Initial Publication Date: February 16, 2018

Professional Relations Built on Trust

There are many types of professional relations that require adherence to ethical principles: relationships with an asymmetrical distribution of power (faculty-student; supervisor-worker; reviewer-author; editor-author), or that require specific ethical obligations (e.g., contractor-client; expert witness). This section explores many aspects of these types of interpersonal professional relations.

Integrity in the Academy


Mentoring is a special relationship between a master and novice that is built on a strong foundation of trust. Rebecca Haacker and Val Sloan (UCAR) in a 2016 AGU workshop on Research Mentoring of Young Scientists from Undergrads to Postdocs (PowerPoint 7.1MB Jan8 17) make this distinction:

An advisor:

  • Guides students on academic progress through their program.
  • Clarify requirements and procedures
  • Check in on progress
  • Assess status
  • Discuss plans

A mentor:

  • Plays a more expansive role in the mentee's development.
  • Provides wisdom, empathy, respect, knowledge, and support
  • Is a guide within the scientific discipline
  • Supports professional development
  • Facilitates networking
  • Explores career possibilities together

Useful resources on Mentoring Include:

Graduate Satisfaction with Degree Program/Job Prospects

Supervising Students (REU Projects, etc)

Writing Letters of Recommendation and Performance Review

Publication Ethics

Publication Ethics often are considered to be part of Responsible Conduct of Research. But publication ethics also encompasses a variety of interpersonal interactions that can be included in professionalism: Relations between editors, authors and reviewers and between authors; and related to issues of confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and related issues of trust.

Credit for Publication

Writing Journal/Grant Reviews

Field/Lab/Workplace Safety

Collaborative Research and Competition

Data and Publication Rights and Policies

Appropriate Behavior at Meetings

Conflicts of Interest