Academic Integrity

Harvard Summer School expects students to understand and maintain high standards of academic integrity. Breaches of academic integrity are subject to review and disciplinary action by the Administrative Board. Examples include the following:


Plagiarism is the unattributed use of someone else’s ideas and work, such as the incorporation of facts, ideas, or language (either copied verbatim, or rephrased) without proper acknowledgment of the source.

All work submitted to meet course requirements, whether a draft or a final version of a paper, project, take-home exam, computer program, oral presentation, or other work, either must be the student’s own words and ideas, or must clearly acknowledge the source. Students must take great care to distinguish their own ideas and language from information and opinions derived from sources. The term “sources” includes not only primary and secondary material published in print or online, but also information and opinions gained directly from other people. For example, copying material from public websites such as Wikipedia or other online sources is plagiarism, unless the source is properly cited and quotation marks are used. Quoted material must be placed properly within quotation marks and must be cited fully. In addition, all paraphrased material must be acknowledged completely. Whenever ideas or facts are derived from a student’s reading and research or from a student’s own writings, the sources must be indicated.

The responsibility for learning the proper forms of citation lies with the individual student. Students are expected to be familiar with the Harvard Guide to Using Sources. Two 15-minute online tutorials are also available as companions to the Harvard Guide to Using Sources. (See Resources to Support Academic Integrity). Students who, for whatever reason, submit work either not their own or without clear attribution to its sources will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including requirement to withdraw from the Summer School.

In cases of suspected plagiarism, student papers may be submitted to a private contracted service that reviews content for originality. Results from this review may be used to inform the Summer School in its inquiry. The service retains all papers that are submitted to this service, as they become part of their database of materials used in future searches. However, no personal identifying information is submitted to or retained by the service.

Inappropriate Collaboration and Other Assistance

Collaboration on assignments is prohibited unless explicitly permitted by the instructor. When collaboration is permitted, students must acknowledge all collaboration and its extent in all submitted coursework. Collaboration includes the use of professional or expert editing or writing services, as well as statistical, coding, or other outside assistance. Because it is assumed that work submitted in a course is the student’s own unless otherwise permitted, students should be very clear about how they are working with others and what types of assistance, if any, they are receiving. In cases where assistance is approved, the student is expected to specify, upon submission of the assignment, the type and extent of assistance that was received and from whom. The goal of this oversight is to preserve the status of the work as the student’s own intellectual product. Students should remember that the Writing Center is available to assist them with assessing and editing their own work. This assistance has been sanctioned by Harvard Summer School.

Duplicate Assignments

Students are expected to submit work that is done solely for each course in which they enroll. Prior written permission of all instructors is required if students wish to submit the same or similar work in more than one course.

Exam Conduct

Students may not collaborate in the completion of examinations. To avoid any suggestions of improper behavior during an exam, students should not communicate with other students during the exam. Neither should they refer to any books, papers, or use electronic devices during the exam without the permission of the instructor or proctor. All electronic devices must be turned off during an exam.

Publishing or Distributing Course Materials

Students may not post, publish, sell, or otherwise publicly distribute course materials without the written permission of the course instructor. Such materials include, but are not limited to, the following: lecture notes, lecture slides, video, or audio recordings, assignments, problem sets, examinations, other students’ work, and answer keys. Students who sell, post, publish, or distribute course materials without written permission, whether for the purposes of soliciting answers or otherwise, may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including requirement to withdraw from the Summer School. 

Scientific Research

Students are expected to record honestly and accurately the results of their research. Falsification of research results (such as misrepresentations, distortions, or serious omissions in data or reports on research) is considered a serious violation of academic honesty. Plagiarism or falsification of research results will ordinarily result in a required withdrawal from the Summer School. The University deeply values the integrity of science with sound and safe research practices by students and faculty. Individually and collectively, student and faculty researchers are expected to safeguard and maintain the University’s policies and practices with respect to scientific misconduct. All researchers are reminded that sponsoring agencies also have such concerns, and that the University must inform the sponsors of any serious transgressions of their policies, as well as of any investigations related to sponsored research. Sponsors may take action independent of the University.