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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19
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2answers
1k views

Drawing Lines when Giving Ideas to Undergraduate Students

I teach quite a few 'unprepared' students and I find they struggle with finding source material on which to base their reports. Basically, they need to read a lot and apply theories to different ...
6
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3answers
3k views

Has anyone ever written a paper and put your name on it?

I am a professor and researcher in mathematics and my research is kind of on the theoretical side. Online, I discovered a mathematician who had written some papers with ideas similar to mine, and we ...
24
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6answers
7k views

Worry about stealing of research ideas

I have gotten an idea in the field of Computer Science that it can result in a research paper. The problem is that I lack the adequate background in one part needed for this research, mostly ...
7
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4answers
1k views

Is it ethical/acceptable to take courses for the sole purpose of getting a reference letter?

I am interested in going back for my masters. While I have been accepted by a masters program (quite a while ago) previously, I am looking at another university and require a fresh set of references. ...
10
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2answers
2k views

How can my colleague use our joint results in his PhD thesis?

Over the past two years, I've been collaborating with a PhD student. He did experimental work, and I did modeling and data analysis based on his experiments. Now that my colleague is about to write up ...
14
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2answers
830 views

Informing my supervisor of discrepancy in the results

I am working on my MPhys thesis, on a certain dataset. Part of this dataset has been analyzed by my current supervisor during his PhD, with published results. He asked me to expand on that work by ...
10
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1answer
573 views

Is it ethical to use a data-set made as a research assistant?

Two years ago I was a research assistant during my undergraduate and my sole duty was the aggregation of many economic surveys, a very tedious task. This data-set, to my knowledge is one of a kind. ...
114
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6answers
12k views

Asked again to review a paper, when the authors don't wish to modify it

I have received a manuscript to review for a journal. The interesting thing is, I had already reviewed this article (exact same title, abstract and author list, almost exact same content) for another ...
17
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3answers
502 views

What should I do if I find two suspiciously similar conference publications by different authors?

In my research, I've found two articles that are completely identical, except the abstract and authors names. They are published on different conferences, with one year between. What should (must) I ...
13
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3answers
1k views

Ethical Disclosure of Professional Knowledge in PhD Dissertation

I have just completed my PhD. Although my examiners did not raise any concerns, I have been grappling with an ethical issue for the entire duration of my candidature. The issue concerns professional ...
86
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6answers
12k views

Should I report an accepted PhD thesis in which the literature review is copied verbatim from sources?

While writing the literature review for my doctoral dissertation, I picked up a few recent dissertations on similar topics from the library to get some pointers on references and style. As I was ...
18
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4answers
3k views

Are overlapping dissertations ethically acceptable?

Would it be ethical for students working on the same team to include in their Ph.D. theses results arising from joint publications, ending up in different dissertations containing almost identical ...
23
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1answer
475 views

Finish previous work during current position

I will soon change of lab, moving from a PhD student position to post-doc position. During the last months of my contract as a PhD student, I tried to finish everything I started but I still have a ...
17
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1answer
5k views

Appropriate to thank examiners?

I have just completed a research degree. By the rules of my university, my dissertation was examined by two outside examiners, whose identities were kept secret from me during the examination process. ...
21
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3answers
2k views

Is pseudonymous publication ethical?

From this MathOverflow question: William Sealy Gosset published a result under the pseudonym Student. (Because his employer, the Guinness brewing company, did not allow their employees to publish ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Publishing the same results at multiple conferences

I presented my psychology thesis at an undergraduate conference, an international conference in France, and am now interested in submitting it to be presented at the 2013 APA conference in Hawaii. ...
28
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5answers
1k views

Is it ethical to use another university's journal subscription if yours doesn't have access?

As a graduate student, sometimes I really could use access to journals or databases of tables that for some reason my university doesn't subscribe to. I have friends at other Universities that do ...
25
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6answers
4k views

Are the Hardy-Littlewood “rules” unethical?

For the second time recently, someone mentioned to me the Hardy-Littlewood rules for collaboration (and on that very site). From what I read about it, they include the following rule: And, finally, ...
20
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3answers
682 views

What is the principal investigator’s responsibility regarding data authenticity?

Every now and then, you hear stories of data being fabricated by a graduate student (or post-doc) who felt the pressure to publish groundbreaking results was too much. This unethical behavior makes me ...
8
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1answer
217 views

Is it ever alright to add a subtitle to a title shortened by publication when citing?

Let's assume that a paper was submitted under the "Extremely long and necessary title that explains you are studying pieces of Class A, Class B and Class C of this Bigger (and much more frequently ...
20
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3answers
2k views

Would it be ethical to hire a proofreader for theses and academic articles?

Proofreading documents for orthography is a pain. I consider that I am decent at writing in my native language (on the grammar and orthography side), but proofreading for typos and whatnots is a time-...
10
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5answers
798 views

Is it ethical to request additional money for non-research related work in a research lab as a grad student?

I work in a computational research lab as a graduate research assistant. We're all funded under various grants to do research in our field and we are also working on a thesis, which may or may not be ...
38
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4answers
2k views

Is it reasonable to collaborate with a professor when you are employed by a different professor?

How wise is it to collaborate with another professor while working as a staff under one professor? Is there a ethical conflict in doing so even if the other professor is from a slightly different area?...
22
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2answers
2k views

Isn't ghostwriting reverse-plagiarism?

Ghostwriting is when an author writes a work and attributes it to someone else. Isn't this reverse-plagiarism (someone taking credit for someone else's work, but with permission)? I'm not sure it ...
46
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5answers
5k views

Will self-citation be viewed as self-promotion in academia?

As we know, citation counts are important to judge one's research activity. Is it good to cite one's previous works? Will it be viewed as an act of advertisement or self-promotion?
52
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5answers
16k views

Are relationships allowed between students and faculty?

What sorts of restrictions do universities place on romantic or sexual relationships between faculty and graduate students, and what are the underlying issues that motivate these restrictions? For ...
140
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3answers
15k views

What to do if a referee plagiarises the result after rejecting a paper?

I find myself in an awkward situation. Nearly two years ago I submitted a paper to a reputable mathematics journal. After 15 months it was rejected with the rationale that there had been papers ...
26
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5answers
6k views

Is it ethical for a journal to request substantial payment for publishing a paper?

A while ago, I spoke with a colleague of mine who advised me to beware of journals that require you to pay to publish your work, as they may be predatory. Today, I spoke with my advisor who informed ...
18
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5answers
2k views

Are academic book buyers legitimate?

I have recently been receiving number of visits from "academic book buyers" that are looking to buy books that I no longer want. It is never stated outright but they seem to be looking mainly for ...
15
votes
3answers
568 views

Ethics of a journal requiring that submissions cite existing articles in the journal

Recently, I became aware by own experiences and friend's stories that some international statistical journals (whose names I prefer to omit) are rejecting papers because they do not include a ...
12
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3answers
1k views

Is it fair to organize conferences in beautiful tourist places?

Sometimes I receive some emails to attend scientific conferences organized in beautiful tourist places. For example, recently I got a message for a conference in the wonderful Italian Cinque Terre, ...
15
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2answers
594 views

Is reuse of “internal” results considered self-plagiarism if used in a later publication?

This is a little bit different from the case of reusing boilerplate text. Say one has done a series of experiments (either real or "virtual") to produce a set of results. Because the results are ...
28
votes
2answers
2k views

In writing a paper, how far can criticism of previous works go?

What are the appropriate limits when criticizing the previously published work of others that you're citing in a paper? Are there limits with respect to maintaining decorum and decency?
17
votes
1answer
991 views

When should an author retract their paper as a result of misinterpreted results?

I'm curious when should an author make a call on retracting their paper vs. sending an errata or a correction. Many say it is when an error is involved that influences the interpretation of the paper. ...
25
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3answers
2k views

Can I show my co-author the final version of an accepted publication I reviewed?

I was reviewing a journal paper recently that is closely related to work a colleague and I are doing. We are currently in the process of writing up our paper, and I plan to cite the paper I reviewed ...
20
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5answers
1k views

Is it rude to ask for accommodations due to a learning disability?

I have a learning disability where I can only learn through seeing (not seeing and hearing). As a result, I need to have headphones in class to block all sound. Should I just tell the professor this?
7
votes
1answer
655 views

How to evaluate an open access journal? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you judge the quality of a journal? How to evaluate the genuineness/authenticity, impact, significance & reputation of an open access journal? The prestigious ...
17
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3answers
1k views

Are reviewers allowed to discuss their review with each other?

Suppose you find out that someone you know well or work with is reviewing the same journal paper you are reviewing (i.e., finding out this information on your own, and not via the journal or editor, ...
16
votes
1answer
372 views

Being quoted for an incorrect statement

Once I expressed an opinion on a question in a discussion with a person working on the problem. My opinion didn't work in its original form but could be modified a little to make it correct, i.e., ...
38
votes
6answers
12k views

Who is responsible for detecting plagiarism in a PhD thesis?

Background I am asking this question in the context of the long running plagiarism scandal in Germany.The most prominent victim of the scandal of plagiarized doctoral dissertations by politicians was ...
5
votes
1answer
175 views

Publishing previous results from a previous lab

I just looked over this article from Retraction Watch. To make a long story short, a student used previous data from their former lab and then published it without the PI's permission or knowledge. ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Do PhD programs care about the personalities of applicants?

Can a very extroverted person, for example, be more favored than a very quiet person? Or is this not ethical? Can someone who is psychopathic be barred from admission?
19
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5answers
21k views

Who can see a student's grades? [closed]

I have a question. Can all the professors in a department see a particular student's grades? Can the chair of a department see a student's grades?
56
votes
4answers
28k views

Should I waive my right to view my recommendation letters?

Most graduate applications provide a choice for applicants to view their recommendation letters at a later date. There is a mention of some US mandate alongside. Is it a better option to forgo this ...
61
votes
2answers
14k views

How to acknowledge a deceased advisor’s contributions to a paper?

One of my advisors suddenly passed away while I was in graduate school. We had some discussions and ideas about future publications, but he passed away before any of the work was completed. When the ...

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