Skip to main content

Conduct, Professional Ethics & Reporting Misconduct

Yale is a lively, diverse community of some 30,000 people: students, faculty and staff. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is our home within that larger world. Our community includes scholars, researchers, educators, and those who support our mission. As members of this community, we share a responsibility to cultivate an environment in which our academic endeavors and personal lives may thrive. To maintain that environment, we rely on personal conduct and professional integrity grounded in mutual respect and trust. These are our core institutional values.

The Programs & Policies handbook contains a comprehensive list of the Graduate School's regulations and policies, including the code of Personal Conduct. We strongly encourage you to review it, and we count on you to honor it. Violations of these regulations will be referred to the Graduate School Committee on Regulations and Discipline and subject to Disciplinary Procedures.

Where Can I Report a Concern?

Additionally, please seek help from an adviser or mentor, or from one of our graduate school deans if you need support or guidance.  

Professional Ethics

All degree-seeking students complete in-person and online training sessions during their first year of study. These training modules focus on the ethical issues that underlie our scholarship and our collegial interactions, and provide information about accessing campus resources. 

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core institutional value at every university. We maintain the highest standards of honesty and fairness in our scholarship and research. We respect one another and take responsibility for our conduct. These values govern our community as we work to study, educate, and advance knowledge. Excellent scholarship rests on honest originality, and this honesty takes many forms. It means, among other things, truth in presentation, diligence and precision in citing works and ideas we have used, and acknowledging our collaborations with others.
 
Academic dishonesty has not been a substantial problem in the Graduate School, but any incidence at all is unacceptable. To promote excellence in scholarship and research, the Graduate School has created several programs designed to foster an environment imbued with academic integrity.

Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty may take a number of forms. The most basic definition of it is any claim within or about your research and scholarship that is not true. Some of the most prevalent forms of academic dishonesty are plagiarism and unauthorized collaboration. Other forms of academic dishonesty include falsifying or misusing data from experiments, submitting the same paper for two classes without permission, copying from another student on exams or assignments, and the use of unauthorized materials during exams.

Plagiarism

The failure, whether intentional or not, to cite one's sources properly is referred to as plagiarism. Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines the act of plagiarizing as follows:

Plagiarize vb: to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own : use (a created production) without crediting the source ~ vi : to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

We are required to cite any instance in which we have either directly quoted or indirectly drawn upon and benefited from the works and ideas of others. This requirement applies equally to all of the work that we do, whether a paper or an exam for a course, a presentation in class or at a conference, a manuscript for publication, or any other scholarly work. Failing to credit the influence of existing research and scholarship on one's own work is tantamount to theft. It is particularly important to note that the Internet is subject to the same rules that govern other sources. It is not somehow free or different from any other source that must be cited if used.

Plagiarism, whether deliberate or through negligence or ignorance, is a serious violation of conduct at both the College and the Graduate School, and, indeed, in any environment that values integrity, respect and fairness. Our commitment to creative scholarly work carries with it explicit and implicit commitments to documenting the sources of existing ideas and statements that appear in our own work. By planning ahead, being honest, and exercising patience, plagiarism is easy to avoid.

It is imperative that all of us learn and apply the standards for citation in our disciplines because the written form for noting citations varies from one field of study to the next. In short, while the obligation to cite all sources we have used is universal, the forms of citation vary widely. In addition to the resources available through the Graduate School, Yale faculty members can help you determine the current protocols governing scholarly references in each discipline.

Unauthorized Collaboration

Collaboration refers to work that we do with others to complete graded course work. All parties involved are responsible for the collaboration. It may include but is not limited to discussion of home work problems or take-home exam questions, work on a lab report, discussion or editing of a paper you are writing.

Only the instructor of a course may authorize collaboration and the degree to which it is appropriate in that course and in a given situation. If an instructor permits you to collaborate on one assignment, it does not mean you may collaborate on other assignments. You must follow all of the guidelines set by the instructor. If the instructor has not authorized you to work together with others and you do so, you have collaborated without authorization. If you are at all uncertain about whether or not you are allowed to collaborate on a particular piece of work or in a particular way, you should ask the instructor. 

Campus Climate

We value diversity, equity, and inclusion and we believe that a diverse campus enriches the educational experience for all students. All degree-seeking students attend a seminar on creating and maintaining a welcoming and inclusive campus climate during new student Orientation. This training is just one way we help nurture an environment where all voices can be heard, and where all members feel a sense of belonging and respect. 

Sexual Misconduct Policies and Related Definitions

Sexual misconduct is antithetical to the standards and ideals of our community. By providing clear definitions of what constitutes sexual misconduct and training you to avoid it, we hope to eliminate this problem. Please note: there are serious consequences for sexual misconduct, both on campus and in courts of law. See the Yale Sexual Misconduct Response & Prevention website for definitions of sexual misconduct, policies, and where to turn if you need help.
 
All new students are required to Yale Mandatory Online Sexual Misconduct Training prior to Orientation.

Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from sex discrimination in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Yale is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex. The Provost's Office maintains comprehensive information about Title IX at Yale, including a list of Title IX coordinators and Title IX reports
 
If you have concerns about sex or gender discrimination or sexual misconduct, we encourage you to seek the assistance of a Title IX coordinator. Deans Michelle Nearon and Denzil Streete are the Title IX Coordinators for the Graduate School.