ASTR 401: Information and Links

Bibliography Searches

Style and Formatting


On academic integrity and plagiarism

The following are selected quotes from the campus policy regarding student academic integrity:

"The University has the responsibility for maintaining academic integrity so as to protect the quality of education and research on our campus and to protect those who depend upon our integrity. It is the responsibility of the student to refrain from infractions of academic integrity, from conduct that may lead to suspicion of such infractions, and from conduct that aids others in such infractions."
"Students have been given notice of this rule by virtue of its publication. Regardless of whether a student has actually read this rule, a student is charged with knowledge of it. Ignorance of a rule is never a defense." [emphasis added]
Plagiarism itself is defined as
Representing the words or ideas of another as one's own in any academic endeavor. This includes copying another student's paper or working with another person when both submit similar papers to satisfy an individual, not a group, assignment, without authorization."

Note that plagairism can occur not only when direct quotation is made without attribution, but also when paraphrase and even borrowed facts are used without proper citation. Moreover, If you have even the slightest doubt about what constitutes plagiarism, please consult the instructor before turning in the assignment.

On use of the internet

The web is an invaluable reserach tool if used thoughtfully, and you should make use of it in writing your report. On the other hand, the quality and accuracy of material found on the web is of notoriously uneven quality. Thus, you will want to be exceedingly cautious in using material found on the web and otherwise unpublished.

As with a published research paper, your paper should be grounded in the refereed literture. Here, the web is invaluable in allowing rapid searches to be made to try to identify the relevant literature, and often to even download relevent papers. Also, there is other valuable scientific content online which one may want to use and cite. Many such sites appear on the links page of this course.

On the other hand, you should be very cautious about basing your paper on material in your paper that appears only on an unrefereed website with no supporting literature. Such references would not pass muster in journal articles. and should not form the basis of your report. That said, you may find useful material online which does help you prepare your paper, and in that case you should cite your sources, if only out of honesty. But anything you find online should be backed up with a refereed source.

Brian D. Fields
Last modified: Tue Aug 23 13:56:21 CDT 2005