Faculty at both Bryn Mawr and Haverford have recently seen increases in the number of papers and other assignments that have gone missing. Usually these problems are resolved quickly. The faculty member alerts the student and the student promptly and successfully resubmits the paper. However, if the student cannot immediately produce the missing paper, there is a breakdown of trust, with several cases going to the Honor Board.
In some cases, faculty members have received emails from students with attachments that cannot be opened, or with attachments missing altogether. In other cases, students report emailing papers to their professors, but the professor receives no such email. While email submissions seem to be particularly vulnerable, students have also claimed to have submitted hard copies of papers which the faculty members never find. Occasionally, the professor eventually finds the missing paper quarantined in the spam file, or in a colleague’s mailbox. But more often than not, the original paper never surfaces.
In response, the Curriculum Committee has collaborated with students, faculty and staff to create a set of guidelines for the safe submission of papers. They are designed to reduce the likelihood that a paper will go missing in the first place, and to increase the likelihood that a student can quickly replace a missing paper if necessary. While they may require a few more minutes of everyone’s time, they should save a lot of agony in the long run.
If everyone follows these procedures, fewer papers should go missing in the submission process. In those cases where something does go awry, students should be able to produce a second copy of a paper in a timely fashion. We discourage faculty from accepting late papers from students who are unable to do so.
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