Highlights from the webinar held on Feb 20, 2014
In November 2013, Editage conducted a workshop in Turkey on Writing and Presenting Research. At this workshop, many participants had questions on plagiarism. We observed that this was a topic of interest for many and realized that it was a critical need that must be addressed. Editage organized this webinar in February 2014 in response to this need. This webinar was also held as part of the Korea webinar series in Feb 2014.
This session was led by Ravi Murugesan. He began the session by discussing some misconceptions researchers have about ethics. He shared some common typical views that researchers have on ethics:
“I work in a highly-ranked university, and I’m doing cutting-edge science. I don’t have to worry about ethics.”
“People in business and politics have to worry about ethics. Research is a noble endeavor. There are no ethical problems here.”
“No one has spoken to me about ethics. Is it really an issue?”
“My advisor is a leading scientist. I follow his lead and do what he advises me to do. I don’t have to worry about ethics.”
Ravi emphasized that ethics is an important issue and something each researcher should be conscious about. He went on to discuss different ethical violations in the research context.
Here is what was discussed.
- Data fabrication:
A researcher changes the data obtained from experiments so that the research question is answered favorably.
- Data falsification:
A researcher makes up data that was not obtained at all.
- Unintentional plagiarism:
A researcher is extensively referencing past works and ends up using too much of the original text from those works.
- Intentional plagiarism:
A researcher presents ideas or findings from other published papers as his own, instead of citing those papers.
- Conflict of interest:
Here’s an example Ravi used to describe conflict of interest—A drug manufacturer funds a research project to test their drugs and forces the research team to report only the positive outcomes. The research team accepts to do this. Here, there is clear conflict of interest.
Ravi said that retraction was a common result of ethical violation and researchers should ensure that they do not
- Fabricate data
- Falsify data
- Hide conflicts of interest
- Republish findings without good reason