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Academic Dishonesty and Research Misconduct Helmut Knaust Department of Mathematical Sciences The University of Texas at El Paso 2/11/2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Academic Dishonesty and Research Misconduct Helmut Knaust Department of Mathematical Sciences The University of Texas at El Paso 2/11/2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Academic Dishonesty and Research Misconduct Helmut Knaust Department of Mathematical Sciences The University of Texas at El Paso 2/11/2011

2 “At DePaul University, the tip-off to one student’s copying was the purple shade of several paragraphs he had lifted from the Web. When confronted by a writing tutor his professor had sent him to, he was not defensive — he just wanted to know how to change purple text to black.” “Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age” by Trip Gabriel, NYT 8/1/10

3 “Helene Hegemann, a German teenager [wrote] a best-selling novel about Berlin club life [that] turned out to include passages lifted from others. Instead of offering an abject apology, Ms. Hegemann insisted, “There’s no such thing as originality anyway, just authenticity.” A few critics rose to her defense, and the book remained a finalist for a fiction prize (but did not win).“ “Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age” by Trip Gabriel, NYT 8/1/10

4 Types of Research Misconduct Plagiarism/Intellectual theft Fabrication of research results Sabotage Professorial misconduct (grading etc.)

5 Example 1 After settling on final grades, a professor re- grades final exams so that there is a bigger gap between passing students and failing students.

6 Example 2 Mendel's experimental results have later been the object of considerable dispute. R.A. Fisher analyzed the results of the F2 (second filial) ratio and found them to be implausibly close to the exact ratio of 3 to 1. (Wikipedia)

7 When to be listed as a co-author? “Authorship should be limited to those who have contributed substantially to the work.” “Authors are strongly encouraged to indicate their specific contributions." (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA) “Authors share responsibility and accountability for the results.“ (American Chemical Society)

8 When to be listed as a co-author? Problem areas: “Honorary” Authorship “Ghost” authorship

9 Safeguards Refereeing process – How many referees? – Finding suitable referees – “Reviewed” versus “Refereed” – “Blind” refereeing versus “open” refereeing – Is Wikipedia style the alternative?

10 Safeguards Reproducibility of research results – Vague descriptions – What’s in it for the “reproducer”?

11 Example 3: Jan Hendrik Schön Research: Condensed matter physics and nanotechnology Ph.D. in Germany 1997, hired by Bell labs. 2001: He announced in Nature that he had produced a transistor on the molecular scale. 2002: Lydia Sohn (Princeton University) noticed that two experiments carried out at very different temperatures had identical noise. When the editors of Nature pointed this out to Schön, he claimed to have accidentally submitted the same graph twice. (Wikipedia)

12 Example 4: Image Fusion Old methodNew method Paper:

13 Example 4: Image Fusion Old methodNew method My results:

14 Safeguards Honor Codes – Decrease student dishonesty (usually paired with harsh penalties) – Professional honor codes? Oath of Hippocrates: “I will follow that system of regimen which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous.”

15 UTEP honor code?

16 “Honesty is the best policy, I will stick to that.” Miguel de Cervantes


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