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Physical Therapy

Academic Honesty Code

All students at Binghamton University are obligated to abide by the University’s Student Academic Honesty Code, which is available in the Bulletin under “Academic Policies and Procedures - All Students” (copies of the code are also distributed to students during Orientation).

While the code does not offer a definition of academic honesty, it does explain that “academic dishonesty involves misappropriation of academic or intellectual credit to oneself or to the discredit of others.” The acts of academic dishonesty listed as examples in the code include plagiarism, cheating on exams, multiple submissions, unauthorized collaboration, fabrication, misrepresentation, forgery, sabotage, and bribery.

The code also provides information on its implementation, publication/dissemination, and interpretation.

What is Plagiarism?

The Student Academic Honesty Code defines plagiarism as follows:

“Presenting the work of another person as one’s own work (including papers, words, ideas, information, computer code, data, evidence-organizing principles, or style of presentation of someone else taken from the Internet, books, periodicals or other sources). Plagiarism includes:

  • quoting, paraphrasing or summarizing without acknowledgement, even a few phrases;
  • failing to acknowledge the source of either a major idea or ordering principle central to one’s own paper;
  • relying on another person’s data, evidence or critical method without credit or permission;
  • submitting another person’s work as one’s own;
  • using unacknowledged research sources gathered by someone else.”


Copy/Pasting is an all too common cause of plagiarism. When information is copied and pasted it makes it easy to forget (or even to purposely neglect) to cite the source. It also makes it more difficult for the author to actually express their thoughts, ideas, and inputs since it is easier to just use the words of others. Copy/Paste is an issue not only for academic assignments, but in professional publishing as well. Below are parts of the Plagiarism Policy of the American Journal of Nursing:

"The intentional or unintentional copying of the words of another. Whenever an author uses another person's exact words, they must be placed in quotation marks and a citation must be given. The reader of an article in AJN must know which words are the author's and which belong to someone else. Even documents in the public domain, such as government documents, must be attributed to their source.

The author's copying of her or his own previously published material: duplicate publication or "self-plagiarism." If an author has published an article in Journal A, she or he may not send the same article with a few minor adjustments to Journal B. Nor may she or he take verbatim portions of the first article without quotation marks for use in a second article. Each publication should contain fresh writing, even if there is nothing new to report on the topic."

From: AJN, American Journal of Nursing. July 2007, Volume :107 Number 7 , page 78 - 79 [Free]

The practice of copying and pasting, especially without proper citation, is plagiarism and can lead to academic and professional repercussions. Beyond that, it is good practice to avoid as it can lead to problems in non-academic situations such as chart documentation. This search in CINAHL finds some articles discussing the issue in clinical practice.

How Can Plagiarism be Avoided?

Plagiarism can be avoided by citing your sources. Here are some additional tips:

  • When you receive an assignment, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to do research.
  • While doing your research, take careful note of your sources and how you found them (you may need to relocate them later).
  • When you take notes for your papers, write the information in your own words, instead of copying it word for word, or changing just a few words in the sentence. Paraphrasing ensures that you understand the material, and reduces the chance of accidental plagiarism in your final work.
  • If you plan to use a direct quote, copy it exactly and clearly indicate in your notes that it is a quote. Be sure to write down the page number when applicable.
  • Cite your sources as you write. Don't wait until the end of the paper to go back in and add your citations. Citation managers can help with this. See the Citations page of this guide for more information.

If you're unsure of whether you need to cite something, you can consult your instructor, ask a librarian, or make an appointment at the Writing Center for additional assistance.

What Has to be Cited?

Cite direct quotes, paraphrases, summaries, statistics/data, charts/graphs, and images.

Citations are required regardless of whether material is protected by copyright or in the public domain and regardless of medium.

Do not cite information that is common knowledge. This includes information and facts that are widely known, such as the dates of historical events or the chemical formula of water. What's considered common knowledge may vary depending on the subject area or your audience. If you're unsure whether something is considered common knowledge for the purposes of a particular assignment, consult your instructor.

What Does it Mean to "Cite" Something?

When you cite something you are giving credit to the appropriate source for information, ideas, words, or images that are not your own. Citations also help you build a strong argument by demonstrating your credibility to your reader(s).

Depending on the particular context, giving credit to a source may take different forms. In academic work, giving credit is done with formal citations following a specific style like APA, MLA, Chicago Manual of Style, or others. In other contexts, credit may be given in a less formal manner. For example, Twitter users retweet rather than copy/pasting another person's words and representing them as their own.

See the Citations page of this guide for more information on academic citations. 

Self Plagiarism or Text Recycling

Text Recycling, also referred to as Self Plagiarism, is when an author uses their own text/words from a previous publication in a new publication. While there is debate about the acceptability of the practice it is usually agreed that when an author reuses their own words and ideas they should cite themselves and limit the amount of direct copying.

For students, this occurs is assignments, rather than published materials. Even though some assignments are very similar throughout the university career, students should not reproduce their own work without citing themselves and checking with their professors. 

Here are a few resources discussing the topic