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Ethics Prof. Toby Walsh NICTA and UNSW. Ethics  Why?  Why should you worry about ethics?  What?  What should you worry about?  How?  How do you.

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Presentation on theme: "Ethics Prof. Toby Walsh NICTA and UNSW. Ethics  Why?  Why should you worry about ethics?  What?  What should you worry about?  How?  How do you."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethics Prof. Toby Walsh NICTA and UNSW

2 Ethics  Why?  Why should you worry about ethics?  What?  What should you worry about?  How?  How do you decide what to do?

3 Why should you worry?

4 You’ll be found out …

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6 It will have consequences..

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8 You may have to resign …

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10 You may be fired …

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12 You could end up in prison …

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15 Your reputation is at stake..

16 What should you worry about?

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18 Research misconduct  Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results Executive Office of the President, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Fact Sheet, October 14, 1999

19 Research misconduct  Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results  Fabrication is making up results and recording or reporting them Executive Office of the President, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Fact Sheet, October 14, 1999

20 Research misconduct  Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results  Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record Executive Office of the President, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Fact Sheet, October 14, 1999

21 Research misconduct  Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results  Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit, including those obtained through confidential review of others’ research proposals and manuscripts Executive Office of the President, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Fact Sheet, October 14, 1999

22 Beyond misconduct  Ilegal activities  Money  Drugs  …  Human and animal ethics  Computers don’t have rights  Universities are quite good at monitoring human and animal studies!

23 It impacts on a conference like IJCAI-11 …  Reviews discarded  Conflicts of interest  Papers rejected  Falsification  Even one of the Distinguished Papers raised problems!  And in one case, disciplinary action has been taken  Your funding agency probably requires you to take action …

24 IJCAI’s new conflict of interest policy  A potential conflict of interest exists when a person is involved in making a decision that could result in financial or professional gain (such as the selection of a paper for a conference) for that person, a close associate of that person or that person’s institution or company.

25 IJCAI’s new conflict of interest policy  A close associate is someone that is  employed at the same institution or company;  advisor or current or recent graduate student (within last 60 months);  co-author within the last 48 months;  investigator on the same grant or research project;  actively working on a project together or on a similar topic;  related by birth or marriage or friendship;  in deep personal animosity.

26 How do you decide what to do?

27 Actions  Consult  Advisor  Colleague  Mentor  Editor  Program Chair  University research office  …

28 Actions  Protect yourself  Keep records  Record time stamps  Get a witness  Tread very carefully  Reputation at stake!  Speak hypothetically

29 Actions  Communicate  Danger of  Use the phone  Visit in person  Declare conflicts  …

30 Actions  Trust your gut  When you think you might need to speak to a lawyer, it is already too late!  If you feel uncomfortable, it is time to act  You have responsibilities to act  E.g. ARC requirements to report

31 Ethical speed bumps  Authorship  Citation  Reviewing  Experimentation

32 Authorship  See Judy’s talk  My advice  Try to agree up front who is an author and what is the order of authors  Some questions to consider:  Would the paper exist without this person?  If the other authors fell sick, could this person present the talk?

33 Authorship  See Judy’s talk  My advice  When deciding the author order, try to have one rule across all your papers  However, your rule may conflict with mine!  Keep it simple  Mine: alphabetical order

34 Authorship  See Judy’s talk  My advice  When deciding the author order, try to have one rule across all your papers  However, your rule may conflict with mine!  Keep it simple  Mine: alphabetical order  Mine: otherwise I go last

35 Citation  See Judy’s talk  Credit where credit is due  If we stand on the shoulders of others, we should give them fair credit  We’re not in it for the money!  Citations only get more important  Grants, tenure, …

36 Reviewing  Ethical minefield  Material under review is strictly confidential  Stakes are high  Publish or perish  People’s egos/livelihood is at stake  Anonymous  Permits “bad” behaviours  Role of author feedback!  First past the post  Credit is only given to the 1 st to publish

37 Reviewing  DO  Declare conflicts & excuse yourself where appropriate  Treat all material in confidence  Be objective (if you can’t, don’t review this particular work)  Be constructive  Think how your text will be received!  DON’T  Review work where you have a conflict  Wage vendettas, promote religions, …  Now work on this problem (at least till the work is published)

38 Experimentation  Recall, this is where 40% of scientific misconduct takes place!  Avoid the temptation to take shortcuts  Nature will find you out  There’s always a curve ball waiting  Remember  1% inspiration  99% perspiration

39 Experimentation  DO  Keep good records (eg raw data)  Look at the data  Report enough detail to enable replication  Publish corrections promptly  DON’T  Be selective  Cherry picking results!  Obfuscate

40 Final words

41 Conclusions  Many ethical situations await you  It’s only to be expected!  Take care  Your reputation is your greatest (only?) asset  Don’t worry  Many others will have tread the same road  And can offer advice

42 Barcelona, I’m listening …


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