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Computer Ethics Statement at James Madison University CAUSE INFORMATION RESOURCES LIBRARY The attached document is provided through

the CAUSE Information Resources Librar y. As part of the CAUSE Information Resources Program, the Library provides CAUSE m embers access to a collection of information related to the development, use, ma nagement, and evaluation of information resources- technology, services, and inf ormation- in higher education. Most of the documents have not been formally pub lished and thus are not in general distribution. Statements of fact or opinion in the attached document are made on the responsib ility of the author(s) alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of the CAUS E Board of Directors, officers, staff, or membership. This document was contributed by the named organization to the CAUSE Information Resources Library. It is the intellectual property of the author(s). Permissi on to copy or disseminate all or part of this material is granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for commercial advantage, that the title and organization that submitted the document appear, and that notice is given th at this document was obtained from the CAUSE Information Resources Library. To copy or disseminate otherwise, or to republish in any form, requires written per mission from the contributing organization. For further information: CAUSE, 484 0 Pearl East Circle, Suite 302E, Boulder, CO 80301; 303-449-4430; e-mail info@ca To order a hard copy of this document contact CAUSE or send e-mail to Draft Computer Ethics Statement Ad Hoc Committee on Computer Literacy James Madison University Computer facilities operated by the University are available for the use of students, faculty and staff without charge. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to use University computer facilities for research and instruction. In order to facilitate the ethical and responsible use of computers, the following guidelines are established for students, faculty and staff. Instructors or departments may impose additional requirements or restrictions in connection with course or departmental work. 1. General Principles Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to works of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgement, right to privacy, and right to determine the form, manner and terms of publication and distribution. Because electronic information is so volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access, and trade secrets

and copyright violations, may be grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community. 2. Academic Dishonesty in a Computer Assignment a. Academic dishonesty in a computer assignment will be suspected if an assignment that calls for independent work results in two or more solutions so similar that one can be converted to another by a mechanical transformation. Academic dishonesty in a computer assignment will be suspected if a student who was to complete an assignment independently cannot explain both the intricacies of the solution and the techniques used to generate that solution. The Honor Council will be notified of occurrences of academic dishonesty.


c. 3.

Examples a. The following are examples of academically honest practices: Turning in work done alone or with the help of the course's staff. Submission of one assignment for a group of students if group work is explicitly permitted or required. Getting or giving help on how to do something using the VAX VMS operating system. Getting or giving help on how to solve minor syntax errors. High-level discussion of course material for better understanding. Discussion of assignments to understand what is being asked for. b. The following are examples of academically dishonest practices: Turning in someone else's work as your own (with or without his or her knowledge) Allowing someone else to turn in your work as his or her own. Several people writing one program and turning in multiple copies, all represented either implicitly or explicitly as individual work. Using any part of someone else's work without the proper acknowledgement. Stealing a solution from an instructor.


Ethical and Responsible Use of the Computer a. The University provides computing facilities free of charge to students and faculty for instruction and research. It is a violation of University policy to use University computers for commercial purposes without proper approval. Computer communications systems and networks promote the free exchange of ideas and information, thus enhancing teaching and research. Computer users should not use electronic communications systems such as mail or BITNET to harass others or interfere with their work on the computer. Students, faculty and staff who use the computer have the right to privacy and security of their computer programs and data. Computer users should not tamper with files or information that belong to other users or to the operating system. United States copyright and patent laws protect the interests of authors, inventors and software developers in their products. Software license agreements serve to increase compliance with copyright and patent laws, and to help insure publishers, authors and developers of return on their investments. It is against federal law and University policy to violate the copyrights or patents of computer software. It is against University policy and may be a violation of state or federal law to violate software license agreements. Students, faculty or staff may not use programs obtained from commercial sources or other computer installations unless written authority to use them has been obtained or the programs are within the public domain. Security systems for computers exist to insure that only authorized users have access to computer resources. Computer users must not attempt to modify system facilities or attempt to crash the system, nor should they attempt to subvert the restrictions associated with their computer accounts, the networks of which the University is a member, or microcomputer software protections. Abuse of computing privileges will be subject to disciplinary action. Violators will be subject to the usual judicial procedures of the University; loss of computing privileges may result. The University reserves the right to examine all computer files. Abuse of the networks or of computers at other sites connected to the networks will be treated as abuse of computing privileges at James Madison University.







Examples a. The following are examples of ethical or responsible use of the computer:

Using the computer for grant supported research sponsored by a commercial firm with the approval of the Vice President for Sponsored Programs. Using the electronic mail system to correspond with colleagues at other colleges or universities. Sharing diskettes of files of programs or data with team members working together on a research project. Copying software placed in the public domain. Reporting nonfunctional computer equipment to lab assistants or Technical Services repair staff. b. The following are examples of unethical or irresponsible use of the computer: Using computer facilities for work done on behalf of a commercial firm. Sending electronic mail messages containing material offensive to the receiver. Copying a file from another computer user's account or floppy disk without permission. Copying copyrighted computer software for use on another computer. Unplugging or reconfiguring computer equipment to make it unusable or difficult to use. 6. Acknowledgements This statement is based upon the following sources: "The EDUCOM Code," Academic Computing 1 (Spring 1987):78. "The Catholic University of America's Statement of Ethics in the Use of Computers," ACM SIGUCCS Newsletter 19 (Spring 1989):14. "Cheating Policy in a Computer Science Department," ACM SIGSE Bulletin 12 (July 1980).