Table of Contents
Scientific Integrity and Ethics in Research
The value of a work is given by the worker himself, by his honesty, by his courage to try, by his ability to adapt to challenges and by his beliefs that accompany him in his endeavor, but also by those who are able to penetrate into the unknown, to understand the incursion of the worker and to reveal it to the world as a next step forward in making the world better every day. A healthy research that respects the norms of moral conduct will truly provide an innovative impetus and will bring the laurels of knowledge and appreciation to the head of the one who chooses to dedicate to the desire for more and better, without bypassing the merit of others.
Researchers, research processes, and the R&I system as a whole must adhere to well-established ethical and integrity principles that:
- underpin responsible and trustworthy research;
- support the responsibility of researchers to avoid lack of impartiality and methodological “shortcuts”;
- Combats the spread of pseudoscience and disinformation by intensifying efforts to disseminate scientific information.
The Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Science and Technology consider the following guidelines definitory for a proper and honest development in research.
(adapted from Shamoo and Resnik, 2009):
- Honesty: regarding all reported data, results, methods and procedures, and publication status. Do not provide and promote falsify, or misrepresent.
- Objectivity: be committed in avoiding bias in experimental design, data analysis, data interpretation, peer review, personnel decisions, grant writing, expert testimony, and other aspects of research.
- Integrity: respect promises and agreements; act with truthfulness; strive for consistency of thought and action.
- Carefulness: avoid careless errors and negligence; carefully and critically examine your own work and the work of your peers. Keep good records of research activities.
- Openness: share data, results, ideas, tools, resources. Be open to criticism and new ideas.
- Respect for Intellectual Property: honor patents, copyrights, and other forms of intellectual property. Do not use unpublished data, methods, or results without permission. Give credit where credit is due. Never plagiarize.
- Confidentiality: protect confidential communications, such as papers or grants submitted for publication, personnel records, trade or military secrets, and patient records.
- Responsible Publication: publish in order to advance research and scholarship, not to advance just your own career. Avoid wasteful and duplicative publication.
- Respect for Colleagues: respect your colleagues and treat them fairly.
- Social Responsibility: strive to promote social good and prevent or mitigate social harms through research, public education, and advocacy.
- Non-Discrimination: avoid discrimination against colleagues or students on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, or other factors that are not related to their scientific competence and integrity.
- Competence: maintain and improve your own professional competence and expertise through lifelong education and learning; take steps to promote competence in science as a whole.
- Legality: know and obey relevant laws and institutional and governmental policies.
The principle of confidentiality
The principle of confidentiality in ethical research states that the identity of the participants must remain anonymous and the information they supply must be respected. This means that researchers must take steps to ensure their research data remains confidential. The prospective research participant should be given a full explanation of what will be done with their data and the participant information sheet should clearly explain the standard of confidentiality. In some cases, researchers still need to make sure the data is stored and kept carefully.
Things to consider for maintaining confidentiality:
- privacy and confidentiality should always be respected;
- personal data should always be stored securely;
- any potential threats to privacy and confidentiality should be addressed in the research plan, and steps taken to minimize the potential;
- participants must be informed in full about how their data will be used and who will have access to it;
- Legal requirements and organizational policy should be followed.
Improve your knowledge, research activity & dissemination by enrolling to the following courses:
ELSEVIER Researcher Academy (www.elsevier.com):
- Plagiarism: Decision making & dealing with grey-zones across academic Fields
- Detecting Image Manipulation: Routines, Tools & Limitations
- Content ownership
- Why you can’t afford to ignore publication ethics
- Demystifying permissions
Web of Science Academy (courses by Clarivate www.clarivate.com):
Research Integrity (Learn about research integrity within academic publishing)
- Good Citation Behavior
- An introduction to Ethical Publishing Behavior
Scholarly Peer Review (Learn about peer reviewing for scholarly journals)
- An introduction to Peer Review
- Reviewing in the Sciences
- Reviewing in the Humanities
Peer Reviewing in Practice for Mentors
- Co-reviewing with a mentor (Learn how to peer review by co-reviewing together with a mentor)
Peer Reviewing in Practice for Mentors (Learn how to mentor junior colleagues in peer review through co-reviewing)
- Mentoring in peer review
- The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (2017) – PDF file
- The European Charter & Code for Researchers – English version
- The European Charter & Code for Researchers – Romanian version