Academic Integrity and Misconduct

The Committee on Academic Misconduct (COAM) is charged with maintaining the academic integrity of The Ohio State University by establishing procedures for and investigating all reported cases of alleged academic misconduct by students.

Maintaining Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is essential to maintaining an environment that fosters excellence in teaching, research and other educational and scholarly activities. Thus, The Ohio State University and the Committee on Academic Misconduct (COAM) expect that all students have read and understand the university's Code of Student Conduct, and that all students will complete all academic and scholarly assignments with fairness and honesty. Students must recognize that failure to follow the rules and guidelines established in the University’s Code of Student Conduct may constitute “Academic Misconduct.”

Defining Academic Misconduct

The university's Code of Student Conduct  defines academic misconduct as "any activity that tends to compromise the academic integrity of the University, or subvert the educational process." While many people associate academic misconduct with "cheating," the term encompasses a wider scope of student behaviors which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Violation of course rules
  • Violation of program regulations
  • Knowingly providing or receiving information during a course exam or program assignment
  • Possession and/or use of unauthorized materials during a course exam or program assignment
  • Knowingly providing or using assistance in the laboratory, on field work, or on a course assignment, unless such assistance has been authorized specifically by the course instructor or, where appropriate, a project/research supervisor
  • Submission of work not performed in a course: This includes (but is not limited to) instances where a student fabricates and/or falsifies data or information for a laboratory experiment (i.e., a "dry lab") or other academic assignment. It also includes instances where a student submits data or information (such as a lab report or term paper) from one course to satisfy the requirements of another course, unless submission of such work is permitted by the instructor of the course or supervisor of the research for which the work is being submitted
  • Submitting plagiarized work for a course/program assignment
  • Falsification, fabrication, or dishonesty in conducting or reporting laboratory (research) results
  • Serving as or asking another student to serve as a substitute (a "ringer") while taking an exam
  • Alteration of grades in an effort to change earned credit or a grade
  • Alteration and/or unauthorized use of university forms or records

Cases of alleged academic misconduct are adjudicated through a formal hearing process by the Committee on Academic Misconduct (COAM), a standing committee of the University Senate. To insure a broad representation on the Committee, COAM draws its members from throughout the university's academic community: faculty (appointed by University Senate), graduate students (appointed by the Council of Graduate Students), and undergraduate students (appointed by Undergraduate Student Government).

Annual Committee Reports

Contact COAM

Committee on Academic Misconduct
Room 107, 33. W. 11th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43201-2013
Phone: (614) 292-7262
Fax: (614) 292-2914
Email: coam@osu.edu 

The COAM Coordinator may not discuss or divulge any information about an academic misconduct case except with those individuals who are directly involved in the case.