Responsible Conduct of Research

David Mogk, Montana State University

Much of the ethics training in the STEM disciplines is focused on the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). This training is now a requirement for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows supported by research grants from the National Science Foundation. The following is a collection of resources that support training in RCR.

General Resources that Inform Responsible Conduct of Research

  • Singapore Statement on Research Integrity--
  • USDA Scientific Integrity Policy Handbook -- July 2013 and updated March 8, 2016. "USDA is committed to a culture of scientific integrity.. Science, and public trust in science, thrives in an environment that shields scientific data and analyses and their use in policy making from political interference or inappropriate influence. Scientific and technical findings should not be suppressed or altered for political purposes."
  • Integrity of Scientific and Scholarly Activities--United States Department of the Interior

Responsible Conduct of Research Key Topics That Need to be Addressed

  • Responsible Conduct of Research modules from Ethics Core--a series of interactive tutorials available at no cost to groups affiliated with educational or other non-profit institutions.
  • The Treatment of Data and Data Management
  • Mistakes and Negligence
    • On Being A Scientist --A Guide to Responsible Conduct of Research 3rd Ed., 2009, National Academy Press (pages 12-14)
  • Research Misconduct
  • Responding to Suspected Violations of Professional Standards, Whistle Blowing
    • On Being A Scientist --A Guide to Responsible Conduct of Research 3rd Ed., 2009, National Academy Press (pages 19-23)
    • Whistle Blowing--Resources for Research Ethics Education, UC San Diego
  • Laboratory Safety in Research
    • On Being A Scientist (page 28)--A Guide to Responsible Conduct of Research 3rd Ed., 2009, National Academy Press
  • Sharing Research Results
    • On Being A Scientist--A Guide to Responsible Conduct of Research 3rd Ed., 2009, National Academy Press (pages 29-34)
  • Authorship and Allocation of Credit
    • On Being A Scientist--A Guide to Responsible Conduct of Research 3rd Ed., 2009, National Academy Press (pages 35-38)
    • Authorship--Resources for Research Ethics Education, UC San Diego
    • "Responsible Authorship" , Online Ethics Center for Engineering 8/17/2006 National Academy of Engineering Accessed: Monday, June 09, 2014
  • Peer Review
    • Peer Review--Resources for Research Ethics Education, UC San Diego
  • Publication
  • Collaboration
    • Collaboration--Resources for Research Ethics Education, UC San Diego
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Intellectual Property
    • On Being A Scientist--A Guide to Responsible Conduct of Research 3rd Ed., 2009, National Academy Press (pages 39-42)
  • Competing Interests, Commitments and Values
    • On Being A Scientist --A Guide to Responsible Conduct of Research 3rd Ed., 2009, National Academy Press (pages 43-47)
  • Responsibilities of Editors
  • Intrinsic Ethics
    • Intrinsic Ethics Regarding integrated assessment models for climate management -- Schienke, EW, Baum, SD, Tuana, N., Davis KJ, and Keller, K., Sci Eng Ethics. 2011 Sep;17(3):503-23. doi: 10.1007/s11948-010-9209-3. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER)

A two-year study by the NRC (2012) of Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER): Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering explored 1) the current status of DBER, 2) evidence-based contributions of DBER to STEM education and 3) future directions for collaborative discipline-based education research.There are three principle components of DBER:

  • The contours of DBER are emergent from the parent disciplines, reflecting deep disciplinary knowledge, skills, and ways of knowing that inform disciplinary research in a given field;
  • DBER investigates teaching and learning in a given discipline, which reflects the questions asked, approaches to problem solving, and representations to explain phenomena that are intrinsic to a given discipline; and
  • DBER is informed by complementary research on human learning and cognition.

Researchers in the geosciences are increasingly contributing to geoscience education research (see: overview of Bringing Research on Learning to the Geosciences. See an overview of Contributions and Opportunities for the Geosciences in their participation in DBER.

Researchers who are engaged in any research involving human subjects should be fully aware of the ethical guidelines that apply to this research. Be sure to check with your Institutional Review Board (IRB) to make sure you are in compliance with training and reporting requirements to conduct your research.

The Belmont Report

This report is the source of Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research . These include:

Respect for Persons

Beneficence

Justice

We welcome additional resources on this topic; please Contribute a Resource on this online form.