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The Columbia University Undergraduate Guide to Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the cornerstone of our intellectual community. All scholarship – teaching, research, and student learning – is the product of intellectual exchange. Whether this exchange takes place in books and journal articles, in laboratories, in the design of experiments and the analysis of data, in the classroom, or in students’ written work, it is these joint undertakings that create Columbia’s intellectual community.

The value of our collective inquiry relies upon trust and honesty – for our individual discoveries are dependent upon the discoveries of our peers and predecessors, here at Columbia and elsewhere. And all intellectual work must be evaluated – the work of students is evaluated by faculty; the work of faculty is evaluated through peer-review. We must, therefore, be able to trust that others are honest in their work and others must be able to trust that we are honest in ours.

Academic writing can be very challenging, for it requires us to create original work from our synthesis of the work done by others. In these pages you will learn strategies for developing original work, ways to ensure that your work is trustworthy, the consequences for submitting work that is dishonest, and the resources available to assist you in achieving your best work.