Ethical use of information can involve both moral and legal issues. One needs to be aware of how to paraphrase sources and how to properly cite sources. Academics engaged in research need to be knowledgable on boundaries surrrounding plagiarism as well as intellecutal property.
We have a basic guide on copyright principles which can be accessed at:
AZUSA PACIFIC FACULTY HANDBOOK 6.3
Expectations of academic integrity of APU students must be predicated by academic integrity on the part of APU faculty members. Faculty members are expected to model the rules of scholarship giving credit to ideas taken from other sources, having data collection involving human or animal subjects approved by the appropriate board, conducting data collection carefully, calculating statistics appropriately, and reporting findings in a manner consistent with their significance. Established academic dishonesty on the part of a faculty member is grounds for termination.
"The issue of plagiarism is as good a place as any to start the good fight to recapture the ethical high ground that the academy has tradtionally claimed as its own." K.R. St. Onge as quoted at footnote 34, in Dursht, Jamie S., Note: Judicial Plagiarism: It May Be Fair Use But is it Ethical?, 18 Cardozo L. Rev. (1996), 1253.
From Oxford Dictionary & Theasaurus, Second American Edition,edited by Elizabeth J. Jewell; this is a short basic, general definition, commonly accepted.
"take and use (thoughts, writings, inventions, etc., of another person) as one's own."
Plagiarism is immoral or unethical but may not always be illegal. However, one may commit plagiarism as well as engage in copyright infringement and the latter is illegal. " If the expression's creator gives unrestricted permission for its use and the user claims the expression as original, the user commits plagiarism but does not violate copyright laws." Blacks Law Dictionary, Ninth Edition, edited by Garner.
"Derived from the Latin word plagiarius ("kidnapper"), plagiarism refers to a form of cheating that has been defined as 'the false assumption of authorship: the wrongful act of taking the product of another person's mind and presenting it as one's own' (Alexander Lindey, Plagiarism and Originality [New York, Harper, 1952] 2. Plagiarism involves two kinds of wrongs. Using another person's ideas, information, or expressions without acknowledging that person's work constitutes intlellectual theft. Passing off another person's idea, information, or expression as your own to get a better grade or gain some other advantage constitutes fraud. Plagiarism is sometimes a moral and ethical offense rather than a legal one since some instances of plagiarism fall outside the scope of copyright infringement, a legal offense. (Gibaldi, Joseph, MLA Handbook, 6th ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2003. 66.)"