ILS Policies

on Ethics / Plagiarism  / NIH Certificate / Behavior in Electronic Communications / APA Style  

APA Style

The department has adopted the APA Publication Manual as the style manual for all papers submitted for course work. APA Publication Manual (latest edition) is available from the university bookstore.

Notwithstanding the adoption of APA style, some faculty may permit or require other styles for their courses or a specific course. Generally the alternate forms are: Chicago (CMS) or modified Chicago, Harvard, or MLA.

Statement on Ethics

Integrity is the cornerstone of information and library science and a principal characteristic of its practitioners.

Students are expected to maintain the highest levels of integrity and ethics.

There is no excuse for academic dishonesty. There is no excuse for plagiarism.

At the graduate level, there is no room for excuses of unawareness. Somewhere deep inside we must know it is wrong to take the work of others and pass it off as our own. It is our duty to seek out the proper way to acknowledge and give credit for what we have borrowed. If we lack the knowledge of proper form, we can, even in a very clumsy way, let others know when we have presented something that is not original to us. Any time the true origin is veiled in work we submit, an error in integrity has occurred.

The department does not tolerate plagiarism in print or online. Violations of plagiarism or the use of commercial organizations or paid individuals to write all or part of work submitted for a class may result in a failing grade for the course or dismissal from the program.

Plagiariasm

Department Statement

Plagiarism involves taking and using as one's own the writing and/or ideas of another and ranges from outright stealing to inadequate attribution*. The department does not tolerate plagiarism in print or online. Violations of plagiarism or the use of commercial organizations or paid individuals to write all or part of work submitted for a class may result in a failing grade for the course or dismissal from the program. (*from Integrity of Research and Other Scholarly Work posted on the Graduate School's website).

Proscribed Conduct (from Student Handbook)

Academic misconduct  including all forms of cheating and plagiarism. Academic misconduct includes but is not limited to providing or receiving assistance in a manner not authorized by the instructor in the creation of work to be submitted for academic evaluation including papers, projects and examinations; and presenting, as one's own, the ideas or words of another person or persons for academic evaluation without proper acknowledgment.

Disciplinary sanctions which may be imposed by the University include expulsion from all universities within the CSU System.

In cases of academic misconduct, faculty member may fail the student on the work or the course. For cases discovered after a course ends, ability of faculty to take action in cases of academic misconduct extends beyond the semester in which the course was taken. 

NIH Certificate

Protecting Human Subjects: Faculty and Student Compliance with NIH's Human Participant Protections Education for Research

All ILS faculty and all students in a degree or certification program in the Department of Information and Library Science are required to complete and comply with the Human Participant Protections Education on protecting human subjects designed for the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP).

Each student is to print the certificate of completion, after passing the Web-based training course, and submit a copy (to be place in your file) to the ILS department office. Each student is also to include a copy of the certificate of completion in his or her Portfolio. It is also strongly recommended that students save an electronic copy of certificate for their records (some faculty will request electronic copies as well for certain courses).

Each faculty member is to print the certificate of completion, after passing the Web-based training course, and submit a copy to Dr. Sandra Holley, Dean of the Graduate School, and a copy to the ILS department office.

Estimated time to complete the module and test is 2 hours. URL for the Human Participant Protections Education module is http://phrp.nihtraining.com/users/login.php.

Any faculty member or student at SCSU who is proposing to engage in research involving humans as subjects must submit a proposal to The Institute Review Board for Human Subject Research. A research protocol must be submitted for approval prior to any subject selection.

Also be sure to read about Southern's Human Research Protection Program (IRB) and the IRB Newsletters on the Graduate School's Website. The Human Research Protection Program explanation and IRB Newsletters are your primary resource for information on conducting research at Southern.

A copy of Southern's IRB forms can be found at https://www.southernct.edu/departments/graduatestudies/irbhrppform.php.

Failure to follow the appropriate IRB regulations and procedures or failure to obtain needed permissions and informed consent or failure to conduct research in an ethical manner may result in action to dismiss from the program.

Policy on Inappropriate Behavior in Electronic Communication

Contents:

1.1 Introduction
1.2 Electronic communication in the support of our educational mission
1.3 Disruptive behaviors using electronic communication
2.1 General policy on inappropriate behavior
2.2 Procedures for handling inappropriate behavior

1.1 Introduction

This document outlines the policy on inappropriate behavior in electronic communication currently in effect in the Department of Information and Library Science, School of Communication, Information and Library Science at Southern Connecticut State University. The purpose of this document is to provide students with a clear understanding of what constitutes inappropriate behavior in electronic communication as well as information regarding the consequences of initiating and maintaining such behavior.

Although the first part of this document includes a detailed description of several different manifestations of inappropriate behavior, with special emphasis on online instruction, the Department of Information and Library Science broadly defines inappropriate behavior in electronic communication as follows:

Any behavior, or combination of behaviors, leading to the disruption of the educational mission of the institution regardless of the intent of the individual or individuals from whom the behavior originates.

Although the current policy applies to electronic communicative activities in online instruction, the policy also governs any form of electronic communication involving students affiliated to the Department of Information and Library Science at Southern Connecticut State University.

Although the description that follows in 1.3 covers a broad spectrum of behaviors highlighting their most important features, especially as manifested in electronic communication involving groups, it should be noted that the description is not meant to be exhaustive since in practice inappropriate and disruptive behaviors can combine features and evolve over time. Furthermore, it should be noted that behaviors that involve the use of electronic means of communication to offend, harass or intimidate can also occur in dyadic communication. The second part of this document (2.1 and 2.2) outlines the procedures to be followed when inappropriate behaviors are encountered both in online instruction and in communication outside the confines of course work.

1.2 Electronic communication in the support of our educational mission

There is growing consensus that textual electronic communication, the foundation upon which our distance education courses are built, can contribute positively to the enhancement of the learning experience and provide many opportunities to students that would not be available otherwise. Students who are unable to take traditional on-ground courses can benefit from the flexibility and convenience that is inherent in computer-based courses. Furthermore, the characteristics of textual electronic communication allow students to participate in ways that would not be possible in traditional, face-to-face classroom settings. Briefly, the advantages of textual electronic communication include its ability to:

Electronic communication also provides an alternative method to get in touch with staff and faculty, to request and obtain information, and to discuss issues in situations that preclude the use of formal written communication or voice communication. 

1.3 Disruptive behaviors using electronic communication

Electronic communication can  empower individuals to behave in ways that are unacceptable in an educational setting. In distance education, these individuals can exploit the characteristics of electronic communication to disrupt the delivery of a course by harassing other participants and creating a hostile, oppressive environment. The behaviors shown by these individuals can include, but are not limited to:

The posting of messages dealing with inappropriate subjects does not always involve the use of inappropriate tone or language or the display of verbal hostility towards the instructor or other students. However, introducing subjects that are beyond the scope of a course can lower the quality of the interaction and lead to irritation and feelings of frustration among participants. Although the posting of messages dealing with inappropriate subjects can vary in intensity, this behavior is usually an indication of an individual's desire to dominate the conversational floor through topic control.

In the context of discussions centered on legitimate course materials, some individuals may introduce offensive and/or controversial themes for the purpose of disrupting and subverting the ongoing discussion. While some aspects of the material introduced may be remotely related to the content of the course or ongoing discussion, the manner in which the subject is introduced or the language used may be offensive to some or the majority of the participants. Although individuals displaying this behavior may attempt to justify their actions by arguing about the relevance and legitimacy of the material in relation to course content, this behavior can also be disruptive and ultimately destructive.
Posting with a high degree of frequency, one that is far beyond the norm in a given context is another manifestation of an individual's desire to exercise control of the interaction. Although posting repeatedly does not always involve raising subjects that are beyond the scope of a course, this behavior is disruptive and when taken to extremes can also be demoralizing and destructive.

Messages with offensive language may range from the use of outright profanity to more subtle insults. These insults may include sexist or racist comments, and more generally, unacceptable remarks that are meant to offend. Although some individuals are careful to mask their verbal assaults by avoiding blatantly offensive profanity, a strategy that allows them to claim that their message or messages were misinterpreted, offensive messages should be understood as messages that include any text deemed offensive by intended or unintended recipients. That is to say, the author of a message is not privileged to determine what is or what is not offensive. A reasonable standard will be used to judge the message; that is, would a reasonable person find a perceived offensive message as offensive. But remember, in terms of personal interactions and perceptions, message recipients are the ultimate judges of the boundaries to be maintained.

Subtle or overt hostility against the instructor or other students can quickly turn an online course into a painful experience for everyone. In an online course the expression of hostility involves a complex cluster of behaviors that can include frequent postings and/or postings with inappropriate terms of address, tone or language, the use of rhetorical strategies designed to intimidate and coerce others, as well as attempts to recruit other students to join in the disruption. Most often, these behaviors are combined for the purpose of subverting the normal instructor-student relationship as well as for the destruction of the educational purpose of the course and the subversion of the institutional mission. Over the course time the specific strategies used do not remain constant and may vary in intensity. However, the outcome is the creation of an oppressive atmosphere that makes it impossible for anyone other than the instigator(s) to achieve his or her objectives.

It should also be noted that inappropriate behaviors may also extend beyond the confines of a particular course. In these instances, the individual(s) may initiate a campaign of harassment using technological infrastructures outside those that support online instruction. For example, inappropriate messages may be sent to individuals or groups of individuals using e-mail systems provided by agencies operating outside the institutional setting. Although these situations may not be detectable by the observation of the interactions taking place in any given course, they fall within the scope of the behaviors addressed by the Department's policy on inappropriate behavior.

2.1 General policy on inappropriate behavior

In keeping with its educational mission, the Department of Information and Library Science at Southern Connecticut State University does not tolerate inappropriate and/or disruptive behaviors.

Upon receiving and confirming reports of inappropriate behaviors, the Department will:

(a) Issue a warning to the individual or individuals involved. If the behavior does not cease following notification, the Department will initiate formal procedures to (b) remove the offenders(s) from the course. In extreme situations, the Department will make a formal request to Vice Presidents of University and Student Affairs and Academic Affairs to remove the offender(s) from the program and the university. Where initial offenses warrant, per the Student Handbook, the Department will initiate formal procedure immediately and without an initial warning.

2.2 Procedures for handling inappropriate behavior

Faculty or students may wish to send a private message to the offender, referencing this document and policy, and requesting that the behavior cease. In this case, a copy of the offensive communication and a copy of the private message should be sent to the department chairperson. Following or in lieu of this, all offending messages should be forwarded to the department chairperson; inclusion of a brief description of the offense would aid handling of the matter.

Students should become familiar with the Student-University Relations section of the Student Handbook. This section includes the Student Bill of Rights, Procedure for Handling Student Grievances, Procedure for Handling an Act of Discrimination, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, Academic Honesty, Student Responsibilities, Policy Regarding Racism and Acts of Intolerance, Student Code of Conduct, Alcohol and Drug Policies, Student Use of Computer Systems and Networks, and other information for students. The Handbook is available from the Office of University and Student Affairs (1.203.292.5550)

University Student Handbook (of students' rights and responsibilities)

Undergraduate Catalog (online)

Graduate Catalog (online)

 

Last updated: March 9, 2013