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Academic and Professional Ethics Across Disciplines

A growing collection of codes of conduct, statements of professional ethics, and research ethics resources relevant to disciplines taught at Rhode Island College.

Avoiding Plagiarism

There are resources available in order to help you understand and avoid plagiarism--take a look at our suggestions below, and read through this guide for discipline specific information.

Need help, or just want a second opinion on your work? Contact the Writing Lab for individualized help.

RIC - Academic Integrity Information

The most authoritative source about academic integrity here at RIC is the student handbook. The RIC Academic Integrity Board (AIB) maintains and updates a useful webpage with access to the student handbook, as well as the manual of academic policies and procedures, as well as other documents related to academic integrity and ethics. Knowing these standards will greatly increase your chances of success, both here at RIC, and in your future work and career.

Professional Ethics

"The codes and guidelines which govern the conduct of professions. Such codes can be seen as the application of general morality to the specific contexts of professional relationships. The oldest and most familiar of these is the Hippocratic oath, which is a modified form that still applies to the doctor–patient relationship. In the contemporary world, many occupations consider themselves professions, and the governing bodies of these occupations issue codes of professional ethics. They have a status between that of morality and that of law, in the sense that while their content is like that of morality, any breach of their prohibitions can result in serious disciplinary sanctions by the relevant governing body. The content of professional codes always contains provisions that the professional will work for the best interests of the patient/client. 

-- Prof. R. S. Downie

Downie, R.(2005). "Professional ethics." In The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. : Oxford University Press. Retrieved 19 May. 2013, from

Whatever values students bring to college, when they leave, most of them aspire to pursue professional or managerial careers. Sometimes, putting academic integrity in the light of professional ethics helps students learn to view school assignments as steps toward their future goals rather than hurdles to clear as quickly as possible.

Research Ethics - IRB and CITI

Research ethics standards look different depending on your field--working with human participants, for example, calls for a different set of guidelines than, say, working with mathematical research, or historical sources. In this guide, we group content by discipline in order to provide patrons with specific information.

If you're conducting research here at RIC, however, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the RIC Institutional Review Board (IRB). Most class activities are not governed by the IRB, as they are purely educational. However, if your research is intended to be generalized (as in the case of a thesis or a dissertation), IRB approval may be required.

Additionally, the IRB requires all researchers engaged in studies involving human participants complete the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) program. The CITI program is an excellent introduction to conducting ethical research practices, and is required of all investigators participating in a study (students and faculty alike).