Creative Integrity Policy

From Bravo Fleet
This article is official Bravo Fleet Official Policy.

The Creative Integrity Policy is intended to provide guidance to Bravo Fleet members on appropriate practices to support creative integrity across our organization. Creative integrity is a set of practices that promote originality, community, and pride in one’s work. It is not merely the absence of plagiarism but an active stance to treat our writing and art as an inherently ethical and communal project. This policy provides further context for the Bravo Fleet Judicial Code, Section 6.

The short version: any non-attributed use of content you didn't create (especially including AI-generated content) is a form of plagiarism. Check this guide to see where AI is fully disallowed, and make sure you provide credits in the places that it is allowed.

Section 1—Authorship

It is the expectation that any activity a member completes in Bravo Fleet represents their own actual effort. Because our award and promotion structure is centered on measurable activity, the importance of this premise is paramount. Authorship is the degree to which creative content was written, painted, drawn, etc. by an individual or group of individuals.

  1. General Authorship—Submitting, uploading, or storing content (including but not limited to text, images, audio, and/or video) on Bravo Fleet systems (including but not limited to the BFMS and/or the Wiki) is a statement that either the content is being provided with appropriate credit to the original creator and the member has explicit or implicit permission to (re)-post it, or that the work is entirely the creation of the member(s) involved in producing it. Content may only be submitted once.
    1. Using Fleet-Written Text—While content produced by the Intelligence Office and other members of the fleet’s staff is intended to inspire your writing and ground our shared universe, it is not acceptable to copy-and-paste text from this content into member-written wiki or command pages, or into fiction stories. Consider whether you absolutely need to have similar content when a link might suffice. Otherwise, you should paraphrase (put the text in your own words) and link to the original.
    2. Deletion of Content—The Bravo Fleet Intelligence Officer or Bravo Fleet Engineering Officer may delete content from the BFMS that violates the tenets of this policy.
  2. Authorship of Fiction—Fiction submitted to the BFMS or as part of a Bravo Fleet competition must be either the original work of a single member or the collaborative original work of more than one member.
    1. Collaborative Authorship of Fiction—For collaborative writing, all of the members involved in creating a story must have a character attached to the story when it is submitted and must agree to the story being published.
    2. Non-Author Characters—In some situations, members may allow other members to use their characters in their fiction. Unless all of the members actually participate in writing the story, this is not a collaborative authorship situation, and the story must be submitted for Service Ribbons, not Duty Ribbons, by adding the non-authoring character(s) after the story is published.
    3. Non-Member Authorship—Non-members may not be authors of Bravo Fleet stories; thus, stories written between a member and a non-member or non-members cannot be submitted until all involved parties are members.
    4. Novelty of Fiction—Without the express permission of the Bravo Fleet Intelligence Officer, members may not post fiction that has been previously published elsewhere, including fiction written in the past within Bravo Fleet that predates the BFMS. Editing previously published work to substitute in names, dates, and other minor changes to comply with the current canon would not make this work eligible for submission.
    5. Grammar, Style, and Spelling Software for Fiction—Using grammar, spelling, and style software (such as Grammarly) is strongly encouraged and does not impact fiction’s authorship.
    6. AI Text Generation Software for Fiction—Using AI text generation software, including AI paraphrasing, is prohibited for general fiction submissions. By definition, AI-generated text was not authored by a member. This is of particular concern in cases where a member is attempting to inflate their wordcount to earn more service ribbons. The use of software-generated text is also prohibited by the Bravo Fleet Judicial Code, Section 6.
    7. AI Text Generation Software in Fiction Competitions—Using AI text generation software, including AI paraphrasing, during a writing competition is prohibited unless the competition guidelines specifically allow for its use, but this still may not be posted as a BFMS story for service or duty ribbons. Competitions allowing the use of such software must take submissions in a manner other than through the BFMS story system.
  3. Authorship of Character Biographies—Character biographies submitted to the BFMS—or written on the Wiki in the case of fleet and task force NPCs—are presumed to be a member’s individual, original work.
    1. Novelty of Character Biographies—Characters previously used elsewhere by the member or earlier in Bravo Fleet’s history may be re-created and submitted to the BFMS as necessary. Members are prohibited from reposting other individuals’ characters as their own, regardless of whether the original author is a member.
    2. Grammar, Style, and Spelling Software—Using grammar, spelling, and style software (such as Grammarly) is strongly encouraged and does not impact characters’ authorship.
    3. AI Text Generation Software for Biographies—Using AI text generation software is allowed for character biographies not being used for promotion requirements, competitions, or Bravo Fleet Academy courses. The biography must indicate which generator was used and acknowledge that it is AI-generated content.
    4. AI Text Generation Software in Biography Competitions—Using AI text generation software, including AI paraphrasing, during a biography competition is prohibited unless the competition guidelines specifically allow for its use.
  4. Authorship of Multimedia Content—Multimedia (images, audio, video) submitted to either the BFMS or the Wiki must either be content that the member has explicit or implicit permission to (re)-post and include appropriate credit to the original creator, or be entirely the creation of the member(s) involved in producing it.
    1. Filters and Enhancements—Filters and other enhancements are permitted in all cases, unless a competition prompt specifically forbids them.
    2. AI Image Generation Software—AI Image Generation software is allowed for use with images that are not being submitted to competitions. A member should cite which generator was used to acknowledge this content as AI-generated, pursuant to the Bravo Fleet Judicial Code, Section 6
    3. AI Image Generation Software in Competitions—AI Image generation software is prohibited for graphics competitions or other competitions where graphics are a factor in judging unless the competition prompt specifically allows for its use.

Section 2—Plagiarism

Plagiarism is an offense under the Bravo Fleet Judicial Code, Section 6. A key aspect of creative integrity is avoiding plagiarism at all costs. Some degrees of plagiarism which would infringe on copyrights would also violate the Bravo Fleet Legal Policy. As defined by Oxford University:
“[p]lagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition. Plagiarism may be intentional or reckless, or unintentional.”
For more information, consult the Plagiarism Guide.
  1. Scope of this Policy—This policy does not infringe on the Bravo Fleet Judge Advocate General's discretion to determine the full scope of what plagiarism might entail but serves as guidance for members and staff on how to avoid and/or address plagiarism concerns from the standpoint of creative endeavors.
  2. Member Concerns—Members with concerns about plagiarism should direct their concerns through their chain of command, as per the Judicial Code.
  3. Deletion of Plagiarized Content—Content identified as plagiarism may be deleted by the Bravo Fleet Intelligence Officer or Bravo Fleet Engineering Officer. This content will be saved and referred to the Bravo Fleet Judge Advocate General.
  4. Self-Identification of Plagiarism—Members who inadvertently plagiarize and later become aware of it should seek guidance from their chain of command on how to correct their error or have the content removed.

Section 3—Editing and Brainstorming

Members are encouraged to brainstorm and share drafts of their creative work with one another. In particular, editing or “beta reading” between members can be extremely productive and useful for all parties. This type of collaboration does not generally rise to the level of collaborative authorship, but members must be judicious when submitting content edited by another member.

  1. Credit for Editing—Members who receive guidance and editing help in their fiction should credit the member who helped them in a comment under the story in question.
  2. Editing and Competitions or Academy Assignments—Members must consult with competition organizers or the Bravo Fleet Academy Commandant if they are seeking editing help in a submission to a competition or to an Academy assignment for approval. Competition regulations and Academy assignments are generally expected to be solely a single member's work. To avoid putting in a lot of work and then having a submission rejected or disqualified, members should consult before having another member help them edit.