Students’ reliance on PI advisers in research ethics

This summer, the Council of Graduate Schools  published its report on research and scholarly integrity in graduate education.  According to an August 14 article ** by Beth Mole in the Chronicle of Higher Education, based on a report by The Project for Scholarly Integrity, graduate students felt that they understood research ethics but the report revealed that students nonetheless needed help in dealing with issues of research misconduct.

One finding was that students relied heavily on their PI advisers for guidance on research ethics rather than on university resources.    This is certainly not surprising but it limits the perspective available to the student, especially on issues that remain unsettled within the research community.  A prime example is digital-data images, where researcher-advisers even within the same department may have widely different perspectives and experience.  These differences are reflected in the increasing number of retractions based on questions of data image manipulation and management.

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