At HBS, collaboration and conversations are at the core of the academic experience. There are immeasurable benefits from the insights of our peers and from an abundance of resources that support learning. A student can use all of this information in their work but must ensure they are giving appropriate credit to others for their ideas and words. This information is meant to supplement the MBA Honor Code and offer a student the resources to cite properly and avoid plagiarism. For further questions, a student should reach out to the faculty or members of the MBA staff.

Proper Citation

Students are responsible for learning the proper forms of citation. Rules for various categories of citations can be found in the HBS Citation Guide, including:

  • Quotations: When using the words of someone else, the words must be placed within quotation marks and cited fully, including the page number(s) on which the quoted words appear in the original text.
  • Paraphrasing: All paraphrased material must be acknowledged. Whenever ideas or facts are derived from a student’s reading and research or from a student’s own writings, the sources must be indicated.


It is a violation of academic honesty, the MBA Honor Code and HBS Community Values to present work developed by others as the student’s own (including ideas and analyses, either written or spoken in class). Students must acknowledge the source of any substantive ideas or analyses that they obtained from others. For example, if the source of a particular idea or analysis is a discussion group, the student should acknowledge the group when presenting the information. Students who submit work that is not their own without clear attribution to its sources will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including mandatory withdrawal from HBS.

All homework assignments, projects, lab reports, papers, computer programs, and examinations submitted to a course are expected to be the student’s own work. Students should always take great care to distinguish their own ideas and knowledge from information derived from sources. The term “sources” includes not only published primary and secondary material, but also information and opinions gained directly from others, including fellow students, editors, advisors, and tutors.

The amount of collaboration with others that is permitted in the completion of assignments can vary, depending upon the policy set by the instructor. Students must assume that collaboration in the completion of assignments is prohibited unless explicitly permitted by the instructor. Students must acknowledge any collaboration and its extent in all submitted work.

Plagiarism includes all of the following:

  • The use of words or ideas of another without crediting the original source.
  • Paraphrasing or restating the ideas of another without crediting the original source. This includes, without limitation, using the ideas of other students obtained through discussion groups, notes, the electronic transfer of notes, and the work of students who have participated in previous class discussions.
  • Presenting data or facts that have been borrowed without fully citing the original source. Note that fabrication or falsification of data is a separate offense and will be reviewed in accordance with the HBS Policy and Procedures for Responding to Allegations of Research Misconduct.
  • Using a unique term or concept that one has read, without acknowledging its author or source.
  • Copying a computer program or deriving a computer program from the work of another, without permission and acknowledgment.


It is expected that all work submitted for any HBS course has been completed solely for that course. Self-plagiarism includes the practice of submitting identical or very similar material for credit in two separate courses. While the school encourages a student to continuously integrate their learning across courses, it is not acceptable to submit the same deliverable (or a very similar deliverable) to more than one course.

In some situations, it may be acceptable to produce more than one distinct analysis and deliverable based on a single research effort. If a student plans to prepare more than one EC paper or presentation based on a central research effort, then the student is required to obtain the faculty member’s written approval in advance. A student must complete the Required EC Student Report Disclosure Form (for Disclosure of Multiple Papers/Presentations from a Single Research Base) (login required) and submit the form to all relevant faculty. A copy of this completed form must also be submitted to Registrar Services for forwarding to the EC Faculty Chair.

A student must also submit all final work to all faculty accepting papers or presentations based on this research.

A student who submits the same or similar work to more than one course or for more than one academic purpose within HBS without such prior permission will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including mandatory withdrawal from HBS.

Using ChatGPT & Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools

Please see policy in 2.1.2 Using ChatGPT & Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools.