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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36
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5answers
9k views

Filing discrimination claim against my department

I am a graduate student and I believe I was discriminated against by my department. I am pretty hurt by it, but I do not want to give further details to protect my identity. I spoke to a lawyer and he ...
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6answers
8k views

Is it ethical to watch recreational videos or listen to music on a portable work computer bought from a research fund?

I am in my first year of a PhD in France. My adviser recently bought a laptop for me using the research funds on which the computational codes for my research work are installed. According to my ...
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8answers
43k views

Is it ethical to accept small gifts from students? And how small is small?

Is it ethical to accept small gifts from students? In past years I have one or two students have given me small gifts, generally a box of chocolates. I judge the size of gifts on my international beer ...
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6answers
8k views

Can a professor require that I collect personal data from family members for an assignment?

I have an assignment for a psychology class that is "requiring" me to contact dozens of family members to find out their traits and what health conditions they may have. Truth is, I don't have the ...
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7answers
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Is it appropriate to ask colleagues opinions when reviewing a paper?

Several times my supervisor has asked me for my opinion on papers he is reviewing. I find this helpful as it encourages me to read things I otherwise would not, helps me understand how to review ...
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Is listing annexed territory listed in author details a valid reason to decline to review?

I recently accepted a paper review based on an abstract. On seeing the paper, at least one of the authors has listed their address as being within an unrecognized annexed territory, like this: ...
35
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3answers
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Is it acceptable, as a Reviewer, to ask the Editor about another reviewer?

I recently reviewed a manuscript submitted to a Journal. Today, I received the editor's response to the authors, which included all the reviews made by the (anonymous) reviewers. I was particularly (...
35
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8answers
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What are the social norms associated with stealing free coffee? [closed]

Every morning, at the institution where I work, I attend a lecture series with on the order of 100 other students. The lecture hall is very central on campus, and large meetings are often held nearby -...
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8answers
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Should I attend a job interview after I've already accepted another offer?

I applied for several postdoc positions recently. One made an offer which I accepted. Since then I've been invited for an interview for one of the other positions. Is there any benefit to attending? ...
35
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6answers
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If an author declines authorship, may her co-authors publish without her?

This question was raised in discussion of answers on Is it better to submit a paper to an important journal without the supervisor name or to a less important journal with the supervisor name? There ...
35
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3answers
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Grounds for an ethics complaint? UK math prof. publicly misrepresenting results from an unrelated discipline

I'm a Ph.D. candidate in social sciences and last month I presented and defended my thesis in an Eastern European university. The full text of my thesis is available to the public. A couple of weeks ...
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5answers
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Is there any research on the prevalence of academic theft?

Some ­— perhaps many — academics seem to be very careful in keeping unpublished work secret. It is not difficult to find anecdotes where academic ideas are stolen, such as in this post by @Markus. ...
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How high should I rate a good student for PhD admission?

I am a relatively young faculty member. I was asked to provide a reference for a student of mine so he is admitted in a PhD program in Sciences in UK. The student is probably one of the best students ...
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9answers
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How to query gender in a multiple-choice poll/survey?

In a study where human subjects are given questionnaires, it may be interesting to analyze whether effects are gender-specific and/or more pronounced in one gender than in (the) other(s). How can this ...
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10answers
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Does two lines of copied code constitute plagiarism?

I copied (and failed to cite) two lines of code from the OpenJDK source for an undergraduate Data Structures project. Yet, the code comparison shows an alarming amount (40%) of similarity. Here is the ...
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10answers
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Writing someone else's master's thesis: Unethical and illegal?

It is really difficult for me to decide on this situation: when someone calls me and asks for work-for-hire for his/her thesis. I don't know what to do. I want to help and earn money but I think this ...
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5answers
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Is it ethical to give a final exam after the professor has quit before teaching the remaining chapters of the course?

I am enrolled in a lpn nursing program, and the professor teaching the pharmacology course announced to the class last week that he wont be here the following week, due to a "conference in California",...
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4answers
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My student in one course asks for paid tutoring in another course. Appropriate?

I'm a teaching assistant for an introductory programming course. A student in the course approached me and asked if I would tutor them for a different discrete mathematics course in return for payment....
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4answers
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How should students react to inaccuracies in professors' teaching without causing resentment

I am an undergraduate in the UC system. I sometimes encounter situations where professors or TA's make errors, or there are inaccuracies in the material. These situations tend to be quite awkward ...
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5answers
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What do you do when you are asked to perform an official review for a journal of a manuscript written by your supervisor?

I was just handed a paper for review (official review request by an editor of a journal) written by my current supervisor (the guy with the grant). I have not been involved in this work, and I don't ...
34
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7answers
6k views

Is it fair to offer students a last-minute extension to finish a test?

A friend of mine who is a CS grad student at a US university took a class in which the students were given an extra hour on a two-hour exam. The trouble is that this offer was made in the last five ...
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5answers
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Re-using text from a grant proposal in a paper (or vice versa)

I have a grant proposal that I'm ready to submit, and I would like to re-use a significant amount of the text (on the order of 5-8 pages) in a paper that I intend to submit to a journal for ...
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4answers
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What data about grades should I tell the class? Make public?

I have had a few professors who announced to the class the mean and median scores for each exam, but I haven't seen anyone go further than this (e.g., announce this information for homework too, give ...
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10answers
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Supervisor does not allow use of commercial software for student project, against student's interests

My supervisor does not allow me to use commercial software for my project. I believe that they want to reuse, modify and build upon what I do and thus are interested only in tools/libraries that are ...
33
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7answers
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Is it common to claim co-authorship by helping writing a paper without doing any research

In my research group, there is a researcher who usually approaches other PhD students who are about to write papers in order to offer his help. Normally, he does not actually do any research related ...
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3answers
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If a student's work has been substantially (>80%) revised, is s/he still qualified as the first author?

The issue of authorship is often a thorny issue in academia, so I’d like to ask for your insight into the authorship in the following situation: My advisee’s MA thesis is mainly and originally based ...
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5answers
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I believe my classmates plan to hand in a plagiarized project, how should I handle this?

In my class, we have project groups of 4 or 5 students. This period has everything to do with game development. The project is to build a XNA game for children at primary school. Now, there is one ...
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1answer
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As a reviewer, what steps can I take after paper is published despite major scientific and ethical concerns, with no explanation from editor?

I recently reviewed a manuscript for a journal I didn't know very well, but which was indexed on Pubmed and Scopus and seemed to be legitimate. In my review, I recommended rejection based on what I ...
33
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3answers
622 views

Is it moral to contact a questionnaire participant because of alarming response?

For a study, we sent out a questionnaire to members of the general public. The questionnaire was containing items related to well-being and happiness, among other items that are completely related to ...
32
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9answers
18k views

Is reusing old code for a new assignment considered self plagiarism? How to protect yourself if you consider it to be, and a group partner does not?

I am taking a graduate machine learning course and am working with another student in the class on a final project. In his undergraduate studies, the other student wrote code that accomplished a ...
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7answers
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What was offensive about the “ladies lingerie department” joke, and how can I avoid offending people in a similar way? [closed]

Moderator note: A follow-on question about how to avoid the behavior described here has been posted. In recent news, two academics are at odds over this incident full article here: The fuss ...
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3answers
7k views

Is it ethical to upload an automatically generated paper to a non peer-reviewed site as part of a larger research?

I'm doing some research on my own as a side-project. In fact, I want no one from my research center to be involved in this research as I feel that they will take credit for my idea, like in past times....
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8answers
7k views

How to handle sexist questions toward a faculty job candidate by other undergraduates?

I am an undergraduate in the U.S., and my university is currently interviewing for an open faculty position. The department arranges lunches with the job candidates and current undergraduate students, ...
32
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8answers
5k views

Should I review a paper that violates the maximum length limitation?

I am reviewing a conference paper that violates the maximum number of pages by more than 10%. I believe that this is enough reason to outright reject the paper. However, maybe the authors would ...
32
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9answers
31k views

Is it ethical to use past years' final exams that the professor hasn't explicitly given, to study for a final in the same class?

This happened to me in my 2nd year of grad school, in a STEM field. As many do, our professor gave the class the last year's final, to give us an idea of what areas to study and what to expect, etc, ...
32
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2answers
2k views

Is it okay to keep pdfs of journal articles from my previous university when my current university does not have a subscription?

I've been wondering about this for some time. I did my PhD at the big university A. I had access to hundreds of online journals and ebooks. I was downloading papers and ebooks, classifying them, ...
32
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5answers
6k views

Undergrad students grading other undergrads: ethical, professional, or even legal?

As an undergraduate, I've been working as a TA in an electronics lab for a while. Recently I have been asked to grade other students' lab reports. I have also done some oral examination, but I guess ...
31
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7answers
15k views

Is it acceptable to report private incident of a PhD candidate to the university

A PhD candidate has damaged possessions of a flatmate in non-university housing by purposely dropping their laptop and keying their car. Is it acceptable to report such behavior to the university of ...
31
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7answers
8k views

Are professors allowed to participate in political activities?

In the US, politics is probably the most talked-about subject at the moment, and I have strong opinions. I would very much like to volunteer for a specific party, but I am concerned that I am in a ...
31
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7answers
4k views

Is it ethical to share the knowledge for free that I've learned at the university?

I can see an enormous amount of videos on Youtube about helping to learn high-level knowledge that is usually taught at universities. Even though I'm only at the beginning of the time I'm going to ...
31
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3answers
6k views

Is it ethical to present a second paper at a conference when the first paper and travel was funded by a separate organization?

Here is the scenario (hypothetical at the moment): I have two papers on entirely unrelated topics, but are both presentable at the same conference. Paper 1 was funded through funding agency A, but ...
31
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7answers
9k views

Publons - is it a serious thing?

Recently several different, unrelated publishers suggested on their websites to join Publons, which is meant to acknowledge referees for peer-reviewing submitted manuscripts. Publons even suggests to ...
31
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8answers
8k views

What should I do when a former student tells me about misconduct from one of their current TAs?

While I was a TA for an undergraduate CS course, I built up a good teaching relationship with a student who was struggling. By the end of the course, she had turned things around and was performing ...
31
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7answers
6k views

Is it ethical to offer a student a job during the final weeks of his thesis if you are partly grading it?

Our institute has an open position for a student research assistant where it is hard to find qualified applicants. Currently, I'm supervising a very good student who is in the final weeks of writing ...
31
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3answers
3k views

Is it OK to select an editor if I solved his conjecture?

I am about to submit a paper to a respected math journal. In this paper I solved a conjecture that was raised by a member of the editorial board (and this is one of the main reasons I chose this ...
31
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4answers
7k views

Do I have to make someone coauthor if he/she solves a problem in StackExchange, asked by myself, which is later used in my paper? [duplicate]

Suppose, in my research (mathematical) I have a critical step that I need to solve, and, due to various reasons I cannot find decent answer to that step by myself or by contacting friends or ...
31
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4answers
5k views

What can I do if one of my referees falsifies information in a Letter of Recommendation?

I am in a difficult situation in regards to letters of recommendation and I would like to ask for a bit of advice from all of you. This past June, I applied to several different medical schools ...
31
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2answers
2k views

Are researchers permitted to mislead subjects about the purpose of a trial?

I think much research would not be very successful if the subjects knew the purpose of the research. When researchers gather human subjects for a trial, can they provide the subjects with misleading ...
30
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6answers
10k views

Would it be ethical for a computer science PhD student to hire an assistant (programmer)?

I was wondering if it would be ethical for a PhD student in the field of Computer Science to hire a programmer in an specific domain; so that he could focus more on the algorithmic or mathematical ...
30
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9answers
8k views

What a PhD student should do when their supervisor orders them to have a name on their paper just because of grant purposes? [duplicate]

We are preparing a new paper and my supervisor tells me that we have to put the name of a person on our paper because he was involved in getting us the grant. He says it is because of future grants ...

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