Ethics and Intellectual Property: Essential but Tools Ignored Tools for Scholarship in favor of Plagiarism and Popular Knowledge

Ethicists argue that ethics  is a requirement for human life.  The question is:  does human life require ethics to sustain, develop and grow what is essential for life as it is currently defined?

Generalists refer to ethics as “moral principles” but differ on their authorship and who is responsible for any or all questions, arguments or definitions of ethics–even though all man-made religions attempt to take credit for ethics from Judaism, Constantine I’s Christianity, Islam, and the rest from Zoroaster to Buddha, with most laws that embody ethics coming from the ruler Hammurabi.  None of these attempts to take credit for ethics holds up under the historical microscope.

History shows that ethics and the teaching of ethics filtered through human history for thousands of years before there was any recognizable religion.  The Wisdom Literature dwells solely on the moral obligations and problems of life, although the Prophet Michah (alternate spelling: Micah) rejected the idea that ethics could live without religion (Michah 5:6-6:8) even when worshippers were denying ethics and a set pattern for life, and accepted civil law as the registry and rule over their lives. They found it ironic to be told that the horde of Hebrews that to kill someone is wrong, yet went into battle to murder their enemies and even their friends: the ancestor to “enemy fire” that takes “collateral damages”.  Few animals kill for sport or war, and most animals have social strata or hierarchies, as with the “pecking order” of chickens” (first used by Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe in 1921 to describe the behaviour of poultry using the German terms Hackordnung or Hackliste; it  was introduced into English in 1927), and even negotiate for items and other creatures–especially for sex.1 Out of this pit of pain emerged the earliest codex of ethics.

Ethics is our means of deciding a course of action by defining right and wrong. By themselves (right and wrong), ethics is arbitrary and refers to the choices that are made, but that is by the zygote of ethics and the study and implementation of ethical standards.  True, exacting, explicit ethics is not a pasquinade but recognizes that what might be right for the one person may not be right for the community of people, and what is correct for the community may not be acceptable, available, advantageous or felicitous for the self.  As social interactive (industrious or incapacitated) beings we cannot survive without cooperation and joint endeavoring to reach out and attain that which all people need or strive after: from Abram Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to his ultimate goal of self-actualization.  To bring about the greatest good we must individually and collectively work towards a unifying, rather than a separating (even if it is bifurcating), goal that leads to acceptable behavior rather than unjust, unsuitable, irrelevant, inapplicable or reprehensible behavior.  Each positive move becomes increasingly congruent and germane to the environment, community, and the lifestyles that prevail.2 From this came the saying from ancient Persia: “Do not cause harm” that was the foundation for the Hippocratic Oath,3  to “Do to others as you would have them do to you” that filtered down from ancient India and Egypt appearing c. 2040 BCE4 .

While most assume that ethics is a part of a formal or educated culture that is not always the case.  There are many exceptions: especially when one encounters ethical norms in research and investigation. Norms promote the aims of research, such as revealing and expressing knowledge, conducting, encouraging, aiding, and assisting inquiry in quest and definition of truth (despite the elusive nature of what is truth), while avoiding the appearance of conducting erroneous research or laboratory experiments, or passing, praising, practicing or publishing errors without undergoing peer review and careful scholarly investigations and debate. For example, prohibitions, proscriptions and similar preventions against fabricating, falsifying, fallaciousness, fallacizing, falsitizing, feigning, or fantasying in and by misrepresenting, misinterpreting, misreporting, of misstating research data has as its goal the promotion of the accuracy, actuality, authenticity, veracity, verisimilitude, verity and rectitude of what is discovered during the research and the avoidance of error.5

Since research often involves a great deal of cooperation and coordination among many different people in different disciplines and institutions, communities, nations, and variant political structures, climes and times it is essential that ethical standards promote the values that are essential to collaborative, collective, collegial, collusive, and concerted effort, that creates harmony in league that is interdependent, symbiotic, synergetic, and participatory work, such as trust, accountability, mutual respect, and fairness. For example, many ethical norms in research, such as guidelines for authorship, copyright and patenting policies, and intellectual property rights and the implementation and defense of fair use regulations and data sharing policies, coupled with confidentiality rules in peer review, are designed to protect intellectual property interests while encouraging collaboration.6

Most researchers want to receive credit for their contributions, discoveries, patents and new ideas and do not want to have their ideas stolen or disclosed prematurely, and to that end obtain copyright of their material that grants them a stated term of time before others can use any or all of their material, but only with full disclosure of the original scholarship by name of author and distributor of the material.  Those who oppose the rights of discovery and authorship beckon to a utopia (coming from the Greek ο (“not”) and τόπος (“place”) and means “no place”): a Cokaygne or Schlaraffenland 7: an imaginary Gan Eden 8) that has never existed since mortals, by nature and inheritance have historically been egoistic and egocentric.9

Many ethical norms help to ensure that researchers can be held accountable to the public not only for government subsidies and grants, but also for the veracity of claims and marketing of material made possible by the research. Most governments have put in place federal policies on research misconduct, conflicts of interest, human subjects’ protections, animal care and use are necessary in order to make sure that researchers who are funded by public money can be held accountable to the public. Ethics demands that all due diligence is in place before any external evidence is determined or work conducted that has not yet been tested and verified.10

Ethical norms in research also help to build public support for research especially when the public is made aware of the scope, nature, nurture and reason for the research and how the findings, discoveries, and correlate with the people’s needs than the politicians copulative cravings for continued office at a distance from the electorate . People are more likely to fund investigative research projects if they can trust the quality and integrity of research and the researcher rather than worrying about unorthodoxy in the approach or handling of sensitive substantive matters.11

Many of the norms of research promote a variety of other important moral and social values, such as social responsibility, human rights, animal welfare, compliance with the law, and health and safety issues, decrees, and regulations.12 Ethical lapses13 in research14 can significantly harm human and animal subjects, students, investigators, researchers and the general public. This commonly happens when a researcher fabricates data15 in a clinical trial then enjoins others to use it in their process for verification of accuracy but that which may harm or even kill patients.  It also happens when a researcher fails to abide by regulations and guidelines relating to radiation or biological safety may jeopardize his or her (or their) health and safety or the health and safety of staff and students, pushing the number of hours that are spent on the research, trials and experiments, and in laboratories or sterile situations where they, students, their colleagues or the general population are sleep-deprived or hungry and thus too slow to recognize the signs of impending danger.16. These are what we refer to as the mad scientists.

Ethics in research and investigation include:

Honesty is mandatory in all scientific communications, practices, experiments and testing.  The ethical investigator, researcher, scientist and teacher honestly reports data, results, methods and procedures, and publication status. The ethical examiner does not fabricate, falsify, or misrepresent data, nor does this inquisitorial detective deceive colleagues, institutions that the quester represents, governments or other granting agencies, or the public.17

Integrity is essential in any research or investigation, as it is the key that the researcher has kept his or her promises and agreements.  Integrity means that the investigator acts with sincerity; strives for consistency of thought and action, and releases that which is actual and factual and can be proven repeated times with similar results.18.

Objectivity requires that the investigative researcher strives to avoid even the faintest most imperceptible bias in experimental design, data analysis, data interpretation, peer review, personnel decisions, grant writing, expert testimony, and other aspects of research where objectivity is expected or required.  There may not be even a hint of scandal and the sleuth must avoid (or at least minimize) bias or self-deception lest the work be viewed as a polemic unworthy of consideration save in a retort to a tract that misses all critical issues of what is being debated or discussed. To this end it is imperative that the assessor disclose personal or financial interests that may affect research or call its objectivity into question. Histrionics do not belong in a scholarly work.19.

The professional probing into pits of knowledge and sideboards of science is careful to avoid careless errors of omission and commission as well as feigned and real negligence. Academic scholarship requires careful and critical examination of the work in progress and when it is complete by both the researcher and the peers in charge of a full review in line with their own work and the work of other peers. To substantiate any claim, the investigator always keeps good, verifiable records of all aspects of all research activities, such as data collection (including bibliographical references that include source material: primary, secondary, tertiary, and so forth as well as reviews of the references), research design, and correspondence with agencies, governments, journals and other investigators.20

Openness is one of the primary principles among professionals and research colleagues. Openness includes the willingness to share data, results, ideas, tools, and the plethora of resources available. The academic or scientist is open to criticism and new ideas, is willing to test and retest the hypothesis and recognize all antithetical claims and ideas and address each in turn: acknowledging where they may have a definite impact on the conclusion or writing out where each is without serious foundation based on strong and durable tests and existing material.21

One of the most difficult aspects of intellectual honesty and a serious breach of ethics is the need for respect for and acknowledgement of Intellectual Property rights. Regardless of the inanity and subjectivity of neo-terrorist groups that demand that all research must be in the public domain, as with the hacker group Anonymous or the online DemandProgress.org, the authors of original works are entitled to benefit from their research and publication for whatever period of time their copyright promises each researched publication.  Unlike Aaron Swartz, true professionals honor patents, copyrights, and other forms of intellectual property.22 They do not go into data banks, as with Anonymous, to access and distribute unpublished data, methods, or results without written permission of the original investigator or the publisher of the data. As I was taught as a child: “Give credit where credit is due.”  Professionals recognize the contributions of others by rendering proper acknowledgement or give credit for all contributions to research.23

The issue of plagiarism is a plague on all academic houses.  Plagiarism is a virus that is rapidly infiltrating all schools from elementary through the doctoral program, with the theft of answer sheets to examinations coming to the front rapidly, as when Professor Richard Quinn of the University of Central Florida found that his graduate students had stolen the answers to his senior level business course mid-term exam in November 2010, with studies showing that less than 20% of all students do not cheat or steal exams in the USA and have developed eight new ways of stealing intellectual property that they believe they have a right to since they pay tuition24. The rate is similar to higher in Latin America, where the President of Ecuador President Rafael Correaclosed 14 universities, and threatened to close another 12, all that were known as degree mills where teachers where thoroughly incompetent and students sat, slept and did not work to earn a grade.25

The contagion of theft of answers is the rule and not the exception as I learned in December 2012 when my Cinema Club English course in Chiclayo, Perú, saw more tha 80% using cell phones to text answers to their peers, then complained when I confiscated their cell phones and took them to the academic dean and failed nearly the entire class (I failed 100% in my Psychology of Learning where students preferred to dance on the fifth floor than take notes and ultimately note take the examination).  This is not only at the campus where I taught until May 20,2013, but everywhere throughout Perú with even a Jesuit priest at Universidad Católica Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo (USAT) photocopying an entire book and putting his name neatly printed over the title page author by-line so he could pass the book off as his own, with another Jesuit using Mel Gibson’s fantasy “The Passion of Christ” as his text for a course in Christology. There are teachers who barely received a grade of 5 out of 10 from the university in Madrid, Spain, yet “passed” and are now professors as they are members of Opus Dei and scholarship does not count. This discourages teachers and emboldens students to the detriment of society, for who would want to be operated on in a clinic or hospital by a medical doctor who stole the answers to pass his degree requirements–yet in Perú I have met doctors who claim that drinking cold water leads to tose who drink the colder water to contracting colds.

Plagiarism is the unauthorized reprint or publication of any work or group of words (up to 300 under Fair Use laws) of another person without permission or acknowledgement.  While plagiarism might bring a temporary reward in the form of a higher grade, a more rapidly published research paper, or even an increase in salary, once the plagiarism is discover it can be devastating to the individual and even to the career, as may high ranking government officials have discovered, as with German defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg 26, and German education minister Annette Schavan27, European Parliament Vice Presdient Silvana Koch-Mehrin28, and is especially common among Russian politicians, including Vladimir Putin,29 and in nations that still look towards the old Soviet Empire, as with the Prime Minister of Romania. It is a growing problem throughout the Americas, especially among politicians.

Ethics especially embrces accuracy in reporting: detailing what is discovered and how it was discovered, registering grades on the discovery and its parts including any citations for students that helped in the discovery process, highlighting the steps that were critical along with their relationship with other external factors, and so forth.  This is best illustrated by a reference to ethics in a classroom.

The first obligation of a teacher is to present subject matter factually, correctly, cogently, and coherently. This requires that the teacher is a subject matter expert–not a pedagogist, methodologist, strategist–but a teacher.

The second step must relate to the first, so when the teacher presents the subject it must focus only on the subject and those peripheral entities that strengthen, support, enhance and develop the subject leading to additional research. This requires that the teacher use the language of the subject, vocabulary and presentation of the subject in the idiom of the subject. For example, I cannot teach a course in the English language if I speak Arabic in the classroom; no student will learn.  I cannot teach ethics in a classroom if I create differences in degrees and intent (for example, I cannot praise war since war is destructive, people die, futures are sacrificed and there is no true winner).

The third step is to cover the subject matter and show how it affects everyone and how the effect of it will lead to the good of the commonwealth.  It is not possible to have an ethic that only betters conditions for some while others suffer, any more than to do research on a project with an end solution already decided as that denies objectivity.

In the last four years that I have been teaching English as a foreign language, 79% of all papers were plagiarized as I allowed the students to send me their essays by e-mail which meant, to most students, that I created a license to copy and paste articles from the Internet. Having spoken at length about the seriousness of plagiarism and the laws against it (reading both the laws of Peru and the USA on plagiarism) and warning all students I would fail any paper that was a product of plagiarism, I still received openly plagiarized papers.  When I promptly failed all students who plagiarized there was an vocal uproar, especially when I wrote beside the plagiarized section(s) the Internet link that took me to their coven of materials used.  The source of choice for 92.3% of my students was Wikipedia.  Wikipedia accounted for 88.9% of all papers. When I querried each student as what compelled the student to plagiarize, the student shrugged and snorted “everyone does it.”

No student expressed shame, regret or even remorse, as “all the teachers plagiarize and some helped us.”  I went to the university’s library and quickly leafed through thesis after thesis, and found plagiarism was real and had been passed by review committees. Making inquiries, I learned that no course on ethics, and the teachers–none of who published–were indifferent to the ethical issue. It was during one conversation with a young teacher that I learned that even on the Internet there are sites that sell plagiarized papers to students in all fields for a fee.

On May 20, 2013, I talked with the chief of Research who wanted courses on ethics. I volunteered to help having written several books on plagiarism, ethics, and Intellectual Property rights. Returning home, I found two e-mails from the Human Resources department requiring yet a third set of credentials in two months to stop “terrorism” and identity theft.  The tragedy is that my juniors who are taking English courses cannot speak more than three or four words in English without stumbling, pulling out dictionaries, and slipping into Spanish (that they refer to as Castellaño) while complaining that all English teachers hold English classes using Spanish.  I discovered for myself the one moment of truth that trembled from the lips of the students I taught: all teachers I visited with earlier that day plagiarized, spoke only Spanish in classes set up to teach English, and none had studied ethics and kept the photocopy machines busy.

The magnitude of theft of intellectual property (I had two students copy some of my writings and hand them into me as being their original work) and plagiarism was more than I could except.  I returned to the university, cleaned out my desk, removed my books and diplomas, and carried my fan to my car. Since I was the only teacher (the Spanish for teacher is profesor; there are no academic ranks on campus; I alone have the earned doctorate and publications and the last time I was an instructor/teacher was 1968) who taught English in English and required original work, I promptly e-mailed my resignation to the Director of the Translation and Interpretation Department, the Academic Dean, and the Chief of Human Resources, expressing regret for serving for four years and only producing a mere handful of students who registered basic competency in the language. After reading one more time the fifth letter from Human Resources that I, along with all other teachers, were considered potential terrorists. This is and was a major problem in Perú, as the dictator Alberto Fujimori had his chief spy, Vladimir Montesino, send in a military death squad to abduct a university professor and nine students from Lima’s La Cantuta University murder and dismember the bodies and bury the remains in remote parts to the celebrative rejoicing of Fujimoristas such as the totally corrupt Congresista Martha Gladys Chávez Cossío de Ocampo who had exclaimed her pregnant desire to tear down the monument erected to their martyrdom. For genuine scholars the key to this problem is simple: Never plagiarize, have students write individual essays in class, and turn a blind eye to pathetic politicians and predators who would stop the conduct of inquriy.30.

Cheating on an exam

Cheating on an exam

Where plagiarism is most common are in schools, at all academic levels, where ethics are not taught or students do not attend courses in ethics.31 In impoverished cultures, such as Perú, where many politicians buy votes by handing bags of rice to the poor, as Keiko Fujimori did in her run for the Presidency of Perú, having a paper that proclaims the possessor has a degree from any insitution (regardless of its record, background of teachers, extent of the library, and so forth) enables the paper holder to become employed.  No one care to take the time to investigate the worthiness of the degree or the educational structure and curriculum that led to the degree, not even question who the teachers were and what degree they held, as the paper produces all that most employers want: the idea that the company is hiring an educated person.  Employment ethics are nearly non-existent. Fraud is common. Plagiarism is constant. Printers churn out a parchment with an artifical degree in exchange for money, in competition with schools that openly sell degrees–an activity that is universal.

Ethics requires confidentiality, especially when information is obtained from a source that the information’s publication could jeopardize the subject or informant´s life, liberty, or economic stability. This is true especially in war studies, trade or military secrets, patient records, and other sensitive documents. The seal of confidentiality includes protection for private communications including e-mails of a sensitive nature, papers submitted for peer review and the reviewers’ comments, as well as for grants to conduct the research.32

While all scholars wish to see their works published, many publish because they are fighting a cause or have been hired by vested interests to write what the funder desires, even if what is written is not reliable or proven or provable information as with the Regnerus Report that was sloppily assembled by University of Texas-Austin Sociology Professor Mark Regnerus and was published without peer review under pressure from NOM and allied groups who funded the study to prove their point when there is no proof.33 This raises the issue of ethical and responsible publication. It is not ethical to publish information that cannot be supported. Documentation (footnotes, bibliography and so forth) must be cited, and I argue that bibliographies must be annotated to prove that the author actually read the work cited and not just included as a form of padding.  A competent researcher and investigator will write that which is new and valuable, and only publishes in order to advance research and scholarship, not to advance just his or her own career or the reputation of the institution where the investigator and writer works.

The phrase “publish or perish” has merit but only if the research is self-initiated out of a love for knowledge and to further advance the conduct of inquiry among students and the public; it has no place where works are ground out in order to gain a check. What is tragic, and unethical, is the wasteful and duplicative publication of material already available but merely paraphrased to gain an additional record of publication.34

Investigation, research, writing, and publication have a decidedly positive effect on students who see the publications not only of the current scholarship of the professor but encourage them to visit with the professor to advance their own studies, and, hopefully, their own publications.  This leads to responsible mentoring.35  The purpose of mentoring is to help educate and advise students, promote their intellectual, academic, and personal welfare and allow them to make their own decisions. It is with responsible mentoring those future scholars, researchers, investigators and scientists will come and be an asset to the academic and nonacademic communities. The ethics of mentoring flourish when the general good of the commonwealth is primary and the material is openly used to encourage additional inquiry.  This is enhanced when the researcher or investigator shows diligent respect for his or her colleagues, treats them fairly, and when help is given to the research project and investigation challenges, the writer acknowledges his or her colleagues and brings them into the broad scope of genuine education.36

In line with responsible mentoring, respect for colleagues and students, comes the need to recognize the social responsibility of the researcher and investigator.37  The academic and nonacademic communities must be recognized, their particular biases and interests recognized and accorded courtesy, and public education on the research offered to those who wish to know what is being investigated and researched.38  The researcher and investigator has the responsibility of being the public advocate: introducing concerns and worries, and addressing each showing the benefits of the research and investigation and how the final product or paper will help the public in general and in cases specific.  This happens only when there is no hint of discrimination against any cause, person, institution, or event.

Non-discrimination in all things is the mark of an ethical researcher or investigator. The expert sleuth avoids discriminating against colleagues or students on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, political or religious view, gender or sexual preference or other factors that are not related to the research or investigation and has no noticeable relationship with scientific competence and integrity.39.  What counts is what is produced, not who created it or saw it through publication.

Competence is essential in all research and investigative work and the ethics of competence has been discussed at length by sages from ancient Greece through the modern era. The researcher or investigator maintains and improves his or her professional competence and expertise through a lifelong education and learning commitment and process.  This includes taking additional courses,40 keep current on the research of others, reading omnivorously and prodigiously, and taking the required steps to promote competence in the sciences and the arts as a whole, as no single subject makes any person totally learned, but that is the result of a smorgasbord of samplings that can be layered on the plate of l’uomo universale. This widely educated scholar will assure others that his or her work falls within the framework of the laws, that all relevant legal enactments are maintained and that he or she is knowledgeable and obeys all government policies.41

When human or animal Subjects are used in any scholarly research, the Protection of those subjects must be guaranteed as research has limits, even in biology and medicine, as the commonweal has established criteria for what is considered life and the barriers to full research as what is acceptable.42 While many know that studies on animals have been common of late, especially for investigating speech patterns of animals (from chimpanzees to dolphins and prairie dogs), the motor skills of retentive behavior have been common since the days of Ivan Petrovich Pavlov’s experiments with dogs to determine the response criteria in learning environments.43  It is essential that when the researcher or investigator is conducting research on human and/or animal subjects, the researcher or experimenter must minimize harms and risks and maximize benefits for the subject.  Respecting the dignity of the human or animal is still required, as is the respect for the subject’s privacy, and autonomy.  It has been repeatedly proven that animals, like humans, have feelings, experience sensations, and have memories.44.  For this reason it is especially critical that the researcher or investigator; take special precautions with vulnerable populations; and strive to distribute the benefits and burdens of research fairly.45

Researchers must learn how to interpret, assess, and apply various research rules and how to make decisions and to act in various situations. The vast majority of decisions involve the straightforward application of ethical rules. For example it is unethical to submit or publish the same paper in two or more different journals without telling the editors, deleting an author or team from the by-line, discussing confidential information without authorization, using inappropriate scientific research techniques, by-passing peer review or conducting a review of literature that is outside of the topic of the research, lying on an application for a grant, or lying on your curriculum vita. Stating what is not true on a job application or curriculum vita, claiming that your graduate students’ research is your own, not keeping or maintaining good records, sabotaging the research of another scholar, or making unauthorized copies of supplies, books, orders, findings, and research not your own.

Gospel of Jesus Wife (recto) in Coptic

Gospel of Jesus Wife (recto) in Coptic

Gospel of Jesus Wife (verso) in Coptic

Gospel of Jesus Wife (verso) in Coptic

What does the professional researcher or investigator do when there are ethical dilemmas? For example, if a rare parchment or papyrus is discovered dating to the fourth century (e.g. the Gospel of Jesus Wife scroll, a fourth century or even a possible second century Coptic Christian papyrus that Harvard Divinity School professor Karen King announced to the world in September 2012, and as expected, was promptly denounced by the Vatican even though the god of the Jews impregnated a “young girl”–the actual translation for the word בתולה (virgin)–in discussing “Mary” (Miriam) much as Zeus had impregnanted numerous mortal women) that makes the claim of what is not traditionally or commonly known about an historical character that is of current renown, and others ask to see the data based on the discovery before the person who found and translated it, what does the researcher do if the research planned to publish the find, his or her translation of the document, and had made preparation to publish numerous other papers on the parchment or papyrus and other barely known documents?46.   The ethical norm of openness obliges the professional professor of significant stature in academe to share data with the other research team.  Her funding agency may also have rules that obligate the researcher to share data. On the other hand, if the shares data with the other team, they may publish results that the researcher was planning to publish, thus depriving the researcher (and the research team) of recognition and priority. One possible solution is to share data, provided that the investigators sign a data use agreement.  The agreement could define allowable uses of the data, publication plans, authorship, etc.  Other problems rise, for example, what about the rights and expectations of the institute or government that funded the research?  Funding agency policies that may apply to this situation, the team’s intellectual property interests, the possibility of negotiating some kind of agreement with the other team, whether the other team also has some information it is willing to share, etc. Will the public/science be better served by the additional research?47

Ethical codes and policies as well as legal rules apply to different options.  If the university or funding agency has policies on data management that apply to this case, they may take precedence.  At the same time, laws relating to intellectual property may be relevant. At some point the researcher will have to make a decision and then take action. Ideally, a person who makes a decision in an ethical dilemma should be able to justify his or her decision to himself or herself, as well as colleagues, administrators, and other people who might be affected by the decision. He or she should be able to articulate reasons for his or her conduct.48

Why are the walls of ethics breached? Some argue that only researchers who are morally corrupt, economically desperate, or psychologically disturbed commit misconduct. Research shows that when this occurs, no amount of courses on ethics will change this situation. A second theory on why researchers do not follow ethical guidelines is known as the stress syndrome. According to the “stressful” or “imperfect” environment theory, misconduct occurs because various institutional pressures, incentives or lack of incentives, and constraints.  Any and all of these elements encourage people to commit misconduct, such as pressures to publish or obtain grants or contracts, career ambitions, the pursuit of profit or fame.  This frequently leads to poor supervision of students and trainees, and poor oversight of researchers, minimal to marginal team work and supervision, and plagiarism.

Misconduct frequently results from environmental and individual causes, i.e. when people who are morally weak, ignorant, or insensitive are placed in stressful or imperfect environments. A course in research ethics is useful in helping prevent deviations from norms even if it does not prevent misconduct.

Training in research ethics should be able to help researchers grapple with ethical dilemmas by introducing researchers to important concepts, tools, principles, and methods that can be useful in resolving these dilemmas. The issues have become so important that national and international organizations and universities now make ethics training mandatory.49

  1. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090407223640.htm; as for the origins of religion among homo sapiens, read:  Pyysiäinen, Ilkka and Hauser, Marc (2010). “The origins of religion : evolved adaptation or by-product?” Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Volume 14, Issue 3, 8 February. pp. 104-109. On the pecking-order of poultry read the Norwegian scholar at the University of Washington: Perrin, Porter G., (1955). “Pecking order 1927-54”. American Speech, 30(4): 265-268; Perrin cited “Beitrage zur Sozialpsychologie des Haushuhns,” Zeitschrift für Psychologie, LXXXVIII (1922): 2245-252, and “Zur Sozialpsychologie der Vögel” ibid. XCCV (1924), 36-84.
  2. Eucken, Rudolf; Hough, Williston S.; Gibson, William Ralph Boyce (1909). The Problem of Human Life as Viewed by the Great Thinkers from Plato to the Present Time. New York, NY, USA: Charles Scribner’s Sons.  Bopp, James with Marquette University College of Nursing, Division of Continuing Education. Human Life and Health Care Ethics. Frederick, MD: University Publications of America. Beitz, Charles R. (2009). The Idea of Human Rights. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  3. Miles, Steven H. (2004).  The Hippocratic Oath and the Ethics of Medicine.  Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  4. Mahābhārata Shānti-Parva 167:9; Brihaspati, Mahabharata Anusasana Parva, Section CXIII, Verse 8. For ancient Egypt read: Jasnow, Richard (1992). A Late Period Hieratic Wisdom Text: P. Brooklyn 47.218.135. Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press, p. 95, and Wilson, John Albert (1956). The Culture of Ancient Egypt. Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press, p. 121; it is alos found among the sayings of Confucius (551-479 BCE): Analects XV.24 and V.12, VI.30
  5. Wallace, James D. (1996). Ethical Norms, Particular Cases.  Ithaca, NY, USA: Cornell University Press.  Wallace, James D. Norms and Practices. Ithaca, NY, USA:  Cornell University Press. Cp. Hashmi, Yusuf Abbas (1994). Western Ethical Norms and Qur’anic Responses. Karachi, Pakistan: Area Study Centre for Europe, University of Karachi. Abdullah, M Amin (2000). Kant and Ghazali: the Idea of Universality of Ethical Norms. Frankfurt, Deutschland: Landeck.
  6. Oakes, Guy and Vidich, Arthur J. (1999). Collaboration, Reputation, and Ethics in American Academic Life: Hans H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills. Urbana, IL, USA: University of Illinois Press. Sauer Sloan, Susan and Arrison, Thomas S. (2011). Examining Core Elements of International Research Collaboration: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
  7. cp. Deuteronomy 6:3; ref. Homann, Johann Baptista (1694). Karte des Schlaraffenlandes {Schlarraffenland} 1694 – Neu-entdeckte Schalk-Welt.  Bad Langensalza:  Verlag Rockstuhl, Reprint 1694/1999) and Caie, Graham D. and Ott, Norbert H. (1995) Schlaraffenland. In: Lexikon des Mittelalters, Bd. 7, Sp. 1477-1479
  8. Genesis 2; Longxi, Zhang (2005). Allegoresis: Reading Canonical Literature East and West. Ithaca, NY, USA: Cornell University Press, p. 182.
  9. Bobonich, Christopher (2002). Plato’s Utopia Recast: His Later Ethics and Politics. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press.  Benhabib, Seyla (1986). Critique, Norm, and Utopia: A Study of the Foundations of Critical Theory. New York, NY, USA: Columbia University Press.
  10. Mazurek Melnyk, Bernadette and Morrison-Beedy, Dianne (2012). Intervention Research: Designing, Conducting, Analyzing, and Funding. New York, NY, USA: Springer Publishing.
  11. (Australia) Bureau of Industry Economics (1986). Public Support for Research Associations. Canberra, Australia: Australian Government Publishing Service.
  12. Eisenberg, Nancy; Reykowski, Janusz; Staub Ervin (1989). Social and Moral Values: Individual and Societal Perspectives. Hillsdale, NJ, USA: L. Erlbaum Associates. Cf. for education, social values and apathy: Gruschka, Andreas (1994). Bürgerliche Kälte und Pädagogik: Moral in Gesellschaft und Erziehung. Wetzlar : Büchse der Pandora and its series: Schriftenreihe des Instituts für Pädagogik und Gesellschaft, Bd. 4. Cp. Walzer, Michael (1987). Interpretation and Social Criticism. Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.
  13. Referencing business and decision making read: Hoyk, Robert; Hersey, Paul (2008). The Ethical Executive: Becoming Aware of the Root Causes of Unethical Behavior: 45 Psychological Traps that Every One of Us Falls Prey to {sic}. Stanford, CA, USA: Stanford Business Books.
  14. Knowlton, Steven R. and Reader, Bill. (2009). Moral Reasoning for Journalists. Westport, CT, USA: Praeger. Salkind, Neil J. (2012). 100 questions (and answers) about research methods. Los Angeles, CA, USA: SAGE.  Granberg, Donald and Galliher, John F. (2010). A Most Human Enterprise: Controversies in the Social Sciences. Lanham, MD, USA: Lexington Books. Das Gupta, Ananda (2004). Human Values in Management. Aldershot, Hants, England; Burlington, VT, USA: Ashgate Pub.  Temkine, Pierre (1994). “Le modèle de l’homme libre” in Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale, Vol. 99 No. 4 (Octobre-Décembre): 437-448.  (2007). “Los comités hospitalarios de ética clínica” in Acta Ortopédica Mexicana, (May-Jun), Vol. 21 No. 3: 161-164.
  15. Bredl, Sebastian; Menold, Natalja; Storfinger, Nina (n.d.). “A literature review of methods to detect fabricated survey data”. In the series Zentrum für Internationale Entwicklungs- und Umweltforschung, Justus-Liebig-Universität (ZEU), 56.; Zentrum für Internationale Entwicklungs- und Umweltforschung (Gießen).
  16. Neal Stewart, C. Neal (2011). Research Ethics for Scientists: A Companion for Students. West Sussex, UK ; Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley.
  17. White, Jerry E. (1978). Honesty, Morality & Conscience. Colorado Springs, CO, USA: Navpress.  Menkel-Meadow, Carrie; Wheeler, Michael; Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. (2004). What’s Fair: A Program for Negotiators. San Francisco, CA, USA: Jossey-Bass.  Davis, Michael (2002). Profession, Code, and Ethics. Aldershot, Hants, England; Burlington, VT, USA: Ashgate.
  18. Petrick, Joseph A.; J F Quinn, J. F. (19979). Management Ethics: Integrity at Work. Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: SAGE Publications. Weissbourd Grant, Ruth (1999). Hypocrisy and Integrity: Machiavelli, Rousseau, and the Ethics of Politics.  Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.  Solomon, Robert C. (1992). Ethics and Excellence: Cooperation and Integrity in Business. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.  Rodríguez Córdoba, María del Pilar: Universidad Nacional de Colombia; Castaño Vélez, Carlos Felipe: Universidad Nacional de Colombia; Zuluaga Arcila, Héctor Felipe: Universidad Nacional de Colombia; Osorio Gómez, Valentina: Universidad Nacional de Colombia; Duque Uribe, Verónica: Universidad Nacional de Colombia (2006). “La auditoría ética: herramienta para fortalecer la integridad del carácter organizacional” in Innovar  Vol. 16, No 27: 25-46. Lama T, Alexis (2003). “El médico y los conflictos de intereses” in Revista médica de Chile, Vol.131, no.12 (Diciembre):1463-1468
  19. Moore, Michael S. (2004). Objectivity in Ethics and Law. Aldershot, Hants, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate : Dartmouth Pub.  Gill, Christopher (2005). Virtue, norms, and objectivity : issues in ancient and modern ethics. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press; New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. López Hidalgo, Antonio (2005). El periodista en su soledad: de cómo la precariedad en el trabajo condiciona la ética y la independencia del profesional, y otras respuestas sin pregunta. Sevilla, España: Comunicación Social Ediciones y Publicaciones. Burgueño, José Manuel (2009). Los renglones torcidos del periodismo: mentiras, errores y engaños en el oficio de informar. Barcelona, España: UOC
  20. Brezovnik, Anica; Mithans, Lucija; Mithans, Ana; Robnik, Petrischa; Železnik, Danica; et al. (2011). “Odsev etike skrbi s poudarkom na zaupanju” in Razvijanje medpoklicnega sodelovanja v času študija na podrošju zdravstvenih ved, Str. 169-177 with the emphasis being placed on trust. Figini Héctor A (2010). “Aspectos éticos en el manejo de pacientes con demencia” in Neurología Argentina, v2 n2: 96-101.
  21. Bok, Sissela (1983, © 1982). Secrets : on the Ethics of Concealment and Revelation. New York, NY, USA: Pantheon Books. Mierisch, Bob (2000). On the Level: A Story about Striving for Openness to Build Corporate Strength. Kent Town, South Australia: Wakefield Press. On how openness affects the patient, read: Mens, E. J. (1994). “Die Mitwirkung des Patienten als Problem der stationären psychosomatischen Rehabilitation” in Die Rehabilitation, (November) 33(4): 221-7.
  22. May, Christopher; Sell. Susan K (2006). Intellectual Property Rights : A Critical History. Boulder, CO, USA: Lynne Rienner Publishers.  Primo Braga, Carlos Alberto; Fink, Carsten; Paz Sepulveda, Claudia (2000). Intellectual Property Rights and Economic Development. Washington, DC: World Bank. Stoll, Peter-Tobias; Busche, Jan; Arend, Katrin; Max-Planck-Institut für Ausländisches Öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (2009). WTO–trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights. Leiden, Nederlands; Boston, MA, USA: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Raju, C B (2006). Intellectual Property Rights. New Delhi, India: University of Mysore. Department of Studies in Law.
  23. Roffe, Pedro; Santa Cruz, Maximiliano (2006).  Los derechos de propiedad intelectual en los acuerdos de libre comercio celebrados por países de América Latina con países desarrollados. Santiago, Chile: Naciones Unidas, CEPAL, División de Comercio Internacional e Integración.
  24. http://www.higheredmorning.com/top-8-ways-students-are-cheating-today, with Quinn at http://jonathanturley.org/2010/11/24/professor-confronts-cheaters-at-university-of-central-florida/ and a video at where nearly 600 students must retake the examination: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/09/cheating-scandal-rocks-un_n_781048.html and http://abcnews.go.com/Business/widespread-cheating-scandal-prompts-florida-professor-issues-ultimatum/story?id=11737137
  25. http://latinamericacurrentevents.com/ecuador-closes-14-universities-because-of-low-quality-of-education/17763/ and http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20120106162718889.
  26. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/01/german-defence-minister-resigns-plagiarism.
  27. http://www.boston.com/news/education/2013/02/09/german-education-minister-quits-plagiarism-case/fRUAW6JXNEuKOMExVx76qM/story.html.
  28. http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/02/06/another_german_politician_accused_of_plagiarism.
  29. http://www.academicplagiarism.com/index.php/plagiarism-commonplace-russian-politicians/.
  30. http://opob.edublogs.org/2012/08/26/of-politicians-plagiarism-and-penalties/. On Martha Chavez, read: http://arthuride.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/martha-chavez-attack-on-peru-democracy/
  31. Buranen, Lise; Myers Roy, Alice (1999). Perspectives on Plagiarism and Intellectual Property in a Postmodern World. Albany, NY, USA: State University Press of New York.   Lathrop, Ann and Foss, Kathleen (2000). Student Cheating and Plagiarism in the Internet era: A Wake-up Call. Englewood, CO, USA: Libraries Unlimited.  Fox, Tom; Johns, Julia; Keller, Sarah (2007). Cite It Right: the SourceAide Guide to Citation, Research, and Avoiding Plagiarism. Osterville, MA, USA: SourceAid.  May, William W. (1990). Ethics and Higher Education. New York, NY, USA: American Council on Education; issued also by New York, NY, USA: Macmillan, and Toronto, Canada: Collier Macmillan. For a focus on scientific fraud, consult: LaFollette, Marcel C. (1992). Stealing into Print: Fraud, Plagiarism, and Misconduct in Scientific Publishing. Berkeley, CA, USA: University of California Press.
  32. Cordess, Christopher (2001). Confidentiality and Mental Health. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley.  Lowrance, William W. (2012). Privacy, Confidentiality, and Health Research. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.  Schuchman, Herman, et al. (1982). Confidentiality of Health Records—the Meeting of Law, Ethics, and Clinical Issues. New York, NY, USA: Gardner Press.  Mackie, Christopher D.; Bradburn, Norman M.; National Research Council (US). Committee on National Statistics; National Research Council (US) Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education.  Improving Access to and Confidentiality of Research Data: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC; National Academy Press.
  33. http://www.towleroad.com/2012/07/u-of-texas-investigating-mark-regnerus-for-scientific-misconduct-over-flawed-anti-gay-parenting-stud.html.
  34. Gilmore, Barry (2009). Plagiarism. Portsmouth, ME: Heinemann. Lipson, Charles (2005). Doing Honest Work in College: How to Prepare Citations, Avoid Plagiarism, and Achieve Real Academic Success. Princeton, NJ, USA: Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic. Eschholz, Paul A, and Rosa, Alfred F. (2011). Subject & Strategy: A Writer’s Reader. Boston, MA, USA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
  35. Nicholas-Casebolt, Ann (2012). Research Integrity and Responsible Conduct of Research. New York: Oxford University Press.  Dusseldorp Skills Forum (2000). Mentoring: Benchmarks for effective and responsible mentoring programs. Sydney, Australia: Dusseldorp Skills Forum. Beach, Dore (1996). The Responsible Conduct of Research. Weinheim, Germany, New York, NY, USA: VCH.
  36. Yendol-Hoppey, Diane and Fichtman Dana, Nancy (2007). The Reflective Educator’s Guide to Mentoring: Strengthening Practice through Knowledge, Story, and Metaphor. Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: Corwin Press. Clasen, Robert Eart (1991). Mentoring. {Madison, WI, USA}: University of Wisconsin-Madison Instructional Medial Development Center.
  37. Davila Gomez, Ama Maria and Crowther, David (2007). Ethics, Psyche and Social Responsibility. Aldershot, UK: Ashgage. Wueste, Daniel E. (1994). Professional Ethics and Social Responsibility. Lanham, MD, USA: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. Pincus Hartman, Laura and DesJardins, Joseph R. (2008). Business Ethics: Decision-making for Personal Integrity and Social Responsibility. Boston, MA, USA: McGraw-Hill.
  38. Dhillon, Gurpreet (2002). Social Responsibility in the Information Age: Issues and Controversies. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Publishers.
  39. Allport, Gordon W. and the American Academy of Political and Social Science (1946). Controlling Group Prejudice. Philadelphia, PA, USA: American Academy of Political and Social Science.  Narveson, Jan (2002). Respecting Persons in Theory and Practice: Essays on Moral and Political Philosophy. Lanham, MD, USA: Rowman & Littlefield.  US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Secretary (1984). “Nondiscrimination on the basis of Handicap; Procedures and Guidelines Relating to Health Care for Handicapped Infants” in Federal Register. (January 12) Vol. 48, No. 8: 1622-1654. Wilson, George (2006). “The Rise of At-Will Employment and Racial Inequality in the Public Sector” in Review of Public Personnel Administration. Vol. 26 No. 2: 178-187
  40. Edgardo Tito Saronne (1981). Viaggio nell’italiano popolare : strumenti per l’educazione linguistica. Bologna, Italia : Il Mulino.
  41. Cox White, Becky (1994). Competence to Consent. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.  Pope, Raechele L; Reynolds, Amy L; Mueller, John A (2004). Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs. San Francisco, CA, USA: Jossey-Bass. Pitrelli, Nico; Sturloni, Giancarlo; International School for Advanced Studies (Trieste, Italy; 2004). La comunicazione della scienza : atti del I e II convegno nazionale. Roma, Italia: Zadigroma.
  42. Sales, Bruce Dennis, and Folkman, Susan (2000). Ethics in Research with Human Participants. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  43. Pavlov, Ivan Petrovich (1994). Psychopathology and Psychiatry. New Brunswick, NJ, USA: Transaction Publishers. Pavlov, Ivan Petrovich (1934). Experimental Pathology of the Highest Nervous Activity. Leningrad, Soviet Union: Lecture delivered on May 10, 1934 at the Post-Graduate Medical Institute in Leningrad. For Pavlov’s physiological work, read: Todes, D. P. (1997). “Pavlov’s Physiological Factory,” Isis. Vol. 88. The History of Science Society, p. 205–246, and Pavlov, I. P. (1927). Conditioned Reflexes: An Investigation of the Physiological Activity of the Cerebral Cortex. Translated and Edited by G. V. Anrep. London, UK: Oxford University Press. p. 142.
  44. Tim (2004). Animal Talk: Breaking the Codes of Animal Language. New York, Friend NY, USA: Free Press.  Gunsalus, C. K.; Loui, M. C.; C. K. Gunsalus, M. C. Loui, and their students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2009).  Amherst, MA, USA: ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst 2009-02-01 Responsible Conducts of Role-Plays: Animals
  45. Shamoo, Adil E and Resnik, David B. (2009). Responsible Conduct of Research, 2nd ed. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
  46. Kaleem, Jaweed.  “The Gospel Of Jesus’ Wife, New Early Christian Text, Indicates Jesus May Have Been Married” Huffington Post, 18 September 2012. The refutation by the Vatican’s official organ: Camplani, Alberto (2012). “A Papyrus Adrift,”, L’Osservatore Romano, 28 September, a blatant, fraudulent and unethical refutation for the sake of fake educative judgment. Camplani show no knowledge of the second-fourth century Coptic language than a kindergartener in Norway.
  47. Lo, Bernard (2000). Resolving Ethical Dilemmas: A Guide for Clinicians. Philadelphia, PA, USA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Bellamy, Alex J. (2008). Fighting Terror: Ethical Dilemmas. London, UK: Zed Books. Reynolds, Paul D (1979). Ethical Dilemmas and Social Science Research. San Francisco, CA, USA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
  48.  Cf. Locke, John (1795). An Essay Concerning Human Understanding with Thoughts on the Conduct of the Understanding. (London, UK) Printed for Allen & West, J. Mundel and Co.
  49. DeGarmo, Charles (1892). Ethical Training in Public Schools. (Philadelphia, PA, USA): American Academy of Political and Social Science. Fitzpatrick, Jody L. and Morris, Michael (1999). Current and Emerging Ethical Challenges in Evaluation.  San Francisco, CA, USA: Jossey-Bass.  Burton, Dawn (2000). Research Training for Social Scientists: A Handbook for Postgraduate Researchers. London, UK and Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: SAGE.

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