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Ethics and IP. Young Faculty Workshop DAC 2009 Janet Meiling Wang Univ. of Arizona. Motivations. Share my experience Play lifelong important roles Yet always neglected as most of us too busy … Two related subjects but also very different

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ethics and ip

Ethics and IP

Young Faculty Workshop DAC 2009

Janet Meiling Wang

Univ. of Arizona

  • Share my experience
  • Play lifelong important roles
  • Yet always neglected as most of us too busy …
  • Two related subjects but also very different
  • Reward innovations, stimulate research, benefit public
some symptoms
Some symptoms
  • Plagiarism
    • Happens in every country, every department, every course and unfortunately more or less every research group
    • Violates IP
  • Cheating in exams
  • Fake experimental results
  • Without referencing
  • Last minute, delete others name as co-PIs
how serious are these problems
How Serious are these problems?
  • Fall 2008, 34 courses offered in ECE department, Univ. of Arizona, 81 incidents were caught cheating in exams or committing plagiarism.
  • Pirating books and software happen very often in some countries

Nurture students in your courses, Students in your group, and yourself !!!

understanding ethics
Understanding Ethics
  • “What makes behavior or policy, morally right or wrong”
  • no universally acceptable ethical theory
  • human experience cannot be divorced from experiences of morality
  • Work together requires agreement or tolerance
  • Distinct from law and etiquette
importance in ethics
Importance in Ethics
  • It is very important to keep a good and positive working environment
  • The tenure process can be subjective: your image may have big influence in your tenure process !!!
  • Your career will last 30-40 years. It is long term. So avoid ethic related problems.
collaborate with others
Collaborate with others
  • Be honest to yourself and your collaborators and reveal basis of disagreement
  • Sometimes rule out some options as clearly unethical. You need to protect yourself !!
  • It is a learning process itself !
publish with others
Publish with others
  • Who proposed the major part of the idea ?
  • Who wrote the first version of the paper ?
  • Who funded this project or the students ?
  • Discuss the name order beforehand not afterwards ( VERY CLEAR TO EVERY AUTHOR)
ip issues
IP issues
  • Almost every university has an IP office
  • Publication/Proposal vs. patent
  • Takes long time to explain your new invention
  • Brings in $$$ and fame

You need to inform IP office if you are going to start a company

nurture students
Nurture Students
  • Always spend some time seriously talking about plagiarism in class
  • Always emphasize on the painful consequences of plagiarism in your group meeting
  • Try to read your students writing (unfortunately not always possible  )
students cheating in exam
Students Cheating in Exam
  • Communicate with student in person to find out the fact why and who
  • Communicate with Vice department head, or associate dean on policies to handle cheating in exams
  • Write down a memo stating the fact, the proposed measurements
  • Present the memo to the student WITH vice department head or the associate dean
  • Sign the memo (student signature, your signature).
tips when things don t go well
Tips when things don’t go well
  • Discuss with the violated authors
  • Discuss with senior professors on exit solutions
  • Discuss with department and university on possible punishment etc
  • Discuss again with the violated authors
  • Draft a formal statement and apologize what have happened.
  • “Ethics and IP”, Michael M. Burgess, Ph.D. W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics, UBC