Creating individual awareness about responsible conduct in research: A case study of one institution's approach for researchers and administrators.Introduction
Scientific research is increasingly being conducted in the public spotlight and the public is often frustrated frus·trate
tr.v. frus·trat·ed, frus·trat·ing, frus·trates
a. To prevent from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; thwart: by conflicting scientific results. The confusing stream of information surrounding a research topic often provides an example of science working properly since the accumulation of new data often leads to a new interpretation of existing results. Other times, new methods and data display earlier honest mistakes in the scientific approach taken to address an issue. But reversals in scientific knowledge due to deliberately misleading data are very damaging to the image of science. The public finds these types of reversals disquieting dis·qui·et
tr.v. dis·qui·et·ed, dis·qui·et·ing, dis·qui·ets
To deprive of peace or rest; trouble.
Absence of peace or rest; anxiety.
Uneasy; restless. and begins questioning the expenditure of tax dollars on research. Furthermore, misconduct MISCONDUCT. Unlawful behaviour by a person entrusted in any degree: with the administration of justice, by which the rights of the parties and the justice of the, case may have been affected.
2. in any field of study can taint taint
an unpleasant odor and flavor in a human foodstuff of animal origin. Caused by the ingestion of the substance, commonly a plant such as Hexham scent, or while in storage, e.g. milk stored with pineapples, or as a result of animal metabolism, e.g. boar taint. public trust of scientific research and delay implementation of policy on critical issues such as preventing the release of toxins into the environment or mitigation of global climate change.
Behavioral misconduct toward colleagues also impedes the progression of science and the participation of people from traditionally underrepresented un·der·rep·re·sent·ed
Insufficiently or inadequately represented: the underrepresented minority groups, ignored by the government. groups. Many scientists are discouraged or quit because they encounter undue hostility towards novel ideas, exploitation of subordinates, co-option of other's ideas, or alienation alienation, in property laws: see tenure.
In the social sciences context, the state of feeling estranged or separated from one's milieu, work, products of work, or self. of people in differing lifestyle, gender, race or cultural identity. The "relaxed" nature of the scientific enterprise often facilitates misconduct.
Responsible research has been defined (Steneck and Zinn 2003) as research built on commitment to important values, which include honesty, accuracy, efficiency, and objectivity. These values define the meaning of integrity in research. Responsible conduct should be a determinant determinant, a polynomial expression that is inherent in the entries of a square matrix. The size n of the square matrix, as determined from the number of entries in any row or column, is called the order of the determinant. in how research is performed and the practices that are followed. In order to infuse in·fuse
1. To steep or soak without boiling in order to extract soluble elements or active principles.
2. To introduce a solution into the body through a vein for therapeutic purposes. the research and education process with ethical, responsible behavior, both individuals and communities must explore and identify their own ethical values.
Federal agencies and institutions share the responsibility, for the research process and provide guidelines guidelines,
n.pl a set of standards, criteria, or specifications to be used or followed in the performance of certain tasks. on responsible conduct through laws, institutional practices, non-binding codes and guidelines of professional organizations. However, the enforcement of expectations for responsible conduct ultimately relics relics, part of the body of a saint or a thing closely connected with the saint in life. In traditional Christian belief they have had great importance, and miracles have often been associated with them. on individual researchers and the community dynamics they create. For example, research mentors impart their perspectives and values to their mentees through interactions in their laboratory groups--behavior that may never be consciously examined but that may play a large role in the development of interactions among mentees. Because of this, federal agencies are strongly advocating that individual institutions be responsible for educating their employees on what constitutes responsible conduct and strongly encourage researchers, both seasoned and new, to participate in these programs. One of the first topics of discussion at IES focused on mentoring relationships, and later discussions touched on how mentoring relationships call either positively or negatively impact young scientists and their careers. The case studies were designed to foster discussions on positive and negative mentoring practices, how individuals behave in power situations, and the impact of these practices and behaviors.
IES Approach to Ethics Education
Institutions bear the responsibility of providing education that raises the awareness of both neophyte ne·o·phyte
1. A recent convert to a belief; a proselyte.
2. A beginner or novice: a neophyte at politics.
a. Roman Catholic Church A newly ordained priest. and seasoned researchers to recognize behaviors that can negatively impact collaborations, on any and every level, and suggest ways of overcoming and dealing with these behaviors. Providing education on Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR RCR Richard Childress Racing
RCR responsible conduct of research
RCR Royal College of Radiologists (UK; also seen as RCOR)
RCR Royal Canadian Regiment
RCR Rockcliff Resources Inc (Sudbury, ON, Canada) ) has been a challenge for some institutions because of limited resources, limited funds, and staff availability. This important topic needs to be presented in a manner that will capture the attention of the research start; serve as a catalyst for bringing to light unproductive undercurrents Undercurrents is:
Methods to provide responsible conduct in research training range from full courses to single classes and discussion units. During the 2003-2004 academic year the, Institute of Ecosystem Studies The Institute of Ecosystem Studies (IES) is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the scientific study of the world’s ecosystems and the natural and human factors that control and change them. utilized an existing discussion group forum to meet monthly and present case studies for discussion. A mix of postdocs, staff scientists, research assistants, and members of the administrative staff attended the discussions and presented varied reactions to and perspectives on the problems presented in the case studies. These case studies were, for the most part, written by a cross section of IES research and administrative staff" and were based on the premise that responsible conduct goes deeper than plagiarism Using ideas, plots, text and other intellectual property developed by someone else while claiming it is your original work. , falsification falsification /fal·si·fi·ca·tion/ (fawl?si-fi-ka´shun) lying.
retrospective falsification unconscious distortion of past experiences to conform to present emotional needs. of data or theft of ideas. They were designed to delve into core individual values and how they shape research interactions and to explore the institutional role in the process. A basic premise was that irresponsible conduct could severely hamper scientific progress.
The goal in providing a series of discussions on RCR was to provide more than a course in ethics. It was to give staff members an open forum to examine, share and discuss problems and concerns. The discussions made the IES community aware of how behaviors negatively and positively impact collaborative relationships. They also made us aware of how important it is to examine and re-examine re·ex·am·ine also re-ex·am·ine
tr.v. re·ex·am·ined, re·ex·am·in·ing, re·ex·am·ines
1. To examine again or anew; review.
2. Law To question (a witness) again after cross-examination. these interactions so that the parties involved do not lose sight of how their actions and interactions affect each other and the project.
Most of the case studies (available at http://www.ecostudies.org/responsible conduct.html; see Appendix) were specifically designed to be thought provoking pro·vok·ing
Troubling the nerves or peace of mind, as by repeated vexations: a provoking delay at the airport.
pro·vok by focusing on the nuances of human interactions rather than the more obvious and deliberate instances of misconduct. In particular, the case studies written by IES research and/or administrative staff were designed to delve into the ways in which individual values shape research interactions. As a secondary goal, many case studies were written to encourage discussion of institutional responsibilities not only in setting guidelines for behavior but also in the development of an atmosphere of trust and respect. These case studies left the reader free to interpret the problems and behaviors of the individual characters and led to many honest debates on how the problems should be addressed and solved. The participants often discussed similar situations in their own careers and the impact that the behaviors or problems that they had with mentors or colleagues had or could have had on their research or their careers. Often the discussions were insightful and stimulating, and all discussions continued beyond the scheduled meeting time. The reactions of participants depended in part on their experience; some considered the discussions new and interesting, while others who had been in situations similar to those in the case studies often found the discussions painful or frustrating frus·trate
tr.v. frus·trat·ed, frus·trat·ing, frus·trates
a. To prevent from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; thwart: . The most positive aspect to these discussions was the opportunity to discuss problematic topics more openly in a somewhat neutral setting. To the extent that these case studies might open awareness among scientists, staff and administrators, they can be used as a somewhat neutral vehicle for exploration of difficult topics. In the long-term, only self-examination of personal values and prejudices can change individual behavior and contribute to ethical behavior within a community.
A common theme throughout many of the case studies was how individuals, colleagues, and institutions should cope with cases of misconduct in which one powerful individual hampers the welfare of another with less status. Cases ranged from cooption of ideas, improper attribution at·tri·bu·tion
1. The act of attributing, especially the act of establishing a particular person as the creator of a work of art.
2. of co-authorship, and sexual or racial discrimination. In all cases, it was clear that power inequalities exist not only among colleagues at different career stages, but also within the same career stage, when one wields more political power within the field or institution. Many participants agreed that in situations with power imbalances, the person on the losing end was most likely to accept the loss and move on, because attempts by them, or on their behalf, to question the behavior of a more powerful colleague could further jeopardize jeop·ard·ize
tr.v. jeop·ard·ized, jeop·ard·iz·ing, jeop·ard·izes
To expose to loss or injury; imperil. See Synonyms at endanger. their career and reputation.
Repeated discussions on this topic made it clear that in order to enforce ethical conduct among colleagues and create an atmosphere that is fair and just, it is essential for the overall community to use peer pressure on their misbehaving colleagues, and to stand behind those who have been placed at a disadvantage by those in power. Institutional authorities need to be very clear that damaging behaviors will not be tolerated, and they need to provide a clear course of action for conflict resolution.
Communication Is the First Step
The many discussions emphasized the fact that difficult issues of personal conduct in scientific research are best addressed through clear communication among all participants, their supervisors, and institutional administrators. Effective communication can be successful only in an atmosphere of trust, openness, and respect. The lines of open and honest communication are often intentionally in·ten·tion·al
1. Done deliberately; intended: an intentional slight. See Synonyms at voluntary.
2. Having to do with intention. closed because academics are often too busy to discuss topics that require a great deal of time, thought, and energy and because the topics are not considered to be immediately contributing to their career productivity, even though these issues are often central in the longer term.
In many of the case studies, participants perceived the situations differently, and those differences in perception led to differing opinions about the correct course of action. Discussion of these topics made participants aware of how some seemingly innocent behaviors could have harmful effects on some members of the community. For example, when a powerful leader in a scientific discipline makes sexual advances towards a younger colleague at a meeting, it is not simply a matter of the person's "having fun," because more often than not, the younger colleague feels de-valued for their scientific accomplishments and worries that their responses to these advances could jeopardize their career in a system based on peer review by influential members of the field. The outcomes of the discussions emphasized that one should be careful not to make assumptions about other people's perceptions; a clear understanding of a situation requires a dialogue between the parties involved. One of the most enlightening en·light·en
tr.v. en·light·ened, en·light·en·ing, en·light·ens
1. To give spiritual or intellectual insight to: and surprising revelations of the discussions was the fact that, although some staff members had worked side by side for over 13 years, they were unaware of how their coworkers would respond to or felt about many of the issues. On more than one occasion one person would say, "The answer to that is simple and obvious; it is this," while another participant would say, "I, too, thought the answer was obvious, but it was not this; it is definitely that."
The goal of the discussions was for IES to respond to an institutional and national need to identify institutional problem areas regarding responsible conduct in research, issues that many researchers face at some time during their careers. Perhaps the more important outcomes were that, through discussions, it appears possible to begin to open the lines of communication "Lines of Communication" is an episode from the fourth season of the science-fiction television series Babylon 5. Synopsis
Franklin and Marcus attempt to persuade the Mars resistance to assist Sheridan in opposing President Clark. and to help the members of our scientific community evaluate their behavior. Understanding the effects of one's behavior on others helps strengthen the good behaviors Orderly and lawful action; conduct that is deemed proper for a peaceful and law-abiding individual.
The definition of good behavior depends upon how the phrase is used. and recognize and re-evaluate the less than positive ones.
We discovered that using the case study approach is a good way to begin discussions that assist the administration to understand institutional problems as well as aiding in the development of policies. It is a model that most institutions can use and benefit from. Postdocs and research specialists participating in the discussions found that the problems they were experiencing were not novel, and they benefited from sharing experiences and possible solutions with their peers and senior staff members. Senior staff members were often forced to re-examine behaviors and view them from the perspective of those most affected by them. Although often no definitive solutions to many of these problems exist, participants began to recognize the tools needed to improve their handling of difficult situations. These tools can be invaluable to a researcher's career and present and future collaborations.
IES has made a good start, but it is just a beginning of a long process. The discussions need to continue to keep the dialog open. Individuals and institutions must be open to carefully evaluate and modify their behaviors and attitudes. As an institution, we must remain keenly aware of the possibility for these collaborative and mentoring relationships to go awry a·wry
1. In a position that is turned or twisted toward one side; askew.
2. Away from the correct course; amiss. See Synonyms at amiss. , and to prevent harmful situations by providing a forum for conflict resolution and creating an atmosphere that fosters positive interactions among colleagues. The growing emphasis on collaborative relationships coupled with limited funding resources and the need to nurture NURTURE. The act of taking care of children and educating them: the right to the nurture of children generally belongs to the father till the child shall arrive at the age of fourteen years, and not longer. Till then, he is guardian by nurture. Co. Litt. 38 b. innovative scientific research makes it essential that institutions attract and retain talented scientists and foster a productive, stimulating atmosphere in which the research of many individuals can flourish.
Snapshot of Case Studies Topics on the IES Web Site
January 11, 2005 Harassment Ask a Lawyer
Country: United States of America
I recently moved to nev.from abut have been going back to ca. every 2 to 3 weeks for med. , Worship, Admiration or Imagination?--Led by Marie F. Smith, CRA See Community Reinvestment Act.
Case Study--Written by Marie F. Smith, CRA (IES staff) June 16, 2004 On Being a Responsible Scientist - Led by Dr Clive Jones Clive Jones is a recurring fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, played by Trevor Laird. He is the father of the Tenth Doctor's companion Martha Jones and of Tish and Leo Jones.
Case Study--Written by Dr. Clive Jones; Marie E Smith, CRA; Kathleen Wallen & Dr Maria Uriarte (IES staff) Additional reading 1 Additional reading 2
May 13, 2004 Personal Conduct & Harassment--Led by Dr. Maria Uriarte
Case Study--Written by Dr. Maria Uriarte; Dr. Holly Ewing; Dr. Kathleen Weathers; Dr. Valerie Eviner (IES staff)
April 22, 2004 The Other Side of Collaboration: Maintaining the Balance of Power--Led by Dr. Valerie Eviner and Ms. Marie Smith Marie Smith Jones (born May 14, 1918 in Cordova, Alaska) is the last surviving speaker of the Eyak language of southcentral Alaska. She is also the chief of the Eyak Nation and the last remaining full-blooded Eyak . She lives in Anchorage, Alaska.
Case Study--Written by Marie E Smith, CRA; Dr. Valerie Eviner; Dr. Kathleen Weathers; Dr. Holly Ewing (IES staff)
April 2004--Presentation to the Board of Directors Mentoring & Ethics--Led by Drs. Holly Ewing and Maria Uriarte
Case Study--Written by Dr. Maria Uriarte; Dr. Holly Ewing; Dr. Valerie Eviner; Dr. Kathleen Weathers (IES staff)
March 18, 2004 Collaboration--Co-Led by Drs. Valerie Eviner and Kathleen Weathers
Case Study--Written by Dr. Valerie Eviner; Dr. Kathleen Weathers; Dr. Holly Ewing (IES staff)
February 19, 2004 Publication & Authorship Led by Dr. Jonathan Jeschke
Case Study--Written by Dr. Jonathan Jeschke (IES staff) discussion in the mailing list An automated e-mail system on the Internet, which is maintained by subject matter. There are thousands of such lists that reach millions of individuals and businesses. New users generally subscribe by sending an e-mail with the word "subscribe" in it and subsequently receive all new ECOLOG-L
January 15, 2004 Ownership of Research Materials - Led by Dr. Peter Groffman
Case Study--Stanley G. Koremann and Allan C. Shipp, Eds, "Teaching the Responsible Conduct of Research Through Case Study Approach: An Handbook for Instructors," Association of American Medial medial /me·di·al/ (me´de-il)
1. situated toward the median plane or midline of the body or a structure.
2. pertaining to the middle layer of structures.
adj. Colleges, 1994. Data Access Policy for the LTER LTER Long Term Ecological Research Network
December 18, 2003 Mentoring & Ethics--Led by Dr. Maria Uriarte
Case Study--Written by Dr. Maria Uriarte; Dr, Holly Ewing; Dr. Valerie Eviner (IES staff)
Author's note: Marie F, Smith, CRA;ValerieT Eviner, PhD; Kathie Weathers, PhD; Maria Uriarte, PhD; Holly Ewing, PhD; Jonathan M. Jeschke, PhD; Peter Groffman, PhD; Clive G. Jones, PhD; Institute of Ecosystem Studies, 65 Sharon Turnpike turnpike, road paid for partly or wholly by fees collected from travelers at tollgates. It derives its name from the hinged bar that prevented passage through such a gate until the toll was paid. See also road. (PO Box AB) Millbrook, NY 12545; Telephone: (845) 677-5343
Steneck, N., & Zinn, D. (2003). ORI Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research. Washington, DC: Department of Health and Human Services Noun 1. Department of Health and Human Services - the United States federal department that administers all federal programs dealing with health and welfare; created in 1979
Health and Human Services, HHS , Office of Public Health and Science The Office of Public Health and Science (OPHS) is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The office is under the direction of the Assistant Secretary for Health, who serves as the Senior Advisor on public health and science issues to the Department , Office of Integrity.
Marie F. Smith, CRA
Valerie T. Eviner, PhD
Kathie C. Weathers, PhD
Maria Uriarte, PhD
Holly A. Ewing, PhD
Jonathan M. Jeschke, PhD
Peter Groffman, PhD
Clive G. Jones, PhD
Institute of Ecosystem Studies