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Responsible Conduct of Research

Scientific Misconduct Final Rule 42 CFR 93

URI Polices and Procedures for Dealing with and Reporting Possible Misconduct in Research

PHS Office of Research Integrity

Responsible Conduct of Research Educational Resources

Handling Misconduct-Whistleblowers

Responsible Professional Conduct: Guidelines for Teaching, Research and Service at the University of Rhode Island.

Members of the University of Rhode Island campus community are expected to adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct in carrying out their teaching, research and service responsibilities. Such conduct is subject to norms and ethical codes that vary somewhat among disciplines, as well as to differing individual perceptions and interpretations; but certain general ethical guidelines reflecting the commitment of the campus to these standards are applicable to all University of Rhode Island faculty, staff and graduate assistants.

Some types of conduct are expressly forbidden by University rules and regulations (see, e.g., the University of Rhode Island Policy and Procedures for Dealing with and Reporting Possible Misconduct in Scholarship and Research), may have severe consequences. Others, not formally proscribed, are nonetheless properly included among the matters to which campus standards of professional conduct apply. Some are addressed in the formalized codes of ethics some disciplines have adopted or are reflected in prevailing practices in various disciplines.

Guidelines for the Responsible Conduct of Research
Instructional Responsibilities
Members of academic units have a fundamental obligation to respect the dignity of all students and to foster their intellectual growth and development.

a. Instructors should explain at the beginning of each course the grading criteria to be used and the requirements for successful completion of the coursework. Such criteria and requirements should be clear and should be applied consistently and fairly.

b. Faculty members should ensure that students are provided feedback and guidance to facilitate their academic progress.

c. Instructors should acknowledge sources of and observe copyright for materials prepared for course distribution.

d. In any student-faculty collaboration, the intellectual contributions of the student should be fully and appropriately acknowledged.

Handling Data
Individuals conducting research are obligated to record and preserve data in a manner that accurately reflects the work done, and that allows appropriate scrutiny and evaluation of those data.

a. Falsification of data, fabrication of data and unacknowledged appropriation of the data of others are unethical; they are also violations of the University’s academic integrity policy.

b. Data (including source materials) should be retained for an appropriate length of time after publication so that they are available for inspection by collaborators or, when appropriate, by other qualified individuals.

c. Data should never be withheld from collaborators except for purposes integral to the project.

d. Individuals conducting research should consider carefully all results, including those that do not fit research expectations.

Authorship, and Other Publication Practices
Authors should conform to formally detailed and/or generally observed standards and practices for authorship and attribution of credit in their disciplines.

a. Plagiarism is unethical and is a violation of the University’s academic integrity policy.

b. Authorship should be accorded to those who contribute both actively and meaningfully to a study.

c. Authors (including co-authors) have responsibility for their publications and should respond in an appropriate forum to legitimate inquiries about their data, methods or interpretations.

d. Authors should adhere to the standards and requirements of journals to which they submit manuscripts, particularly with respect to simultaneous submissions and originality of research.

e. Authors should acknowledge funding sources that support their research.

f. Authors should publish only those findings that result from careful consideration of the materials under study and, when appropriate, replication or verification of the study.

g. Authors should present in publications of experimental research sufficient information about methodology to permit others to repeat or extend work.

Professional Conduct
Members of an academic unit must honor contractual obligations in teaching, research and public service. They should further conduct themselves in a professional and collegial manner in all dealings with each other.

a. Members of academic units should provide an environment for professional development of all staff.

b. Individuals assessing the work of others should base their assessments on appropriate professional criteria.

c. Members of academic units should seek collegial resolution of professional disputes.

d. Individuals engaged in teaching, research or public service should respect and abide by legitimate and reasonable requests for confidentiality.

e. Individuals conducting research have an obligation to follow procedures that assure the ethical treatment of human subjects and animals.

f. Individuals engaged in research and teaching should understand and comply with pertinent regulations for health and safety in the workplace; should see to it that students and collaborators in learning or research projects understand and comply with these regulations; and should work to minimize risks to health and safety in the learning or research environment.

g. Individuals conducting research should spend research monies in ways consistent with the goals stated in contract documents.

h. Individuals conducting research and/or the officials of their administrative units have an obligation to keep clear records of expenditures and to make these records available to appropriate parties.

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