Ethics Assignment

This assignment is done in groups. One submission per group is enough. If, for a good reason, you cannot do this with a group in this course, please contact the course staff to discuss how to fulfill the interaction aspect.

Please read the material. Your group should pick one of the options I, II and III. Please write down some findings, you can use lists and bullet points. You can also express your own feelings and ideas. Please include links to everything interesting you found, and please comment each link and point your findings. Write your findings and links in the course discussion area in the Course Information section, so that others will easily see your work, together with a list of group members. Use plain text, don't upload files. Be prepared to present key points of your work on Friday, Feb 16, 2018.

Material

Read through Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland, published by The Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (TENK). The English version is near the end of the booklet.

Option I
Pick one topic from the list. Discuss your own experience about good scientific practice within this topic:

  • Is it easy to understand and cope with

  • How do you feel about the rules and conventions

  • What are the best ways to make sure you follow good scientific practice

Topics:

  1. Plagiarism: forms and avoiding it

  2. Fabrication and falsification

  3. Authorship, who to include in your paper

  4. Handling suspicions of not following good scientific practice

  5. Agreements between parties before research

Option II

Find similar instructions and rules in some other country. This can be your country of origin, a country you have studied in or any other country. Compare these with the Finnish ones. Write down shortly your findings, include links to the instructions.

Option III

Find a case, where misconduct has been suspected. Answer at least some of these questions according to sources you find:

  • What type of misconduct was suspected?
  • How did the case seem to differ from good conduct?
  • How were suspicions handled by the scientific institution?
  • Did the way of handling follow the recommendations of TENK, or how did it differ?
  • What kind of consequences, if any, followed?

Write down your observations for each question in a few sentences. Note that our purpose is not to judge the case, you can't know all aspects by just reading about it. Include links to the articles you used or if you examined some original materials.

There are known allegations of misconduct for example in VTT, Finland, by professor Matej Oresic and in Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, by professor Paolo Macchiarini. In the University of Eastern Finland a degree was revoked a few years ago and recently some wrongdoing was claimed to be in a Master's thesis of Finnish presidential candidate Laura Huhtasaari. You are welcome to use any other case, too. We want to point that the course staff is not saying these allegations are true, especially the VTT case is much controversial.

Submission to the General discussion area

Please submit your writings to the discussion area in the Course Information section.

Please note that there is also the News forum besides the General discussion area in that section, please pick the General discussion area since writing to the News forum is for course staff only.