Dept. of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Administrative Information
Academic Honesty Guidelines
Last revised: 2013 December 18

This document addresses the definition of plagarism and presenting fake output from a program, both of which are ways, but not the only ways, of cheating or being dishonest.

The following items are useful to read.

  1. York University Senate Policy on Academic Honesty -- A more comprehensive, but non exclusionary, listing of forms of dishonesty and the range of penalites that may be impossed when dishonesty is proven.

  2. Academic Integrity at York University. This website contains sections tailored to Faculty, TAs, and Students, and also contains General Materials. A very useful resource with a variety of concrete strategies on how to encourage AI at York.

  3. Academic Integrity Tutorial. The tutorial is a tool that can be used by anyone who wants to learn more about academic integrity. The tutorial is applicable for all subject and research areas and any level of study. The website also includes an academic integrity checklist, case studies, and allows learners to test themselves.

  4. York University Academic Integrity Guidelines. A pamphlet describing acceptable and unacceptable behaviour with respect to academic integrity.

  5. Overview of Academic Integrity on the VPA&P website

  6. The Departmental statement on plagiarism and cheating in the departmental supplemental calendar

This page table of contents

Interpretive Guide

The following is an interpretation of the Senate document to help people understand the intent of the academic honesty guidelines.
  1. The Department takes the matter of academic honesty very seriously.

  2. Academic honesty is essentially giving credit where credit is due. And not misrepresenting what you have done and what work you have produced. When a piece of work is submitted by a student it is expected that all unquoted and uncited ideas and text are original to the student. Uncited and unquoted text, diagrams, etc., which are not original to the student, and which the student presents as their own work is considered academically dishonest.

  3. Statement 2 does not imply that students must work, study and learn in isolation. The Department encourages students to work, study and learn together, and to use the work of others as found in books, journal articles, electronic news, private conversations, etc.. In fact, most pieces of work are enhanced when relevant outside material is introduced. Thus instructors expect to see quotes, references and citations to the work of others. This shows the student is seeking out knowledge, integrating it with their own work, and perhaps more significantly, reducing some of the drudgery in producing a piece of work.

  4. Information can be divided into four types
    1. the person's own ideas
    2. common knowledge
    3. paraphrase/summary from another's work
    4. direct quotation, includes photocopy of diagrams, tables, etc.

    Type 1 information is the person's own interpretation, program or ideas.

    Type 2 information is tricky. In computer science this could consist of ideas and information learned in other courses, since a purpose of a course is the dissemination of common knowledge, and in general life experiences. If in doubt treat as type 3 information.

    Type 3 requires a citation to the original work(s) and a brief statement crediting the author(s). Quotations are not used. See point 7.

    Type 4 requires quotation and citation. For diagrams, tables and other directly copied (photocopied) material quotes are inappropriate but citation is mandatory.

  5. If students collaborate on small parts of a work then each student must give notice that this took place by citing their collaborators. If substantial amounts of work are essentially identical, then it is best to submit a single work using joint authorship. It is disrespectful to instructors to submit two essential identical pieces of work, even if notice is given.

  6. As long as appropriate citation and notice is given students cannot be accused of academic dishonesty. Instructors will evaluate each piece of work in the context of their course and instructions given. If single authorship reports are expected, then joint authorship will receive lower marks; for example, split the grade among the authors, receive an F or some other rule could be used, this is instructor and course dependent.

  7. In citations state where the original work comes from, who the author is, what use was made of the work; copied, paraphrased, general idea used as basis, alternate technique for comparison, etc.

  8. If you cannot get your code to run, it is a good practice to let us know what tests you would have run and what the results of these test would have been had you been able to produce working code. You, however, must clearly document that this is what you are doing. If you hand in a program and what looks like output to the program, hoping that the marker will think that your program runs, then you are cheating and will be punished accordingly. Note, if you are not knowledgeable enough to get your program to run, what makes you confident that the mistake is not easily detectable by the instructor or TA.


The Department of Elecctrical Engineering & Computer Science resides in the Lassonde School of Engineering. All cases of academic dishonesty pertaining to EECS, ENG and CSE courses are dealt with by the Lassonde School of Engineering Committee on Examinations and Academic Standards.


The range of penalties is defined by Senate (see York University Senate Policy on Academic Honesty ). Penalities are meant to be calibrated according to the offence (also Senate policy). For a first offence low- to mid-range penalties are typical depending on the severity of the offence. For a second offence penalties are much more severe and may include suspension from the University and transcript notation. In all cases, if the offence is confirmed, a course may not be dropped. The student may be reinstated in the course while a matter is being investigated. Furthermore, if the offence is confirmed a confidential file is kept in the Dean's Office, which is only consulted when the penalty for a second offence is to be confirmed.

Procedure for Investigating Academic Honesty