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Linda Mason, Ed.D. Coordinator for Grantwriting and External Funding Technical Assistance Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. IP: ETHICS IN RESEARCH.

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Linda Mason, Ed.D.Coordinator for Grantwriting and External Funding Technical AssistanceOklahoma State Regents for Higher Education


ethics in research
  • In general terms, responsible conduct in research is simply good citizenship applied to professional life.
  • Researchers who report their work
      • Honestly
      • Accurately
      • Efficiently
      • Objectively
  • Irresponsible, or unethical conduct includes:
      • Knowingly reporting inaccurate results
      • Wasting funds
      • Allows personal bias to influence scientific findings
unethical conduct
  • Irresponsible, or unethical conduct includes:
      • Knowingly reporting inaccurate results
      • Wasting funds
      • Allows personal bias to influence scientific findings
ethics in research1
  • Principle Investigator
    • Truth in follow-through

What are the broader impacts? Are undergraduate students involved? Are K-12 students involved? K-12 teachers? Are underrepresented staff or students involved? Is your local community involved? Are there statewide, national or international collaborations?

What is the intellectual merit of the

proposed activity?

How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields?

How well qualified is the proposer?

Does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative and original concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity?

Is there sufficient access to resources?

ethics in research2
  • Research is not an organized profession in the same way as law or medicines.
  • Researchers learn best practices in a number of ways and in different settings.
  • Norms vary
  • Local, state and Federal regulations
Shared Values

Honesty – conveying information truthfully and honoring commitments (15%)

Accuracy – reporting findings precisely and taking care to avoid errors (30%)

Efficiency – using resources wisely and avoiding time waste

Objectivity – letting the facts speak for themselves and avoiding improper bias


Not like obtaining a driver’s license

Some laws and policies

Other codes and guidelines

Some responsible practices accepted but not written – mentoring, not monitored or tested

Penalties vary

      • Professional codes
      • Government regulations
      • Institutional policies
      • Personal convictions
Professional Codes

Many professional organizations do have a code of ethics.

Many are general statements about ideals and do not contain specific guidance.

Code Resources
      • Sigma Xi. Honor in Science

      • National Academy of Sciences. On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research

      • National Institutes of Health. Guidelines for the Conduct of Research in the Intramural Research Programs at NIK

Code Resources
    • Institute of Medicine. The Responsible Conduct of Research in the Health Sciences

American Chemical Society

The Chemist’s Code of Conduct, 1994

The public

Chemists have a professional responsibility to serve the public interest and welfare and to further knowledge of science.

American Chemical Society

The Chemist’s Code of Conduct, 1994

The Science of Chemistry

Chemists should seek to advance chemical science, understand the limitations of their knowledge, and respect the truth.

American Chemical Society

The Chemist’s Code of Conduct, 1994

The Profession

Chemists should remain current with developments in their field, share ideas and information, keep accurate and complete laboratory records, maintain integrity in all conduct and publications, and give due credit to the contributions of others. Conflicts of interest and scientific misconduct, such as fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism, are incompatible with this Code.

American Chemical Society

The Chemist’s Code of Conduct, 1994

The Employer

Chemists should promote and protect the legitimate interests of their employers, perform work honestly and competently, fulfill obligations, and safeguard propriety information.

American Chemical Society

The Chemist’s Code of Conduct, 1994


Chemists, as employers, should treat subordinates with respect for their professionalism and concern for their well-being.

American Chemical Society

The Chemist’s Code of Conduct, 1994


Chemists should regard the tutelage of students as a trust conferred by society for the promotion of the student’s learning and professional development.

American Chemical Society

The Chemist’s Code of Conduct, 1994


Chemists should treat associates with respect, regardless of the level of their formal education, encourage them, learn with them, share ideas honestly, and give credit for their contributions.

Government Regulations
      • The 1966 Animal Welfare Act (PL 89-544)
      • The 1974 National Research Act (PL 93-348)
      • The 1985 Health Research Extension Act (PL 99-158)
        • Office of Scientific Integrity Review (OSIR)
      • Federal Administrative Procedure Act (5 USC 551-702) (establishing new regulations)
      • Executive Branch Agencies – NIH “Training Grant Requirement” 1989; “Required Education in the Protection of Human Research Participants” 1974

“Common Rule” (45 CFR 46A-D)

Institutional Policies
      • Required by law to have policies that cover various aspect of research programs if they accept Federal funds
      • Committees of review
      • Procedures for investigating and reporting misconduct
      • Approve and mange all grant budgets
      • Ensure that safety rules are followed
      • Follow established practices for use of hazardous substances
      • Provide training for researchers who use animal or human participants
Institutional Policies
      • Website information
      • Copies of institutional research policies written
      • Links to state and Federal policies
      • Required forms and instructions for completion
      • Responsible conduct training programs
      • Lists of key resource personnel
Institutional Policies
      • Misconduct
          • Establish definitions for misconduct in grant projects
          • Outline procedures for reporting and investigating misconduct
          • Provide protection for whistleblowers and persons accused of misconduct
      • Federal Policy on Misconduct

Personal Convictions
      • Written convictions
      • Peer review
      • Subject-matter expert review
      • Personal value expert review
Ethics should be a regular discussion on campuses, in departments, with peers, with experts, with a free flow of information—

ESPECIALLY with PUI’S for which research is an emerging field.

Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research

By Nicholas H. Steneck

Published by Office of Research Integrity, 2004