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Academic Integrity: Falsification or Alteration of Documents

As outlined in the Walden Student handbook, Walden University considers any falsification or alteration of documents or information a direct violation of academic integrity.

Examples of these violations described in the handbook are listed below.

Providing false information

For example:

  • Furnishing false information in the context of an academic assignment
  • Fabricating or altering information or data and presenting it as legitimate
  • Providing false or misleading information to an instructor or any other university staff member

Copyright violation

Walden recognizes and respects intellectual property rights. As part of its mission to maintain the highest standards for ethical conduct, the university requires its employees, instructors, students, and other university community members to use copyrighted materials in a lawful manner.

No employee, instructor, student, nor other university community member may reproduce any copyrighted work in print, video, or electronic form in violation of the law. The easiest way to avoid violating the law is by receiving the express written permission of the copyright holder. Copyright laws in the United States may protect works even if they are not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and even if they do not carry the copyright symbol.

Copyrighted works include, but are not limited to, printed articles from publications, television and radio programs, videotapes, music performances, photographs, training materials, manuals, documentation, software programs, databases, World Wide Web pages, and CD-ROMs. In general, the laws that apply to printed materials are also applicable to visual and electronic media.

Walden directs its employees, instructors, students, and other university community members to obtain appropriate permission from copyright holders directly, or from their licensing representative, when reproduction or duplication exceeds fair use. The fair use doctrine allows limited exemptions to copyright infringement liability when copyrighted works are used for purposes such as comment, criticism, teaching, scholarship, or research, particularly when the use of the work is limited in amount and scope and is for noncommercial purposes. To learn more about fair use, visit Copyright Law of the United States of America.

Misrepresentation of credentials

Statements made and documents supplied by Walden applicants and students must be complete and accurate. The university will not tolerate any misrepresentation by a student or applicant of past or current academic programs, degrees, or professional accomplishments. If unexplained discrepancies appear between statements or documents provided to Walden and information obtained otherwise, except in the case of misspellings and other such inadvertent errors, applicants may be rejected for admission and enrolled students may be dismissed.

Theft or damage of property

For example:

  • Sabotaging or stealing another person’s assignment, paper, project, electronic hardware, or software
  • Obtaining improper access to, or electronically interfering with, the property of another person or the university via computer or other means
  • Obtaining a copy of an assignment or exam prior to its approved release by the instructor

Alteration of university documents

For example:

  • Forging an instructor’s or university official’s signature on any document
  • Submitting an altered transcript of grades to or from another institution or employer
  • Putting your name on, or copying, another person’s paper or assignment
  • Altering a previously graded exam or assignment for purposes of a grade appeal or for gaining points in a regarding process