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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27 votes
5 answers
4k views

How do massive research projects manage conflicts of interest?

I am a machine learning researcher, and my field is beginning to embrace the massive, multi-institution collaborations that have become common in other sciences. For example, I am a coauthor on this ...
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1 vote
3 answers
297 views

My former advisor wants to publish a paper that relies on code that I worked on without giving me any credit. What should I do?

I was in a research group for my MSc. dissertation (computational work) during which I developed quite a bit of code that went on being used in a publication which I co-authored (no code was published ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
299 views

Why doesn't my PhD&Postdoc supervisor want me to be successful?

I'm currently a postdoc working with the professor with whom I did my PhD work, and it counts up to 7 years for the time working with this professor. Basically, the situation is that I'm the only one ...
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3 votes
0 answers
461 views

How can I protect my research project from my ex-boyfriend with whom I had shared it with previously?

I am a new faculty member. My ex-boyfriend is an associate professor in a different research university but in the same field. When we were still together, I shared my research project (which I am ...
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67 votes
13 answers
9k views

My personal views and my research work kind of collide. What can I do?

Climate change and mass extinctions are happening, so in my private life, I try to be as sustainable as possible. For example, I eat almost exclusively organic vegetarian food, I have no car, buy most ...
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25 votes
5 answers
7k views

Open book exam tomorrow but the file with the questions are open to everyone already

I was going through the files on canvas of my course, then I saw a file called like Examination_(coursename)_2021 and was like "it's probably the practice". I opened it and it seemed like ...
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4 votes
3 answers
620 views

What is most gracious way to exit a doctorate program?

I've made an internal decision to leave my doctorate program of 3.5 years. The reasons are many, but the major one is that I have realized that I don't need a doctorate to fulfill my career dreams, ...
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9 votes
2 answers
3k views

When siblings contribute to a research paper, do they need to declare their relationship in the competing interest form?

Siblings contributed to a research paper. The publisher asks to fill no competing interest form. Citing the journal in question, it contains the following check box: ☐ The authors declare that they ...
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11 votes
4 answers
807 views

Is it appropriate to ask for an opinion about a preprint from researchers I don't personally know before submission?

I'm writing a paper as a Ph.D. student, and I'm starting to feel a little bit unsure about the general approach and results. My supervisor isn't a great help here, and I thought to maybe send a ...
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  • 113
3 votes
1 answer
229 views

What's the proper response after receiving an email from an unfamiliar sender accusing an academic of my discipline of misconduct with evidence?

I have recently received an email from an unknown source where an academic (who I don't know) is accused (backed by some evidence which I haven't examined in detail) of misconduct, particularly ...
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  • 33
1 vote
2 answers
263 views

How to proceed when a professor's timekeeping error hurts my course grade?

My professor had said the midterm was 2.5 hours. This was told by all the students for weeks. The midterm comes, and there is no countdown for when submission is required, thus meaning the midterm is ...
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15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Ethics of asking a colleague for a citation

A colleague scholar was an editor for my latest published article, in which I heavily used her work and cited it. She then sent me one of her papers, so I could review it informally and give her my ...
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0 votes
1 answer
250 views

Staying in the PhD program after I told them I'm leaving

I am a first-year PhD student, and as the title suggests, I've told my department that I'll be leaving the program this summer (that is in one month), but now there's a situation that I have a reason ...
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  • 1
4 votes
4 answers
627 views

Publishing someone else's thesis work without their consent

Finished my MRes recently. My supervisor has told me that their ex-PhD student (graduated a year and a half ago) had some results in their thesis that they hadn't published. He asked me to complete ...
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  • 143
22 votes
10 answers
11k views

I've developed a close relationship with my past graduate teaching assistant, and I'm very interested in her: is it appropriate to pursue this?

The graduate teaching assistant I'm interested in taught one of my introductory courses. She needed research assistants, so I decided to join her lab. From all this we became very close. Ever since ...
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5 votes
2 answers
802 views

Why is doctoral thesis plagiarism sometimes forgiven by academia? [closed]

I was recently looking at the rates of PhD revocations of people who were found to have plagiarized large portions of their PhD theses by Vroniplag, and it isn't that high. Most people that were found ...
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0 votes
1 answer
83 views

Could I plot data from other papers in my figures for comparison?

It's necessary for my current paper to compare some values from my work and previous work. Since the mean and std values of previous work are shown in their paper, could I plot some bar chart for the ...
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  • 205
4 votes
1 answer
217 views

Is it considered academic misconduct as a tutor to help your student with homework that is for marks?

I am a private tutor and some of my students are in university with homework assignments that count for marks. Is it academic misconduct to help them with homework that they will be submitting even if ...
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17 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is it ethical to copy a research idea?

I am a high school senior. One of my friends did a research project in a certain field of Computer Science 2 years ago and it won a lot of awards. He is now at university. I read his paper and ...
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  • 175
2 votes
2 answers
312 views

Conflict of interest with Professor's own business entity

First time caller, long time listener :) I'm an assistant professor in a research group. The professor leading our group (and my long time mentor) told me, roughly one month ago, that he got involved ...
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0 votes
2 answers
230 views

Why there is no enforcing body in validating contributions?

In undergraduate or graduate courses, marks and remaining measures are awarded or attributed solely based on the work done by a student. Even in team works, marks can be varied by checking the ...
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  • 7,449
4 votes
1 answer
238 views

Should I report this infraction on Masters applications?

As an undergrad, I was accused of failing to paraphrase one sentence of a research paper correctly (though I cited the source I was getting the information from). The professor said he had no choice ...
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  • 41
15 votes
4 answers
7k views

Getting married abroad on August 21st, job begins on August 23rd. What do I do?

I just completed my Ph.D. and have recently been offered a lecturer position in a university. The first day of classes is on August 23rd, and I am getting married abroad in Europe on August 21st. The ...
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  • 308
5 votes
2 answers
428 views

A question for UK academics and students: How will UK universities respond to a professor showing controversial religious images to class?

Over a month ago, a group of Muslim parents protested for several days at Batley grammar school, in West Yorkshire, England, after a teacher at that school showed in a Religion Education class the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
120 views

Using research paper as guidance vs research plagiarism?

I am an high school senior who has recently started getting into research in Electrical Engineering and CS. One thing that I have trouble in understanding sometimes is determining the difference ...
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  • 175
3 votes
4 answers
354 views

How would you write an ethics approval for a study conducted on human data, when the dataset is publicly available?

The dataset was not collected by the authors, but the study was conducted on a publicly available dataset. The source of the data is cited, but the source does not have an ethics statement itself. The ...
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5 votes
1 answer
398 views

Handling collaboration requests from the authors of double-blind reviewed papers (after submitting the review)

(I apologize if this is a duplicate, but I was not able to find any similar case on AcademiaSE) I am finding myself in a very odd and unpleasant situation. The subject is "ethical" peer ...
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  • 909
18 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is it ethically acceptable for university book stores to market homework help websites?

A university bookstore, which is operated by a well known bookseller, is selling subscriptions to a "homework help and textbook solutions" website. The subscriptions appear beneath the ...
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15 votes
6 answers
4k views

Concurrent workers independently published part of my results. How to convince the referees that I got the results independently?

In my primary research project (not coauthoring with advisor), I got two results, say result A and result B, back in 2020. I wanted to submit it in 2020, but my advisor says that I need a further ...
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  • 3,652
48 votes
8 answers
9k views

Student put my name in the acknowledgement section despite the fact I have never talked to him

A high school fresh graduate was applying to undergraduate schools in the united states. He is a friend of a family acquaintance. Despite the fact that I did not even know his name, I was surprised ...
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49 votes
9 answers
7k views

How to reconcile desire to succeed in academia/willingness to prioritize research with ethical concerns about fair work practices?

I'm not 100% sure how to phrase my question, but I've been grappling with this for sometime and thought maybe the responses would provide me some insight. I'm currently at PhD student soon to be on ...
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3 votes
1 answer
198 views

How severe does an error have to be to warrant retraction?

I have noticed an issue in one of my previously published works, which is approximately 6 months old. The issue has resulted in some minor data extraction errors and the inclusion of three studies (of ...
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5 votes
1 answer
276 views

How does one approach reverse-plagiarism -- being attributed authorship without contribution or consent?

For reasons I am not going to delve into, I was given second authorship outside my consent on a couple of conference papers I have absolutely no contributions on. To resolve this, I have been ...
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  • 1,132
0 votes
1 answer
96 views

Utilising assignment for thesis

I had utilized an assignment that was under a free license to explain a part of my thesis but did not self-plagiarize by copying my own written work for an earlier submission. Is it acceptable?
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-2 votes
2 answers
222 views

Plagiarism, ethics, software use, [closed]

I want to prepare video courses in the field of informatics sector such as programming, system administration, network administration, cyber security, etc.. and make profit them on Udemy, YouTube, etc....
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1 vote
0 answers
169 views

How to avoid giving honorary authorship to advisor who has not contributed?

I am just about finished with my PhD. During the past year or so, I managed to develop my own little spot of theory. I have done this almost entirely independently. However, my advisor typically adds ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
420 views

I see an increase in homework plagiarism due to the ease of finding solutions online. I am concerned for my students and my work. What can I do?

I work as a remote tutor and help students understand hard concepts/problems in scientific fields in college/university/industry. I am finding a real lack of originality in exercises assigned by ...
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20 votes
4 answers
5k views

How do I voice my opinion that the teaching of students is being neglected?

I'm in a Phd program right now and it seems there are some unethical practices going on in my department. Examples include: testing over irrelevant material or material that was not really covered, ...
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  • 311
3 votes
1 answer
337 views

Telling my department about switching to a new PhD program - moral dilemma

Background I'm a PhD student in a science PhD program in the US. I had a fellowship covering all costs + a stipend and so far I haven't had to TA or RA. I'd be TAing from next year though. I have had ...
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6 votes
2 answers
448 views

What if MS advisor pad his wife's name into my conference and journal publications?

My MS advisor who is a tenured professor in a US school is padding his wife's name into my publication papers. His wife is an PhD candidate from the same department too and she didn't have any ...
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  • 77
3 votes
2 answers
450 views

Consequences of taking classes for someone else

I am a low-income undergraduate student at a US university. Last semester, another student approached me and offered to pay me a lot of money if I take one class for him. Because of my family’s ...
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0 votes
1 answer
103 views

duplicate published data figure

I read two papers just published online (paper no.1 accepted about 1 month before paper no.2) in the same journal by the same authors. Two papers have the same topic, using the same numerical method, ...
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  • 39
0 votes
1 answer
250 views

If a person stops contributing to a project do they deserve authorship?

I'm involved in a long collaborative software development project. The project required continuous effort because the goal is very ambitious and the project started from scratch. However, some early ...
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3 votes
3 answers
275 views

Forcing to list a co-author that did not contribute after publishing [closed]

We published a paper, me as first and corresponding author. There was a technician who repeatedly refused to work, did useless measurements after having been forced, which he never evaluated and ...
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  • 31
41 votes
6 answers
7k views

Is it common for Chinese nationals to turn down review requests?

I am an associate editor for some international scientific journals. Unsurprisingly, I receive a number of submissions from Chinese scholars (working in China), which go through the standard peer ...
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  • 421
-1 votes
4 answers
422 views

Paper is lying in findings

Basically, in this IEEE paper, the writer states an equation that he has developed and consequently plots a graph to validate such an equation. The equation is a model of a wireless system. At first, ...
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36 votes
11 answers
14k views

Students admit illicit behavior in private communication: how should I proceed?

I am an adjunct professor at a University for a course where the students have to use a certain software "X" during the course. The software is distributed under a proprietary license; our ...
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  • 515
3 votes
1 answer
186 views

My paper is in R&R but I have concerns about the data quality. What should I do?

I am co-authoring a paper and I am the 2nd author on this paper. We submitted the paper and it got generally positive reviews. The reviewer comments were not difficult to address. I have put a lot of ...
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0 votes
1 answer
125 views

Writing a commentary about a paper from a collaborator -- is it research misconduct?

I want to write a commentary (for a journal) about a paper a collaborator has published. Is there a conflict of interest? Is it research misconduct if I write the commentary?
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  • 137
43 votes
6 answers
6k views

Can I tell the authors I was a referee for the same paper for another journal?

I have reviewed a paper for a journal, which I rejected. I wrote a 3 page report with major and minor comments. A week later, I received an invitation to review the same paper in another journal. The ...
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