Q: Can I publish data obtained at a former institution if I've moved to a different institution now?
Consider the following hypothetical case:
When I belonged to University A, I had performed an experiment using personal information after obtaining approval from the Ethical Review Board of University A. Before publishing the result of the experiment, I moved to University B or Company C. In this case, can I now publish the result of the experiment performed at University A?
As per my understanding, retaining such data even after moving to another workplace would be unethical. But such conduct is often prevalent. Please advise.
This is an interesting question, and it points to your commitment to research integrity. So, kudos there!
After receiving approval from and performing experiments at the initial institute, publishing and using the data after moving to another institute will be considered unethical if the contribution of the initial institute is not described in the manuscript.
To avoid ethical issues, you may mention the current institute as your “current address” in the form of a footnote or in the Acknowledgements section and the past institute as the main affiliation. However, if both the institutes have supported the research to a similar extent, then, both can be listed as affiliated institutes.
We also had received a similar query. You may refer to these:
- I have moved to a new institute but want to publish research done in previous institute. What should my affiliation reflect?
- What should my affiliation be if I changed my workplace during a manuscript submission?
- Is it acceptable to list multiple affiliations as an author?
Additionally, you may also refer to the courses on R Upskill, a sister brand providing learning programs for various aspects of a researcher’s work and career, including ethics. You may find these courses helpful:
Hope that helps. Happy researching!