You are encouraged to discuss your results with your lab partner, other members of the class, and the instructors. However, your conclusions should be your own and your reports must be written separately; except where specifically indicated, you should do all of your own calculations and should prepare your own figures and tables. Do not consult similar lab reports from previous years; under no circumstances submit ideas or material from such reports as your own work. Labs are changed every year and such behaviour is easily detected. You are expected to be familiar with University regulations concerning academic dishonesty, including cheating, plagiarism, and submitting the same work to more than one course. Such offenses may result in a failing grade in the course and possible expulsion from the major.
"Plagiarism is the act of presenting the ideas or works of another as one's own. This applies to all material such as essays, laboratory reports, work term reports, design projects seminar presentations, statistical data, computer programmes, and research results. The properly acknowledged used of sources is an accepted and important part of scholarship. Use of such material without acknowledgement, however, is contrary to accepted norms of academic behaviour" [Academic Calender, Memorial University of Newfoundland].
Proper citation of scientific references
Given an assignment to "Find the largest member of each order of mammals in North America," the examples below indicate acceptable and unacceptable forms of using A. Banfield's (1974) discussion of the beaver in his "Mammals of Canada."
"Beavers are among the larger rodents. Adult Canadian beavers have been known to weigh as much as ninety pounds and are exceeded in size only by the South American capabaras. The living beavers, however, are babies compared to the giant beaver Castoroides, which inhabited North America at the end of the last glacial period, perhaps 10,000 years ago. That species was as large as a black bear." (p. 157)
"Weights of beavers are highly variable, dependant upon age, sex, and season. The weights of adults usually vary between 15 and 35 kg, with an average of about 20 kg." (p. 158)
1. Summary, with a reference:
Canadian beavers are the largest North American rodents, with an average weight of approximately 20 kg. An extinct relative, Castoroides, was the size of a black bear, perhaps as much as 270 kg (Banfield 1974).
This summary is short and precise. Information from two paragraphs is summarized in two sentences. The size of the beaver is compared with data from another species (black bears, taken from another part of the same book) in a meaningful way. The source is referenced.
2. Referencing a complete quotation:
Canadian beavers are the largest North American rodents. According to Banfield (1974:157-158), "The living beavers, however, are babies compared to the giant beaver Castoroides, which inhabited North America at the end of the last glacial period, perhaps 10,000 years ago. That species was as large as a black bear.... The weights of adults usually vary between 15 and 35 kg, with an average of about 20 kg."
This summary sets a word-for-word quotation between quotation marks (""), and gives the exact source of the quote. Note the ellipsis (....) which indicates that some words have been left out. This quotation includes all the relevant information, but is unnecessarily long and includes some less relevant information. It is much less satisfactory because less original thought has gone into it.
3. Plagiarism (using the words of another, without proper acknowledgement):
Beavers are among the larger rodents. Adult Canadian beavers have been known to weigh as much as ninety pounds. Living beavers are babies compared to the giant beaver, Castoroides, which inhabited North America perhaps 10,000 years ago, which was as large as a bear.
This is an example of plagiarism: Banfield's ideas and words are copied essentially word-for-word, without even a mention of his name. The slight rearrangement of phrases does not lessen the dishonesty, nor would adding [Banfield (1974)] to the end of the paragraph. A paper such as this would receive a mark of zero, and would subject the student to disciplinary action.