Deadlines & Logistics
How to Keep a Notebook
The principle of academic honesty is at the very heart of experimental science. The following remarks apply to the laboratory component of Chemistry 5 and 6:
Use of another student's laboratory data is a violation of the Honor Principle, unless permission is granted by the instructor.
When use of another's data is allowed, the source of the data must be indicated with a clear reference in the laboratory notebook.
In the case of experiments in which two students work together and data have been recorded in one student's notebook, a copy of the data may be made in the other student's notebook with an appropriate citation to the location of the original data. Any other material in the notebook which has been copied from any source whatsoever must also be provided with a source citation.
Fabrication of data, alteration of your own data, or fabrication of observations to secure some desired result is a clear violation of the Honor Principle.
All laboratory reports must represent your independent calculations and individual conclusions, although comparison of numerical results with those of another student is permitted, with appropriate attribution of the other student's results.
Copying of any portion of another student's laboratory report is a clear violation of the Honor Principle.
What about working together with a lab partner or friend?
Asking for and giving help with prelab problems or lab write-ups should follow common sense guidelines, to stay within the Honor Principle, as described above.
Questions like "How do you balance an oxidation-reduction equation?" are appropriate. Asking and answering them are both good ways to learn.
Questions like "What is the answer to number 2?" are inappropriate and, if answered, constitute a violation of the Honor Principle. A diplomatic way to respond to this type of question is to say "Our prelab problems are to be done independently. Have you looked at this example problem in the textbook? I could try to explain that to you."
In some experiments, lab partners work together to develop a joint prelab procedure. In this case, you and your partner should contribute roughly equally to the final product, which may look very similar in the two lab notebooks. The name of your partner should appear in the notebook, in this case, making it clear that the work was done collaboratively.
When working with a lab partner, each person should independently perform all calculations. You may collaborate, to the extent of comparing results and helping each other with difficulties, however. You may also discuss your joint results and their significance with your partner, but each partner should write a discussion that contains individual conclusions written in her or his own words
Recent Honor Principle violations in chemistry courses have involved inappropriate collaboration on lab reports and have resulted in action by the COS.
If you have any questions about how the Honor Principle applies to any situation in this course, please do not hesitate to consult your instructor.
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