Academic Integrity

Academic Honesty

“Academic honesty boils down to three simple but powerful principles:

When you say you did the work yourself, you actually did it.

When you rely on someone else's work, you cite it. When you use their words, you quote them openly and accurately, and you cite them, too.

When you present research materials, you present them fairly and truthfully, that's true whether the research involves data, documents, or the writings of other scholars."

Charles Lipson. Doing Honest Work in College: How to Prepare Citations, Avoid Plagiarism, and Achieve Real Academic Success, 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008), 3.

Author Rights

SAIC writers and artists are encouraged to pursue publication opportunities that you yourself initiate with presses, journals, or sites you recognize and admire. SAIC librarians are available to help you research publishers and publishing.  

Please be wary of any publisher who pops up out of the blue and offers, sight unseen, to publish your thesis or other work. Every year a number of our graduates report being approached by "publishers" eagerly seeking unevaluated theses to "publish" for the "international market." Before you sign away any (or all) of your rights or pay fees, read their contract carefully and consult the resources below.

 Know your rights, scrutinize contracts, retain your rights

SPARC Author Addendum: How to modify contracts so that you retain rights

SHERPA/RoMEO: A database of publishers' normal copyright agreements

Beall's List of Questionable Scholarly Open Access Publishers: An archived version of the Beall's list - a list of potential predatory publishers created by a librarian Jeffrey Beall. A list of new predatory publishers is available below the original one.

I Sold My Undergraduate Thesis to a Print Content Farm: "A trip through the shadowy, surreal world of an academic book mill" by Joseph Stromberg, 2014, on

Writer Beware: A 2009 blog post by Victoria Strauss on how academic "author mills" operate

Avoiding Plagiarism

One plagiarizes when one presents another’s work as one’s own. It is a form of intellectual theft. The handbook below was developed to help students understand and avoid this problem. See also the Academic Misconduct section in the Student Handbook on the Students dashboard.

Citation Styles and Tools

Style manuals prescribe a format to be used for papers and citations, and are often discipline-based. Below are some resources to acquaint you with the styles most commonly used at SAIC. Currently enrolled students may also make appointments at the Writing Center for help with citations.

Style Guides

Citation Management Tools

Some great free tools to help you manage your research and citations.

  • Citation Machine: Formats citations in Chicago, MLA, and APA style
  • EasyBib: An automatic bibliography composer, free only for MLA style
  • Zotero: Helps you collect, manage and cite your research sources

Copyright and Fair Use

The links below provide clear information on the basics of copyright, fair use, and use of licensed resources. Recent books on copyright, fair use, remix, and related topics can be found in the Flaxman Library collections.


Fair Use Best Practices

Other Resources

Information Literacy

Information Literacy is defined by the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU) as "The ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively and responsibly use and share that information for the problem at hand."

See our guide for incorporating library materials and information literacy ideas into your course and its assignments: Information Literacy at SAIC

Posting Licensed or Copyrighted Resources on SAIC Course Pages

SAIC considers the course pages residing in its Canvas learning management system to be extensions of the classroom. Course pages are made available to currently enrolled students via secure authenticated access. SAIC faculty, staff, and students are expected to be informed and responsible when using protected materials in conjunction with course pages. In general, resource materials used within SAIC course pages will fall into one of the following categories: licensed resources; copyrighted material; freely available works by others; or your own work.

Licensed Resources

Licensed resources (see the library’s Database A-Z list) such as e-books, e-journals, image databases, and streaming videos, are subject to specific licensing agreements as well as copyrights. They are provided for educational use only, i.e. private study, scholarship, or research.  Licensing terms can be complex and are subject to change. When using material from a licensed resource, the best practice is simply to post a link to the content in Canvas, rather than duplicating the content in Canvas.

Most of our agreements for licensed resources allow and support direct linking to content within protected course pages. To create a stable link, we recommend following the instructions on our Linking to Library Resources & Databases guide. Please note: if you were using links with the EZproxy prefix ( they will need to be updated.

A few licensed resources do not allow or do not support stable linking. In these cases you may have to provide a citation or other instructions in Canvas. Please contact the Flaxman Library ( with questions or for help.

Copyrighted Material

Fair Use: In the USA, original works of authorship are protected by copyright as soon as they are fixed in a tangible medium -- whether the work is published or unpublished.  The legal concept of fair use frequently allows artists, educators, students, and other researchers some leeway in the use of the copyrighted works of others. The College Art Association (CAA) and other professional organizations publish best practices for fair use in teaching situations, including course pages.  See the Copyright and Fair Use section above for additional resources.

Permissions and Fees: When it is necessary to obtain permission to post copyrighted material to your course page, Flaxman Library staff can request the permission via The Copyright Clearance Center or the rights holder. Reasonable fees will be paid from the library budget. If permission is denied or the fee seems exorbitant, library staff will work with you to find alternatives to support teaching and research needs.

If you would like the library to manage the permission/fee process for you, send complete citations for each resource to be posted to your course page to Include your name and contact information, the full course name, the course department/number pair (e.g. ARTHI5002), and the semester for which permission is needed.  The Copyright Clearance Center requires the following citation information to accurately identify works: article or chapter title & author; journal or book title & author; page numbers; publisher; publication date; volume & issue information for journals; ISBN or ISSN.

Freely Available Works

Creative Commons: Some creators use Creative Commons copyright licenses to make permissions simple and clear, without having to contact the rights owner.  If you see a “CC…” symbol on the work you wish to use, simply look up the terms on the Creative Commons website to see what is allowed.

Open Access: Open access (OA) publishing provides unrestricted access to and re-use of original works. Open access works are often published under the Creative Commons License CC BY, by which authors agree to make their articles freely available as long as they are properly cited. You can search the Directory of Open Access Journals for articles and other OA resources.

Public Domain: Creative works which are not protected by copyright or restricted by license are in the public domain and may be freely used by all. The University of North Carolina has posted a chart describing When U.S. Works Pass Into the Public Domain.

Your Own Material

As an author, designer, coder, or artist, you own the rights to your own work -- unless and until you transfer rights to others. If you have signed a publication agreement or other contract, you may have given up some or all of your rights. The SPARC website is an excellent source of information on knowing and retaining your rights as an author. For additional support see the Author Rights section above. 

SAIC Policies