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BSCI 1511L Statistics Manual: Syllabus IV. Application of the Honor Code

Introduction to Biological Sciences lab, second semester


The Honor Code is in effect for all assignments in BSCI 111.  Please study the following information carefully. 

Problem sets

The Big Picture: Write your own answers.  Don't copy or modify someone else's words.


1. Discussion of questions and strategies with other students, TAs, and faculty is allowed

Although group "study sessions" for discussing assignments are not prohibited, they are unadvisable because they tend to lead to "group answers" that are inappropriate collaboration. 

2. Answers to questions may NOT be duplicated and shared with other students, except when joint work is necessary (e.g. because of the sharing of lab computers). 

Specifically, the exceptions include:
- Excel graphs created in class (including trendlines and equations)
- results of statistical analyses conducted using software on the lab computers
- sequence data collected or manipulated on the computers
- graphs of data collected through computer interfacing
- gel images posted on the course website
- results of Genetics Construction Kit (GCK) problems done together on the computer.

Questions of the sort which may be answered jointly with your partner will be marked with "&" following their question number. 

Analysis and interpretation of computer generated data must be done independently. If both partners want to type their problem sets while working, consider bringing a laptop for one partner to use.

3. Answers to questions must be your own

As a practical matter, there is no difference between plagiarizing material from a book (or the Internet) and copying from another student.  Therefore, the same features of plagiarism illustrated in the Honor Code section of the Student Handbook (i.e. change in wording, use of a catchy word or phrase, undocumented paraphrasing, and word-for-word copying) are also indications of inappropriate collaboration with other students. 

4. If your answers include quotes or close paraphrasing of material from another source (e.g. books or the Internet, including the lab manual and course website), they must be attributed

In regular assignments in this course, there is no specific required format for citations on regular problem sets.  On the project paper, follow the format given in the guidelines. 

5. In the event that the data that you have collected during an experiment is not suitable for analysis, it is allowed and expected that you will obtain data from other students (or sample data from the course website) to analyze.  If this happens, you should acknowledge the source of the data.

6. Answer keys or assignments done by students in previous semesters may NOT be consulted when preparing assignments.  It is also an Honor Code violation to provide these materials to a student currently enrolled in the class.   

Students doing makeup work for excused absences may not consult posted answer keys or assignments turned in by other students. 

An example of inappropriate collaboration on a problem set:

Student 1:  Sodium azide is not present in Tube 5 and thus will not inhibit the electron transfer from cytochrome a3 to the O2 final acceptor.  This allows the electrons to be picked up by the artificial electron acceptor.  The succcinate to fumerate reaction was measured by monitoring the reduction of the artificial electron acceptor, DCIP.  In Tube 5 the DCIP was not reduced as much.  The P-value for Tube 5 is less than the P-value for Tube 3 which means that fewer electrons were picked up by the artificial electron acceptor and the DCIP was not reduced as much as if the sodium azide was present. 

Student 2:  In tube 5, sodium azide is not present and therefore will not inhibit the transfer of electrons from cytochrome a3 to the final accepter, O2, enabling the electrons to be picked up by the artificial electron acceptor.  We are measuring the succinate to fumarate reaction by monitoring the reduction of an artificial electron acceptor (DCIP), and in tube 5 DCIP will not be reduced as much.  Thus, that tube 5 P is less than tube 3 P means only that fewer electrons are picked up by the artificial electron acceptor and DCIP is not as significantly reduced (our method of measurement) as if sodium azide were present. 

This example exhibits characteristics of plagiarism discussed in the Honor Code section of the Student Handbook: word-for-word copying (many examples), a change in wording ("This allows the electrons..." and "...enabling the electrons..."), and use of a catchy phrase ("...picked up by the artificial electron acceptor...").  Note also the similarity in sentence structure and order. 

Tests and quizzes

The big picture: Don't cheat.  Don't copy.


1. Although tests are administered by computer, normal testing expectations apply.

This includes:
- No notes, books, or aids can be used during the test.
- You should neither look at another's test nor allow your test to be observed.
- You may not remove or copy any part of the test by physical or electronic means.

2. Tests must be taken in the BSCI 111 lab during the specified hours and not in any other location. 

3. The use of calculators is allowed for mathematical calculations if desired.

4. Answer keys may not be copied by any physical or electronic means.

5. A student authorized to make up a test due to emergency situations may not consult any posted key, nor discuss the test with anyone until after completing the test.