportunity to consult our sources if they want to review the evidence, consider other interpretations, or determine the basis for the cited passage. In the evaluation of scholarly work, the writer’s creativity in locating appropriate sources and using them well can be assessed only if those sources are identified.

The failure to acknowledge one’s sources is more than a failure to be properly socialized into a community of scholars. Scholars who fail to note sources are at best ignorant and at worst dishonest. Unacknowledged borrowing from the work of others in any medium is academically dishonest and a fundamental repudiation of the deepest values of the academic community. Students and faculty are members of this community and bound by these values, whether they are on our campus, taking courses at another of the Five Colleges, on an internship, or studying abroad.  Academic dishonesty refers to plagiarism, falsification of data, and any other cases of violations of the ethics of scholarship.