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Part 4. Personnel Policies

Section IV. Performance/Evaluation/Termination

I. Policy for Research Practices

In addition to research misconduct, there are other practices that are viewed in research as questionable or improper research activities. These are not classified as research misconduct and are not deserving of the severity of punishment as those which are clearly research misconduct. However, these practices usually negatively affect the research enterprise, compromise the mentoring and educational responsibilities of universities, and, in general, violate ethical standards. Below is a list of practices which most researchers accept as important ethical standards to follow. These practices provide a framework for departments and colleges to develop an overall standard of behavior with respect to research activity. The acceptable deviation from these standards varies with each academic discipline, and departments or specialized academic units should discuss and determine the point at which such deviation constitutes improper or questionable research practice. The disputes within such units after such decisions are made should be settled by informal discussions or mediation. It is recommended that each academic unit provide guidance to its faculty and students by including the boundaries of deviation from good research practice in guidelines or handbooks.

1. Training and Education

a. Each student engaged in research should have a designated primary research mentor. It is the responsibility of this mentor to provide sufficient guidance so that the student learns the theoretical framework and some basic skills of the discipline.

b. The research experience should be supervised by the mentor in such a fashion that, as the student matures in the research process, he/she is given a more independent role in the choice and performance of a project.

c. Primary research mentors should not use student researchers to benefit the mentorís research program at the expense of the studentís career goals.

d. Each student engaged in research should learn appropriate standards of research conduct.

e. The academic unit in which the student resides should discuss the authorship policies and copyright/patent issues of the university and the unit. Such policies should be in writing and available within the unit.

f. Research supervisors should provide the student with an objective and helpful assessment of the studentís performance, with the aim of improving and enhancing career opportunities.

2. Data Management

a. Results of research should be clearly listed and retained in a manner that allows for other scholars to interpret and review. Such information should be immediately available to all persons who have collaborated on the project and to immediate supervisors.

b. Results of research should be retained sufficiently long so that others can review and analyze the information.

3. Publication Practices

a. Timely publication of new and significant results is the obligation of each researcher.

b. Whenever errors are found in a publication, it is the obligation of the authors to provide prompt corrections or retractions.

c. Except for oral or poster presentations, publications in a professional medium acceptable in the discipline should normally be the mechanism for the first public disclosure of new findings.

d. In all papers, sufficient information should be provided so that the readers can repeat the study, if at all possible.

4. Authorship

a. Authorship should include only those researchers who made a significant contribution to the idea, design, performance of the work, and/or interpretation of the research project. All those who have made such contribution should be offered the opportunity to be listed as authors.

b. In cases of more than one author, all authors should discuss and identify which of them should be the principal author. In those journals which use first author listed as the principal author, care should be taken to ensure that the principal author is the first author. In those journals or other publications in which first author does not denote principal authorship, the principal author should be denoted in a footnote or acknowledgment.

c. Each co-author should take responsibility for the entire paper when it is submitted for publication. Therefore each author must be in agreement on the interpretations and conclusions of the paper.

d. The submitting author should make every effort to ensure that each author has reviewed the final draft of the manuscript and authorized its submission. The submitting author must assure that the manuscript has been approved by all authors.

e. Whenever students are contributors to the research project, care should be taken by faculty to ensure that studentsí rights of authorship are protected and that principles of authorship described above must apply. Authorship or principal authorship should not be denied to students on the grounds of educational experience or ownership by the faculty of the idea or research program.

5. Peer Review

a. All those who participate in peer review of manuscripts or grant proposals should provide an objective and fair evaluation.

b. Peer reviewers should not make any unauthorized use of information or ideas that are obtained through peer review. Any information contained in the material subject to review should be held as confidential.

c. Peer reviewers should avoid conflicts of interest and remove themselves from the process if such conflict of interest is known.


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