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Research Ethics for Scientists

A Companion for Students

Stewart, C. Neal


2. Auflage August 2023
272 Seiten, Softcover

ISBN: 978-1-119-83788-6
John Wiley & Sons


Research Ethics for Scientists 2e details best practices in all the major areas of research management and practice that are common to scientific researchers, especially those in academia. Aimed at the younger scientist, it critically examines the key areas that continue to plague scientists, even relatively mature and honest scientists, who continually deal with those who choose to misbehave or those who unintentionally slip into misbehaviour. The book is arranged in functional themes and units that every scientist recognizes as crucial for sustained success in science: ideas, people, data, publications and funding.

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Research Ethics for Scientists

A fully updated textbook helping advanced students and young scientists navigate the ethical challenges that are common to scientific researchers in academia

As the number of scientific journals, government regulations, and institutional guidelines continue to grow, research scientists are increasingly facing ethical dilemmas. Even seasoned and honest scientists can unintentionally commit research misconduct or fail to detect and address intentional misbehavior.

Research Ethics for Scientists is an authoritative "how-to" guide that clearly outlines best practices in scientific research. Critically examining the key problems that arise in research management and practice, this real-world handbook helps students and young scientists conduct scientific research that adheres to the highest ethical standards. Accessible chapters, logically organized into functional themes and units, cover all the major areas that are crucial for sustained success in science: ideas, people, data, publications, and funding.

The second edition offers new and updated content throughout, including discussions of recent innovations to detect and adjudicate research misconduct, vulnerabilities in research practices that were exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and new methods people are using to cheat the system and skew the peer review process. Entirely new case studies focus on harassment and bullying in training and mentorship, anti-science and pseudoscience, equality and equity issues, the fabrication of data, and more. This edition integrates gender, race, student training, and other important social issues throughout.
* Presents up-to-date coverage of growing issues such as the ethics of rushing to publish
* Discusses the use of text-similarity detecting software to reveal plagiarism and image analysis techniques for detecting data and image manipulation
* Features new material on current trends such as universal open access (OA) publishing, increased research metrics, new models for peer review, working for multiple employers, and "shadow labs" for individual scientists
* Includes access to a companion website with PowerPoint slides of case studies and figures

Written by an experienced researcher and PhD mentor, Research Ethics for Scientists: A Companion for Students, Second Edition is an indispensable resource for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, early-career professors, and scientists involved in teaching scientists-in-training.

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xii

About the Companion Website xiii

Chapter 1 Research Ethics: The Best Ethical Practices Produce the Best Science 1

Judge yourself 6

Morality vs. ethics 6

Onward and upward 8

Inauspicious beginnings 8

How science works 10

Nothing succeeds like success 13

Summary 14

Chapter 2 How Honest Is Science? 15

Judge yourself 16

Sanctionable research misconduct: fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism 16

"Scientists behaving badly" 17

Do scientists behave worse with experience? 20

Judge yourself 20

Crime and punishment 21

Judge yourself 25

Discussion questions 27

Summary 28

Chapter 3 Research Misconduct: Plagiarize and Perish 29

Ideas 31

Sentences 32

Phrases 32

A hoppy example 33

What is plagiarism, really? 34

Judge yourself 34

How many consecutive identical and uncited words constitute plagiarism? 35

Self- plagiarism and recycling 36

Judge yourself 37

Judge yourself 44

Tools to discover plagiarism 46

iThenticate 46

References cited 48

Self- plagiarism and ethics revisited 51

Judge yourself 51

Is plagiarism getting worse? 52

The [true] case study: the plagiarizing novelist who also plagiarized her confession to plagiarism and the author of the website "Plagiarism Today" 54

Summary 55

Chapter 4 Finding the Perfect Mentor 56

Caveat 57

Choosing a mentor 58

Judge yourself 62

Choosing a graduate project 69

Judge yourself 69

Mentors for assistant professors 69

How to train your mentor 75

Discussion questions 78

Discussion questions 80

Summary 81

Chapter 5 Becoming the Perfect Mentor 82

Grants and contracts are a prerequisite to productive science 84

Judge yourself 85

Publications are the fruit of research 86

On a personal level 87

Judge yourself 88

Common and predictable mistakes scientist make at key stages in their training and careers and how being a good mentor can make improvements 88

Discussion questions 104

Summary 105

Chapter 6 Research Misconduct: Fabricating Data and Falsification 106

Why cheat? 107

Judge yourself 110

The case of Jan Hendrik Schön, "Plastic Fantastic" 110

The case of Woo- Suk Hwang: dog cloner, data fabricator 111

The case of Diederik Stapel, psychological serial fabricator 113

Judge yourself 114

Detection of image and data misrepresentation 116

Judge yourself 120

Lessons learnt 121

Summary 121

Chapter 7 Research Misconduct: Falsification and Whistleblowing 122

Reporting and adjudicating research misconduct 123

A "can of worms" indeed: the case of Elizabeth "Betsy" Goodwin 125

Judge yourself 128

Judge yourself 129

Judge yourself 131

Judge yourself 137

Judge yourself 140

Cultivating a culture of openness, integrity, and accountability 140

Summary 141

Chapter 8 Publication Ethics of Authorship: Who Is an Author on a Scientific Paper and Why 142

The importance of the scientific publication 143

Predatory publishing 145

Judge yourself 146

Who should be listed as an author on a scientific paper? 146

Judge yourself 150

How to avoid authorship quandaries and disputes 151

Authorship for works other than research papers 153

The difference between authorship on scientific papers and inventorship on patents 154

Other thoughts on authorship and publications 155

Judge yourself 157

Summary 162

Chapter 9 Grant Proposals: Ethics and Success Intertwined 163

Why funding is crucial 164

Judge yourself 168

Path to success in funding 168

Fair play and collaboration 170

Judge yourself 171

Judge yourself 173

Recordkeeping and fiscal responsibility 173

Pushing the limits on proposals 174

Summary 179

Chapter 10 Peer Review and the Ethics of Privileged Information 180

The history of peer review 181

The nature of journals and the purpose of peer review 182

Open- access journals vs. subscription journals 182

Which papers to review? 188

Open reviews and discussion 189

Judge yourself 190

Grant proposals 190

Confidentiality and privileged information 191

Reviewers 192

Judge yourself 192

Final thoughts 193

Summary 195

Chapter 11 Data and Data Management: The Ethics of Data 196

Stewardship of data 197

Judge yourself 199

Judge yourself 204

Judge yourself 208

The land of in- between: ethics of data presented at professional meetings 208

Judge yourself 213

Raw data, processed data, and data analysis: ways to go right and wrong 213

Summary 213

Discussion questions 215

Discussion questions 216

Chapter 12 Conflicts of Interest 217

The dynamic landscape of conflicts of interest 218

Potential conflicts of interest for university scientists 219

Judge yourself 226

Conflicts of interest within labs or universities 226

Judge yourself 228

Discussion questions 232

Discussion questions 237

Summary 238

Chapter 13 What Kind of Research Science World Do We Want? 239

A culture of discipline and an ethic of entrepreneurship 241

Judge yourself 243

Too much pressure? 243

Integrity awareness through ethics education 246

Accountability 246

Truth will win 247

We scientists 248

Summary 249

References 250

Index 256
C. Neal Stewart, Jr. is Ivan Racheff Chaired Professor of Plant Molecular Genetics, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee, USA. He teaches a graduate-level research ethics course that focuses on best practices in research that are portable among different areas of biology, medicine, and agriculture.

C. N. Stewart, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN