ETHICAL ISSUES IN THE PUBLICATION OF RESEARCH Muhammad Taher Abuelma’atti Department of Electrical Engineering King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.
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ETHICAL ISSUES IN THE PUBLICATION OF RESEARCH Muhammad Taher Abuelma’atti Department of Electrical Engineering King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals
Major Objectives of Graduate Studies To develop, synthesize, and disseminate knowledge. To promote research and scholarship. To prepare highly qualified personnel for service and leadership in academia and industry. To improve the quality of undergraduate education through its interaction with graduate programs.
Importance of Scientific Publications 1.To communicate scientific information. 2.To determine academic promotion. 3.To establish priority for funding and awards. 4.To open doors to jobs, referrals, community recognition and prestige. In many occasions it is the sole basis for academic advances.
Journal Publications Publication of research results in journals is the way that results have been recorded for centuries, and it remains the major way that scientists communicate.
Authors List ● “All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed”. ● The listed coauthors of a paper should be all persons who have made significant scientific contributions to the concept, design, execution and interpretation of the work reported. Other contributions should be indicated in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.
Authorship Criteria Authorship credit should be based on: 1. Substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data 2. Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content 3. Final approval of the version to be published. Conditions 1, 2 and 3 must all be met.
Authorship Criteria (continued) The following, by themselves, do not justify authorship: 1. Acquisition of funding. 2. Advising on statistical analysis. 3. Collection or entering data. 4. General supervision or conducting routine observation of the research group. 5. Assisting in manuscript preparation.
Undeserved Authorship ● Honorary (gift) authorship: is the assigning of authorship to persons because of their authority or prestige, or as courtesy. Why it happens? a. Academic promotion policies. b. Improving chances of publication. c. Fear of offending someone who have substantial power. d. Pressure from another coauthor. e. Explicit demand. f. Maintaining good interpersonal and working relationships. g. Survival. h. Gaining favor. In all cases, usually a reciprocation is expected.
Undeserved Authorship (continued) Ghost (guest) authorship: excluding from the list of authors the persons that meet the authorship criteria. In this case, the person who actually wrote the article and/or done the work in not included. This person (ghost author) may be hired by someone else who either does not know or do not have time to write the paper. Why it happens? a. To meet academic promotion policies. b. For survival and/or financial reasons.
Victims of Undeserved Authorship 1.Junior faculty and researchers. 2.Granting agencies. 3.Post-doctors or visiting scientists. 4.Graduate students. 5.Individuals whose job is dependent on publications. 6.Those who are no longer employed when a paper is written.
Useful Ethical Guidelines for Publication of Research Misappropriation of authorship (i.e. awarding guest and ghost authorship), is incompatible with the principles, duties, and ethical responsibilities involved in scientific publication. It can be described as prepublication plagiarism. These guidelines emphasize the ethical practices expected of persons engaged in the publication of research.
1. The first author is usually an individual, irrespective of seniority, who has conceived or contributed significantly towards conceiving the idea of the work and who has taken the lead in overseeing and writing up the component of the work which is the subject of the paper.
2. In papers with more than one author, the order of authorship should reflect the relative contributions of various participants. 3. Substantial contribution would require an individual to have contributed to the following: a. The conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data. b. Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content (not just editing). c. Final approval of the version to be published.
4. Individuals who make substantial contributions to the writing of a paper based on a research project of which he is not a team member should have authorship credit. 5. Gift and ghost authorship should not be encouraged. In no instance should an individual name be included as author without his written consent.
6. Contribution of those who have performed support functions such as providing technical assistance or those involved in data collection must be acknowledged. 7. Papers resulting from a team project must acknowledge those team members who may not have made substantial contribution to the paper. Similarly funding sources should be acknowledged.
8. At the inception of any research project, which is expected to lead to one or more publications, participants should discuss authorship criteria and authorship credit mechanism and reach agreement on these issues. 9. Authorship should not be presumed as a right based on status or mere association with a research project without substantial contribution.
10. Based on the significance of their contributions, students should be able to claim first authorship for papers based on their own research to which a faculty may have made a contribution for publication in a journal. When a student contributes little to the writing of the paper the supervisor may be the first author.
11. If a dispute or concern arises with respect to authorship, the student, researcher and his supervisor should first try to resolve any differences informally. If a discussion with the supervisor does not resolve the problem, several avenues of dispute resolution must be established within the department, deanship of research and the university research council.