Questions tagged [ethics]

On making a decision based on morals or common ethical codes instead of etiquette, rules, institutional or government policy, or technical or procedural reasons.

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How should I not get in trouble due to my political views in academia as a student in my time left in my home country given these political conditions

This question has been in my mind for about an year. Finally, I am asking it here. I don't know I would be getting knowledge about it anywhere else. I think it is on topic here. Kindly help. I live in ...
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47 votes
8 answers
12k views

I might be rediscovering someone else's result. What should I do?

I am writing a paper presenting a mathematical theorem I recently proved. However, while reading one of the papers that I am citing, I found out that the same result (or something very similar) might ...
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31 votes
8 answers
10k views

My name was omitted from a paper I (mostly) authored - what should I do?

I was recently asked to be tangentially involved in writing a review paper as part of a research group I am involved in. Originally, I was just supposed to review some sections I have particular ...
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1 vote
1 answer
351 views

Is it acceptable / legal for students to photograph their professors during class? [closed]

Recently, I noticed a student taking a photo of me from her seat during class. I asked her while the class was working on groups if she indeed did do this and she confirmed, but downplayed her ...
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6 votes
6 answers
500 views

How to express my unwillingness to contribute to military projects

I recently enrolled in a Master's program in electrical engineering at a public research university in the midwestern United States. I am currently focusing on power distribution and transmission, as ...
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0 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to make sure that the Selection Committee made fair decision for a Postdoc position?

I have applied for a postdoc position in October 2021 by sending my application to the responsible professor by email (as it's the only way to apply) as announced in the poster (in Germany). I got an ...
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7 votes
2 answers
198 views

Sharing my graduate school application

I am a graduate student at a well ranked US institution A, and my undergraduate was from a very low ranked and small institution B in another country. Sometimes students from institution B (encouraged ...
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2 votes
2 answers
152 views

Copyright Rules Regarding Figure Reproduction

A paper I wrote was recently accepted for publication. In one of our figures, we report our results juxtaposed against results from another paper published in a different journal. To perform a ...
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  • 1,201
0 votes
2 answers
231 views

Non-responsive co-author

I have written a paper together with a co-author. The co-author is a former assistant of mine. The paper is based on my idea but they have done quite a bit of work on it. We had a generally good ...
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3 votes
2 answers
371 views

My supervisor is blocking my major PhD work from being submitted. What should I do?

I have a 14 page draft sitting there for a year now, which I wrote exclusively. For my work I used specific hardware, which my supervisor got me access to so I cannot take his name off the paper. I ...
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3 votes
1 answer
578 views

Two papers on the same base of arguments [closed]

I had written a paper (I) on some properties of (real or complex) Hilbert space space valued continuous function to generalize a well-known theorem. I also thought the same about Banach space valued ...
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19 votes
12 answers
9k views

Is it cheating to get help with graded homework?

Suppose a person X asks person Y to explain some material from a course. Person X shows Y some homework that counts for a third of the grade and asks for help. They go through the homework, with Y ...
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8 votes
3 answers
393 views

Potential PhD applicant contacts me, mentions someone I know, can I contact such colleague?

A potential PhD applicant has contacted me for an informal chat about a PhD project I am offering. The candidate mentions he wrote an MSc dissertation under the supervision of Prof. X. I happen to ...
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1 vote
2 answers
172 views

Proper credit when original author left

My company has tasked me with writing a paper to be published on some of our software. The what and why isn't particularly relevant to the story except that it's purely software driven approach. No ...
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0 votes
1 answer
98 views

Should I wait till the completion of all possible experiments?

I am aware that this question can be answered in different ways based on the domain of research under consideration. So, you can confine the answer to the domain of machine learning. Suppose I am ...
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-2 votes
6 answers
530 views

Lying about date accessed so people don't think you procrastinated

Is it generally a big case of academic integrity/plagiarism to lie about the date accessed of a certain document or whatever when making citations, at least in the following case? The case: The idea ...
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22 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are there boycotts of university rankings?

Motivation: Our university has asked us to provide contacts for possible referees for our university for the QS ranking; apparently this "find your own reviewers" system has a 40% weight in ...
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4 votes
2 answers
176 views

Using data from an old project with a bad collaborator - do I need to loop them in?

I collected data almost a decade ago with a bad collaborator. The collaborator contributed very little and I didn't want to continue the partnership. When data collection was complete, I ran basic ...
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1 vote
3 answers
163 views

Is removing variables from a public data set for non-scientific reasons a misconduct?

This question applies to both data set I generated from my own research and public data set I reproduce in teaching. Suppose in a data intensive course, I used a publicly available data set as an ...
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  • 647
2 votes
3 answers
191 views

Is it unethical to download a pirated copy of a textbook to evaluate its content, then buy if worth it? [closed]

Textbooks are expensive. If I want to buy one, I want to make sure that the content will be worth it. The sample chapters on Amazon might not be enough to make a careful evaluation. Some websites ...
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-4 votes
2 answers
406 views

I have been rightfully caught with plagiarism in my Math finals online, will I be able to continue my academic path? [closed]

I am a first-year Physics student and I decide to challenge myself by taking a Math course that's well above my level. I was doing pretty well during the first half of the semester with offline ...
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1 vote
0 answers
60 views

How can French University (Master Coordinator) approve full-time internship that overlaps with classes for M1 student

I'm Currently a non-EU holding a Master degree in Physics and accumulating almost 2ys. of work experience. Getting closer to the EU market is hard; I was "brought" to France via a ...
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43 votes
4 answers
6k views

Authorship of a student who published separately without permission

My co-authors and I are preparing to submit a manuscript and have a problem regarding authorship. Several months ago, a grad student on the project became upset and quit. We just discovered that, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
313 views

Is it fair if professor doesn't meet the deadline but asks students to submit more than a week before?

My professor asked me to submit a report more than a week before the official deadline. Other professors were more lenient to their students. I submitted my report on the deadline as told by him. ...
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4 votes
2 answers
286 views

Asking an advisor about the source of their funding

I am a PhD student in a program where everyone is funded by the department by default, generally through teach, but many students are sometimes funded their advisor. The upside to being funded by your ...
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4 votes
1 answer
144 views

Correcting possible self-plagiarism years after

A few years ago I wrote and received high honors for an undergraduate thesis. A large section of the thesis, one third by page count, consists of a paper P I had written a year prior for a different ...
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3 votes
3 answers
146 views

Is it considered a breach of ethics (double blind reviewing) if I contact a potential reviewer after the final publishing decision by the conference?

There was one reject review of the paper, but the final decision was accept. The rejecting reviewer wrote a lot of useful feedback, and was fair and balanced: my intentions are certainly not to ...
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2 votes
1 answer
203 views

What image edits are appropriate for a journal figure?

Journals allow some leeway for editing images as long as you do not selectively edit parts of the image and the image edits do not change the evidence provided by the image. In practice this seems to ...
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70 votes
9 answers
15k views

Did I cheat on an exam by knowing a solution in advance?

I am a mathematics student in the US. For a recent exam, I achieved one of the highest scores. The problem is that the final question was intended to be a challenge, rather than one "average&...
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0 votes
4 answers
384 views

Article retraction: is it ethical to retract an article just because I am no longer happy with it

I recently came across a very old article of mine. The article was written at the beginning of my career when we were pressured to publish extensively. There is nothing really wrong with the article, ...
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  • 97
20 votes
1 answer
2k views

Should I do peer-review for a predatory conference? [duplicate]

As a first, I recently received an invitation to peer review for a predatory (or at least shady) conference - in contrast to the tons of unsolicited invitations to publish papers with their journals ...
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2 votes
2 answers
198 views

How to cite my advisor on my own thesis?

There is one section inside a chapter of my thesis that ended up written by my advisor. As it stands right now, I think it should have quotation marks, and then to add the reference from where it's ...
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5 votes
1 answer
81 views

Governmental and Scientific Institution Recommendation Letters

I was requesting some recommendation letters to be submitted to a governmental institution. I am surprised that two of my professors refused to provide me recommendation letters while giving me same ...
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  • 526
1 vote
3 answers
231 views

How do faculty pick which students get RA funding?

Suppose a faculty member has external funding for PhD students (who would otherwise have TA positions). How do they decide which of their PhD students get funding? For instance, I've seen faculty who ...
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3 votes
3 answers
470 views

NSERC (canadian institution) asks for Times New roman, can I use another font? [closed]

I need to write an outline of my research for a grant. The orginization I am applying to, NSERC asks for: "Body text in a minimum 12 pt Times New Roman font" Well here's a little problem, I ...
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76 votes
8 answers
13k views

A published paper is a literal translation of my own unpublished work. What can I do?

I found out that my supervisor in college translated an unpublished article of mine (in Chinese) into English verbatim and published it in a top journal, without any quotation marks or acknowledgments....
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2 votes
1 answer
164 views

University affiliation of potential supervisor

Day before yesterday, I emailed a potential supervisor asking whether she is accepting PhD students. The profile of the supervisor is in the faculty directory of University of Southern California. She ...
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50 votes
13 answers
14k views

How do I help my friend who went down the path of crankery?

I went to undergrad with someone who I am good friends with. He was always very bright and got into a top tier grad school. I went to another grad school and we're both postdocs now (again, at ...
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6 votes
1 answer
239 views

What are the rules regarding obtaining consent from subjects when publishing results related to drug testing?

I am wondering what the rules relative to consent of subjects are for publishing results related to drug testing. This recent publication by private lab researchers reports the result of drug testing ...
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1 vote
1 answer
125 views

Replying a professor for not applying to PhD program

A few months back I had an email conversation with a professor of a German university regarding a PhD position. She told me about the details for PhD admission procedure and I replied that I shall ...
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-4 votes
2 answers
262 views

Is it unethical to ask an unemployed academic to be an unpaid co-author of a book? [closed]

This story happened to me over 30 years ago.
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1 vote
1 answer
64 views

Publish a short summary of an accepted paper before proceedings

A paper I submitted as part of my PhD to an international conference has been recently accepted and I wish to publish a short translated summary to a national conference (which is allowed by them ...
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1 vote
2 answers
170 views

Ethical Dilemma: Can I Publish as a Single Author?

A couple of years ago, a colleague and I collaborated on a research report where we each collected a different set of data for our report. At the time, I conducted a set of interviews with one group ...
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4 votes
3 answers
379 views

I found two duplicate publications published in different conferences, so frustrated

While surveying a certain research area, I found 2 papers already published in 2 different conferences in 2019. Both have the same authors, same techniques, same figures (partially), but different ...
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30 votes
2 answers
5k views

Should I acknowledge my parents for their copy editing?

My parents are professional copy editors. On occasion, I will send them a manuscript to read for spelling, grammatical, and stylistic suggestions. It occurs to me that, whereas I would always ...
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  • 647
4 votes
1 answer
202 views

Is it appropriate to invite one's PhD advisor to life cycle events?

I have a good relationship with my PhD advisor that extends a little beyond the strictly academic (nothing inappropriate - for example I have met members of her family and she has let me borrow her ...
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  • 171
57 votes
9 answers
13k views

My research supervisor is asking me to fake results, what do I do?

My research supervisor wanted to produce a cost-benefit analysis for an infrastructure project (civil engineering). First he had someone else work on it, then he involved me. When I got involved, I ...
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6 votes
2 answers
657 views

Conference discussant: Is it appropriate to ask someone to present my comments?

I am a new assistant professor. I have been invited for a conference discussant and said yes. However, I just realized that I am required to register for the conference (fee is $710) to serve as a ...
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0 votes
1 answer
177 views

Arxiv after acceptance

I had submitted a paper, say X-1, on a reputed Springer (Birkhauser) journal of our field. After two major revisions I received an Ad hoc email from the editor which says that the paper is accepted, ...
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  • 125
0 votes
0 answers
86 views

How to start working independently in a project?

It has been two months since I joined in this new project. I have put to work along with another postdoc researcher. Now we both have been asked to set a pipeline for sequencing analysis. This person ...
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