Harvard to adopt student honesty pledge

The prestigious Harvard University is set to adopt a student honesty pledge in which pupils will promise not to plagiarise or cheat in their coursework and exams, according to a media report.

PTI| Last Updated: May 10, 2014, 00:54 AM IST

New York: The prestigious Harvard University is set to adopt a student honesty pledge in which pupils will promise not to plagiarise or cheat in their coursework and exams, according to a media report.

It will be the first time the US university has asked students to make a public commitment not to plagiarise or cheat.

The proposals will mean students at Harvard from 2015 agreeing to an "affirmation of integrity", BBC reported.

"Honour codes" are used by a number of US universities as a way of discouraging students from cheating in exams or submitting material that has been copied from the internet.

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences has voted to introduce an honour code and to create a board to supervise it.
The university has been working for four years on the idea of a code to promote a "culture of integrity" - and has simultaneously staged a high-profile investigation into claims of widespread cheating, the BBC report said.

The honour code will mean that Harvard students will have to commit themselves to academic work that "adheres to the scholarly and intellectual standards of accurate attribution of sources, appropriate collection and use of data, and transparent acknowledgement of the contribution of others to their ideas, discoveries, interpretations, and conclusions", the report said.

The pledge will say that cheating, plagiarising, academic dishonesty or "misrepresenting the ideas or language of someone else as one`s own" would be a violation of the "standards of our community", it said.

How this promise will be made and how often it will have to be affirmed, is still to be decided.
The debate over introducing the honour code included evidence that such ethical codes really did work as a deterrent, the report said.
In 2012 the university faced its biggest-ever cheating scandal.