1887

Teaching Responsible Conduct Responsibly

    Authors: Michael J. Zigmond1,*, Beth A. Fischer2
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Neurology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260; 2: School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 15 December 2014
    • This article is reprinted with modifications from Macrina, F. L. 2014. Scientific Integrity: Text and Cases in Responsible Conduct of Research, American Society for Microbiology Press, Washington, DC.
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Neurology, University of Pittsburgh, 7016 Biomedical Science Tower 3, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Phone: 412-648-9720. E-mail: zigmond@pitt.edu.
    • ©2014 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2014 vol. 15 no. 2 83-87. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.874
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    Abstract:

    Requirements for educating the next generation of scientists in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) were published approximately 25 years ago. Over the years, an extensive collThe advancement of science requires trust – trust in the literature, in our collaborators, in the data we are handed, and most of all in ourselves. Policies issued by U.S. federal funding agencies (e.g., the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation) have been valuable in prompting institutions to initiate formal mechanisms for providing instruction in the responsible conduct of research (RCR). However, the guidelines vary greatly in scope, detail, and the types of individuals to which they apply. Unfortunately, at many institutions, the provision of RCR instruction has become a bureaucratic exercise aimed at fulfilling a regulatory requirement, instead of an activity optimized for promoting a climate of integrity. We argue that for RCR instruction to be effective it should (1) be provided to everyone involved in the research enterprise, be they students, trainees, faculty, or staff, (2) be infused throughout one’s time at an institution. For graduate students, that would include from orientation to thesis completion, including integration into all “core classes” within their discipline, as well as into discussions at research group meetings. (3) We also advocate that the bulk of the instruction should be provided primarily by active researchers who know the issues and have relevance to, and credibly with, those being taught, and (4) that the instruction actively engages the learners. Not only will we be providing RCR instruction in a much more optimized manner, such an approach also emphasizes through our actions, not just in words, that behaving responsibly is an essential skill for researchers

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References & Citations

1. Anderson MS, Louis KS, Earle J Disciplinary and departmental effects on observations of faculty and graduate student misconduct J. Higher Educ 65 3 331 350
2. Campbell PW FASEB Supports goal of ORI training guidelines but strongly criticizes its approach FASEB News August 11 2000 [Online.] http://www.faseb.org/portals/2/pdfs/opa/ori2000.pdf. Accessed 1 October 2014
3. Crain AL, Martinson BC, Thrush CR 2013 Development and validation of the Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SORC) Sci Eng Ethics 19 813 834 10.1007/s11948-012-9409-0 3594655 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11948-012-9409-0
4. Marchase RB Untitled letter to Ms. Jean Feldman April 7 2009 [Online.] http://www.faseb.org/portals/2/Content/NSF_RCR_Letter.4.7.09.pdf. Accessed 1 October 2014
5. Martinson BC, Anderson MS, Crain AL, de Vries R 2006 Scientists’ perceptions of organizational justice and self-reported misbehaviors J Empirical Res Hum Res Ethics 1 51 66 10.1525/jer.2006.1.1.51 http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/jer.2006.1.1.51
6. Moonesinghe R, Khoury MJ, Janssens AC 2007 Most published research findings are false-but a little replication goes a long way PLoS Med 4 2 e28 10.1371/journal.pmed.0040028 17326704 1808082 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040028
7. National Institutes of Health 2009 Update on the requirement for instruction in the responsible conduct of research [Online.] grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-10-019.html. Accessed 1 October 2014
8. National Science Foundation 2010 Award and administration guidelines [Online.] www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf10_1/aag_4.jsp. Accessed 1 October 2014
9. Nebeker C 2014 Smart teaching matters! Applying the research on learning to teaching RCR J. Microbiol. Biol. Ed 15 2 88 92
10. Ryan KA committee members 1995 Integrity and misconduct in research: report of the commission on research integrity U.S. Government Printing Office Washington, DC
11. The Economist Newspaper Limited 2013 The trouble with scientific research; how science goes wrong The Economist October 19 2013
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.874
2014-12-15
2017-11-21

Abstract:

Requirements for educating the next generation of scientists in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) were published approximately 25 years ago. Over the years, an extensive collThe advancement of science requires trust – trust in the literature, in our collaborators, in the data we are handed, and most of all in ourselves. Policies issued by U.S. federal funding agencies (e.g., the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation) have been valuable in prompting institutions to initiate formal mechanisms for providing instruction in the responsible conduct of research (RCR). However, the guidelines vary greatly in scope, detail, and the types of individuals to which they apply. Unfortunately, at many institutions, the provision of RCR instruction has become a bureaucratic exercise aimed at fulfilling a regulatory requirement, instead of an activity optimized for promoting a climate of integrity. We argue that for RCR instruction to be effective it should (1) be provided to everyone involved in the research enterprise, be they students, trainees, faculty, or staff, (2) be infused throughout one’s time at an institution. For graduate students, that would include from orientation to thesis completion, including integration into all “core classes” within their discipline, as well as into discussions at research group meetings. (3) We also advocate that the bulk of the instruction should be provided primarily by active researchers who know the issues and have relevance to, and credibly with, those being taught, and (4) that the instruction actively engages the learners. Not only will we be providing RCR instruction in a much more optimized manner, such an approach also emphasizes through our actions, not just in words, that behaving responsibly is an essential skill for researchers

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