Ethical Treatment of Information Resources

Purpose

Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to works of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgment, right to privacy, and right to determine the form, manner, and terms of publication and distribution.

Scope

This policy applies to all members of the University community and refers to stand-alone or networked electronic information resources whether individually controlled or shared. The policy is also meant to prohibit the purposeful introduction of a computer virus into media or systems.

Policy statement

This Western Michigan University policy requires the respect of intellectual property rights. Copyrighted documentation and software may not be duplicated, photocopied, reproduced, translated, or reduced to any electronic medium or machine readable form in whole or part without prior written consent from the owner of the copyright.

Justification

While we support the concepts of free and open inquiry and encourage widest possible sharing of information, we must always insist on high standards of ethical behavior and compliance with laws relative to software and intellectual property rights.

Enforcement

Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access, and trade secret and copyright violations may be grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community.

Violation of any of the provisions of the above policy, license agreements or laws dealing with software and intellectual property rights is unethical and unacceptable and is considered qrounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination and/or filing of criminal charges.

Reference

Document action

Revised: June, 2008