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PROFESSIONAL INTEGRITY ETHICS IN RESEARCH Dr. Jim Purcell Executive Director of State System Research Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education April.

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Presentation on theme: "PROFESSIONAL INTEGRITY ETHICS IN RESEARCH Dr. Jim Purcell Executive Director of State System Research Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education April."— Presentation transcript:

1 PROFESSIONAL INTEGRITY ETHICS IN RESEARCH Dr. Jim Purcell Executive Director of State System Research Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education April 1, 2005

2 The Association for Institutional Research “Code of Ethics for Institutional Research” ( Provides members with broad ethical statements, not rules, with which to guide their professional lives and to identify relevant considerations when ethical uncertainties arise. Requires good judgment and common sense.

3 The Institutional Researcher is often viewed as the… “Guardian of Truth” or “Conscience” of the Institution

4 COMPETENCE Acceptance of Assignments Thou shalt not: accept assignments requiring competencies thou dost not have. Claims of Competence Thou shalt not: claim or imply a degree of competency thou dost not possess.

5 COMPETENCE Training of Subordinates Thou shalt: provide subordinates with opportunities for professional growth. Professional Continuing Education Thou shalt: develop thine own professional skills and knowledge, and keep abreast of changes in the field.

6 PRACTICE Thou shalt: avoid personal conflicts of interest when performing services. Objectivity Thou shalt: approach assignments with unbiased attitude and strive to gather evidence fairly and accurately.

7 PRACTICE Use of Accepted Technical Standards Thou shalt: conduct all tasks in accordance with accepted technical standards.

8 PRACTICE Initial Discussions Thou shalt: clarify with the user the purposes, expectations, strategies, and limitations of the research. Thou shalt: recommend appropriate research techniques and designs. Thou shalt: advise users, at any time, if there is reason to believe that the strategy is likely to fail or to yield substantially unreliable results.

9 PRACTICE Identification of Responsibility Thou shalt: accept responsibility for the competent execution of all assignments which thou, or a subordinate, undertakes. Thou shalt: display individual and/or office authorship, as appropriate, on all reports.

10 PRACTICE Quality of Secondary Data Thou shalt: exercise reasonable care to ensure the accuracy of data gathered by others, and shall document the sources and quality of such data. “ Well, I found it on the Internet. It must be true!”

11 PRACTICE Reports Thou shalt: ensure that reports/projects are complete; ensure that reports are clearly written and understandable to decision-makers; and distinguish among assumptions, speculations, findings, and judgments.

12 Statistical Findings that are questionable: 24 hours in a day... 24 beers in a case.....coincidence? For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism. The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up. I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met. A fool and his money are soon partying. No one is listening until you make a mistake. Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view.

13 Conclusions that may go beyond the findings of your study... Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm. Borrow money from pessimists-they don't expect it back. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines. Drugs may lead to nowhere, but at least it's the scenic route. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

14 PRACTICE Reports Thou shalt: employ appropriate statistics and graphics; describe the limitations of the project, method, and findings; and follow scholarly norms in the attribution of ideas, methods, and expression and in the sources of data.

15 Area T/Sq. mile Population T/person Oklahoma 68,667 0.0014 3,460,097 0.000028 Texas 261,797 0.0015 21,325,018 0.000018

16 Area T/Sq. mile Population T/person Oklahoma 68,667 0.0014 3,460,097 0.000028 Texas 261,797 0.0015 21,325,018 0.000018 Assume that the incidence of tornados per square mile is similar in both states. The number of tornados per person is still lower in Texas. These figures assume 100 tornados in Oklahoma and 400 in Texas. Therefore the use of shading in the graphic is misleading, even though the numbers respresented may be correct. The context of danger in this inset’s text implies a different measure than what is actually used. MORAL: Consider nuance carefully and illustrate what is described or implied.

17 PRACTICE Documentation Thou shalt: document the sources of information and the process of analysis in sufficient detail to enable a technically qualified colleague to understand what was done and to verify that the work meets all appropriate standards and expectations. Bibliography Pearson Correlation Methodology

18 CONFIDENTIALITY Atmosphere of Confidentiality Thou shalt: establish clear guidelines about confidentiality issues within the IR office. Storage and Security Thou shalt: organize, store, maintain, analyze, transfer and/or dispose of data under thy control in such a manner as to reasonably prevent loss, unauthorized access, or divulgence of confidential information.

19 CONFIDENTIALITY Release of Confidential Information Thou shalt not: release information about individuals that has been guaranteed as confidential, except in those circumstances in which not to do so would result in clear danger; or unless directed by competent authority in conformity with a decree of a court of law.

20 CONFIDENTIALITY Special Standards for Data Collection Thou shalt: balance privacy risks against benefits; develop additional guidelines to ensure the protection of aspects of privacy that may be at specific risk; inform all subjects of their right of refusal and of the degree of confidentiality with which their material will be handled, including the implications of any freedom of information statute; and apprise institutional authorities of the implications and potentially binding obligations of any promise regarding confidentiality and obtain consent from such authorities where necessary.

21 RELATIONSHIPS TO THE COMMUNITY Equal Treatment Thou shalt: promote equal access and opportunity regarding employment, services, and other activities of thy office, without regard to race, creed, gender, national origin, disability or other accidental quality; and in analysis, demeanor, and expression shall be alert to the sensitivities of groups and individuals.

22 RELATIONSHIPS TO THE COMMUNITY Development of Local Codes of Ethics Thou shalt: develop and promulgate a code of ethics specific to thine own IR office and take steps to ensure employers are aware of the AIR Code of Ethics. Custody and Archiving Thou shalt: apply reasonable means to prevent irrevocable loss of data and documentation during its immediately useful life; and being aware of the role of data as institutional historic resource, thou shalt act as an advocate for its documentation and systematic permanent archiving.

23 RELATIONSHIPS TO THE COMMUNITY Assessment of Institutional Research Thou shalt: develop and implement assessment tools for evaluating IR services. Institutional Confidentiality Thou shalt: maintain in strict confidence and security all information in thine possession about the institution which by institutional policy is considered to be confidential.

24 RELATIONSHIPS TO THE COMMUNITY Integrity of Reports Thou shalt: make efforts to anticipate and prevent misunderstandings and misuse of reports through careful presentation, documentation and diligent follow-up with users. Thou shalt: if an IR report has been altered to the degree that its meaning has been substantially distorted, make reasonable attempts to correct such distortions and/or insist that IR authorship be removed from the product.

25 RELATIONSHIPS TO THE COMMUNITY External Reporting Thou hast an obligation: to report accurate data and professionally responsible interpretive material when requested by legitimate authority. Thou shalt: with respect to private inquiries, hold thyself to the same standards of accuracy, confidentiality, and professionally responsible interpretation.

26 RELATIONSHIPS TO THE CRAFT Research Responsibilities Thou shalt: Contribute to research related to the craft; and Take and/or give credit where credit is due. Integrity of the Profession Thou shalt: Uphold and advance the values, ethics, knowledge and mission of the profession through study, research, discussion and responsible criticism of the profession; and Contribute to the knowledge base of the profession.

27 RELATIONSHIPS TO THE CRAFT False Accusations Thou shalt not: falsely or unfairly accuse. Incompetence of Colleagues Thou shalt: if thou hast direct knowledge of incompetence, consult with that colleague and assist the colleague in taking remedial action. Unethical Conduct of Colleagues Thou shalt: take measures to discourage, prevent, identify, and correct unethical conduct of colleagues. Thou shalt: seek resolution if thou has reason to believe that a colleague has acted unethically.

28 SUMMARY Responsible Interpretation Thou shalt be guardians of: Confidentiality, Accuracy and

29 CONCLUSION Each Institutional Researcher, Assessor and Planner is responsible for upholding the high standards of ethics for which the profession is known. To do so, champions the profession. We are individually and collectively responsible for the respect afforded us.


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