The life of any community depends on the integrity and personal honesty of its members. An academic community must pay special attention to the values which define the nature of the academic life. Historically, these have included the right to freedom of inquiry, a commitment to truth, and respect for the freedom of inquiry of others.
A distinguishing characteristic of an academic community is the way it combines competitive and cooperative values. On the one hand, education is a shared task and progress comes through cooperative efforts. Toward that end, Arcadia University encourages peer review—discussing ideas with peers, reading drafts of their work, and so on.
On the other hand, new ideas are the currency of the community, and it is important to acknowledge the individual ownership of ideas. It is a serious violation of the norms of the academic community to appropriate the ideas of other people without credit or permission, and it is important to learn to discriminate between exploitation and the legitimate use of the ideas of others.
The most general rule is that any use of another person’s ideas—whether the source is published or not—should be acknowledged fully and in detail. Since disciplines show some differences on how this should be done, instructors should be consulted as to the form and nature of the acknowledgments required by each field.