Retraction and Retroactive Citation Policy

November 19th, 2021


Typically in CS106A, we run analytic software over all the submissions to find sections of code that are copied from somewhere. A staffer then looks at the code more carefully to figure out what happened and who is involved. We have not done this yet for this quarter, so this notice is a chance for anyone who made a bad choice earlier in the quarter to set the record straight before we find it ourselves.

Essentially, our honor code policy says that you can exchange ideas with other students and the staff, but then you should take those insights and use them to write your own code. If you are in a discussion with students or in office hours, and a few lines of code are written, it is fine to learn from those lines and incorporate them while writing your own code. That is within the spirit of exchanging ideas and writing code.

In contrast, we'll say a type-1 honor code violation looks like someone had access to someone else's entire solution and used as the bases of their solution. A type-2 honor code violation looks like two students collaborating on one copy of the code and then both submitting a version of that solution. If two people talk a lot and point to ideas on a whiteboard, that does not create the high volume of suspicious looking code like the type-1 and type-2 scenarious above.

Here are some common situations 106A students may be in:

  • My friend and I talked a great deal (with a whiteboard). I am sure we have a few lines that are the identical as a result of this, but for the most part we typed up our own solutions. This is not an honor code violation. You can sumbit the form if you want, but we would not persue this.
  • I got a copy of a solution somwhere else and used that as the basis for writing my solution. This is type-1 above, you should submit the form let us know this happened.
  • My friend and I collaborated on essesintially one copy of the solution, and both turned in that solution (with some edits). This is type-2 above, you should submit the form and let us know this happened.

If you are concerned that you have a type-1 or type-2 case: fill out the retroactive citation form and explain what happened and where this code came from. You do not need to name names. The contents of this form will only be seeen by Nick and Juliette. In order for this to protect you from an honor code case, you need to be truthful and specific about what happened. Nick and Juliette will look at these reponses and workout a fair assignment score.

Because of the time it takes to look through these, we need you to submit the form by end of day (11:59pm PT) on Thursday, December 2nd.