Academic Integrity and Citation Styles
Penn State defines academic integrity as "the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner." Academic integrity includes "a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception." In particular, the University defines plagiarism as "the fabrication of information and citations; submitting others' work from professional journals, books, articles, and papers; submission of other students' papers, lab results or project reports and representing the work as one's own." Penalties for violations of academic integrity may include forfeited assignments, course failure, or disqualification from a degree or certificate program. More information is available by reading the academic integrity policy of Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.
Citation and Reference Style
We expect that the text and graphics you submit as part of your assignments are original. We reserve the right to use the plagiarism detection service Turnitin.com to assure the originality of course assignments. You may build upon ideas, words and illustrations produced by others, but you must acknowledge such contributions formally. Unacknowledged contributions are considered to be plagiarized. This guide explains when and how you should acknowledge contributions of others to your own work.
Different disciplines adopt different standards for citations and references. Moreover, almost every professional publication enforces its own variation on the standard styles. The most widely used styles include:
- APA - (American Psychological Association) Used in psychology, education, and other social sciences. APA Quick Citation Guide
- MLA - (Modern Language Association) Used in literature, arts, and humanities. MLA Quick Citation Guide
- CSE - (Council of Science Editors) Used in the sciences. CSE Quick Citation Guide
- Turabian Quick Guide - (Kate L. Turabian’s Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations) Very similar to the Chicago style with some slight changes for use by college students.
- Chicago - (Chicago Manual of Style) Used in many disciplines. Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide.
So, Which One Should I Use?
Just as each discipline adopts different standards, each instructor and/or course may require you to use a different citation style. Please refer to the syllabus to learn what standard you will be expected to comply with. If it is not listed there, do not hesitate to contact your instructor.
Regardless of the style you use, we do expect two things:
- Whenever you include text, a graphic, or an idea that is not your own, acknowledge the contribution so that readers can find the original source.
- Consistently apply one style of citations and references for all of your assignments.
Penn State also makes available to all faculty and students an iStudy Module entitled Academic Integrity, Plagiarism, and Copyright.