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Integrity and Professionalism University Council on Undergraduate Research Summer Research Students Dusty Layton Director, Office of Research Compliance Research Ethics Process of making moral decisions Right vs wrong Integrity and Trust

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integrity and professionalism

Integrity and Professionalism

University Council on Undergraduate Research

Summer Research Students

Dusty Layton

Director, Office of Research Compliance

research ethics
Research Ethics
  • Process of making moral decisions
  • Right vs wrong
  • Integrity and Trust
    • Hallmarks of scientific discovery and publication process

Influences on undergraduate students:

  • Peers
  • The student himself/herself

Source.. The Responsible Researcher: Paths and Pitfalls, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society

  • Removing required reading from libraries to make is more difficult for other students
  • Services available to “ghost write” papers
  • Archives of previous lab reports/tests make it possible for students to use “better data” and prepare for the exact questions rather than study all the material
ethical conduct
Ethical Conduct
  • Academia does not tolerate fraudulent activity ….only effective for those who accept professional norms
  • Threat of punishment may deter some
  • Professional codes of conduct
  • The undergraduate with a sense of self worth and values will not succumb
    • Easy? No
    • Possible? Yes
why does fraud occur
Why Does Fraud Occur?
  • Pressure for career advancement
  • Pressure to get research funding
  • Pressure to get a job
  • Pressure for peer recognition
  • Publish/perish pressure
Responsible Conduct in Research
  • Range of ethical issues in research-

We believe we know, but we don’t

always know

responsible research conduct
Responsible Research Conduct
  • The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) defines research integrity as “adherence to rules, regulations, guidelines, and commonly accepted professional codes or norms.”
  • Research integrity is essential to ensure the reliability of research results and to preserve public support for research.
purpose of rcr
Purpose of RCR
  • Increasing knowledge and sensitivity to issues surrounding RCR
  • Improving ability of participants to make ethical/legal choices in the face of conflicts involving research in their careers
  • Developing an appreciation for the range of accepted practices across disciplines
  • Acquiring information about the regulations, policies and guidelines that govern research
  • Developing and fostering positive attitudes towards lifelong learning matters involving research ethics
in general terms
In general terms…..
  • RCR is simply good citizenship applied to professional life
  • Individuals who report their work honestly, accurately, efficiently and objectively
  • Researchers learn best practices in a number of ways and in different settings…. vary from field to field
rcr core areas
RCR core areas
  • Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership
  • Conflict of Interest and Commitment
  • Human Subjects
  • Animal Welfare
  • Research Misconduct
  • Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship
  • Peer Review
  • Collaborative Science
data acquisition management sharing and ownership
Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership
  • Data are the foundation of research and science….their integrity is paramount.
  • Almost all types of research include records that should be kept in bound lab notebooks. At a minimum, notebooks can provide a listing:

- The date of research, the investigators, what was done, and where the corresponding research products can be found.

  • Notebook should be supplemented as needed by specialized methods of recordkeeping such as computer files, videotapes, and gels.
  • Do not erase data
conflict of interest commitments
Conflict of Interest/Commitments

Competing demands on time, effort and responsibilities

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of Commitments

- Not inherently negative

- Management of conflicts is important

- Manage through full and regular disclosure

- Identify/address conflicts with solutions (collect data but have someone else analyze it)

human subjects research
Human Subjects Research

Research with human participants has proven

invaluable: advancing knowledge in the

biomedical, behavioral and social sciences

  • Basic ethical principles:

- Respect for Persons

- Beneficence

- Justice

  • Institutional Review Board
animal care and use
Animal Care and Use
  • Animal research provides a model for testing new procedures
  • Knowledge gained provides answers to questions important to advancing the science of behavior and to improving the welfare of both humans and other animals
  • IACUC – oversees the ethical and humane care and use of animals in research
social responsibility and integrity
Social Responsibility and Integrity
  • Work in all disciplines (humanities to engineering to sciences) provides building blocks of knowledge
  • Public funds and trust are placed in the hand of the research
  • His/her findings may lead to new legislation, new treatments, new policies, etc.
  • We trust the results obtained by others in order to develop new hypotheses
  • This requires that professionals in all disciplines be objective, careful and honest
when integrity fails
When Integrity Fails……
  • We mislead colleagues and the public in general
  • Waste of funds entrusted to us and to others that may follow our ideas
  • Hurt indirectly or directly other human beings
  • If intentional, we will loose federal funding/job
  • If not reported, the entire institution will loose federal funding
publication practices and responsible authorship
Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship
  • Authorship is the means by which new work is communicated among scientists and peers
  • Responsible authors adhere to guidelines (professional associations and editorial policies of professional journals)
  • Authors have responsibility to avoid redundant or duplicate publications
collaborative science
Collaborative Science
  • Trust and mutual responsibility is crucial
  • Ways to assure successful collaboration
    • Discuss ideas in advance
    • Communication
    • Form a partnering agreement (verbal vs. formal agreement)
      • Objectives/goals; contributions; criteria for authorship/credits; participation at meetings writing required reports, etc..
research misconduct
Research Misconduct

“Research misconduct means fabrication, falsification or plagiarism in proposing, performing, reviewing research or in reporting research results”

PHS Policies: 42 CFR Parts 50 and 93

NSF Policy: 45 CFR Ch. VI (10-1-02 edition)

case example pat j palmer
Case Example - Pat J. Palmer

Fabricated 6 interview records

Fabricated claim of Ph.D.

(B.S. and M.S. also)

Falsified that she was

co-author on 10 articles

Did I say I have a Ph.D. in Epidemiology?

questionable research practices
Questionable Research Practices

Actions that violate traditional values of the research enterprise and that may be detrimental to the research process.

  • Failing to retain significant research data for a reasonable period
  • Maintaining inadequate research records
  • Using inappropriate statitisical or other methods to enhance research findings
  • Mispresentating speculations as fact or releasing preliminary research results (ie, in the public media)

The Web Guide to Research for Undergraduates (WebGURU)

  • interactive web-based tool intended to assist undergraduates navigate the hurdles of an undergraduate research experience
  • Web-GURU project was originally funded by the National Science Foundation Division of Undergraduate Education'sEducational Materials Development Program