Week 1 Assignment by William Molnar “BEN: CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE” In Scenario 1, Ben offered his new technique in full to Dr. Freeman because his faculty advisor encouraged his students not to keep secrets from other researchers. Six months later, Ben found an article by Dr. Freeman describing Ben’s technique, but without any citation mentioning Ben’s presentation. The following questions were addressed in this scenario:
1. Does Ben have any way of receiving credit for his work?

In response to this question, I believe that Ben should receive credit for his work. The National Academy of Science (1995) stated: If someone else exploits unpublished material that is seen in a privileged grant application or manuscript, that person is essentially stealing intellectual property. In industry, the commercial rights to scientific work belong more to the employer than the employee, but similar provisions apply, research results are privileged until they are published or otherwise publicly disseminated. (p. 17) The object of research is to extend human knowledge of the physical, biological, or social world beyond what is already know. But an individual’s knowledge properly enters the domain of science only after it is presented to other in such a fashion that they can independently judge its validity. This process occurs in many different ways. (p. 10) One of the ways suggested by the National Academy of Science (1995) is through seminars and conferences. This article claimed that many scientists keep their work secret because they fear that others will claim their work as their own. One scientist who would not share his work was Isaac Newton. Henry Oldenburg offered one solution to this problem of making new discoveries public while ensuring that the originators of these discoveries were given their due credit. According to the National Academy of Science, He won over scientists by guaranteeing rapid publication in the society’s Philosophical Transaction as well as the official support of the society if the author’s priority was


brought into question. Oldenburg also pioneered the practice of sending submitted manuscripts to experts who could judge their quality. Out of these innovations rose both the modern scientific journal and the practice of peer review. (p 16) The National Academy of Science also stated that” in a scientific paper, credit is acknowledged in three places and one of them is the “acknowledgment of contributions from others and in the list of references or citations” (p. 19). Smith (2003) stated: If they (scientists) contribute substantively to the conceptualization, design, execution, or analysis or interpretation of the research reported, they should be listed as authors. Contributions that are primarily technical don’t warrant authorship. In the same vein, advisers should not expect ex-officio authorship on their student’s work. (p. 57) Smith also asserted, “While it’s unlikely reviewers can purge all of the information in an interesting manuscript from their thinking; it’s still unethical to take those ideas without giving credit to the originator” (p 57). This is exactly what happened to Ben in that even though his ideas were mentioned by another researcher, he did not receive any credit for them. In conclusion, the National Academy of Science (1995) noted that “failure to cite the work of others can give rise to more than just hard feelings. Citations are part of the reward system of science” (p. 19).
2. Should he contact Dr. Freeman in an effort to have his work recognized?

I feel that Dr. Freeman should be made aware of the situation and should be encouraged to give Ben credit for his work. I feel that the code of ethics among researchers has been broken by Dr. Freeman and that he is obligated to give Ben credit for his work. It is possible that not mentioning Ben’s contribution was an oversight by Dr. Freeman, but how could someone write about a piece of work without knowing full well that it was not original work? I do not believe that it was an oversight.


Alberts and Shine (1994) stated, “The scientific research enterprise is built on a foundation of trust; trust that the results or ideas reported by others are valid and trust that the source of novel ideas will be appropriately acknowledged in the scientific literature” (p. 1660). According to Dahlquist (2006), what Dr. Freeman did was “fraud and dishonesty in research” (p. 449). Kalichman (2006) argued that “science has an ethics problem” (p. 34). Caelleigh (2003) asserted, “Many scientific societies do not have formal statements on publication ethics, or they have very general or limited statements” (p. 223). 3. Is Ben’s faculty advisor mistaken in encouraging his students to be so open about their work? No, I do not believe that Ben’s faculty advisor was mistaken in encouraging him to be open about his work. The National Academy of Science (1995) clearly stated, “Much of the knowledge and skill needed to make good decisions in science is learned through personal experience and interaction with other scientists” (p. 13). It also contended: Science is not an individual experience. It is shared knowledge based on a common understanding of some aspect of the physical or social world. For that reason, the social convention of science plays an important role in establishing the reliability of scientific knowledge. If these conventions are disrupted, the quality of science can suffer. (p. 16) ALLOCATION OF CREDIT AND “MAY: A CASE OF PLAGIARISM” In Scenario 2, May cited whole sentences and paragraphs from several published papers verbatim, but she did not use quotation marks to identify the text as someone else’s words. The faculty felt that there were inconsistencies in her writing style and declared it a case of plagiarism. By order of the dean of the graduate school, May was expelled from the program, albeit with the stipulation that she could reapply for the next academic year. The following questions were addressed in this scenario: 1. Is plagiarism like this a common practice?


The National Academy of Science (1995) declared: Beyond honest errors and errors caused through negligence are a third category of errors: those that involve deception….using the ideas or words of another person without giving appropriate credit (plagiarism)-all strike at the heart of the values on which science is based… Anyone who engages in any of these practices is putting his or her scientific career at risk. Even infractions that may seem minor at the time can end up being severely punished. (p. 23) After carefully researching the topic supporting my contention, I concluded that plagiarism is a common practice. Hayes and Introna (2005) conducted a study on cultural values and plagiarism. They stated, “Much of the literature on academic integrity, coupled with the considerable anecdotal evidence among colleagues in our own and other universities, suggests that plagiarism is on the increase” (p. 214). O’Connor (2003) discussed the finding from an Australian study that 14% of essays being submitted to Turnitin, an electronic detection service, “contained unacceptable levels of unattributed materials” (as cited in Hayes & Introna, 2005, p. 214). Hayes and Introna also suggested, “Others have suggested that poor time management by students and the practice of staff setting the same submission dates for number of different pieces of course work are major contributing factors” (p. 214). They argued that when students are not satisfied with a course, their work decreases, which may contribute to plagiarism. Hochstein, Brewer, Steinke, and Taylor (2008) examined the issue of plagiarism among students at Wright State University Lake Campus, noting that Plagiarism is certainly not new to academia, and it is not new to the Lake Campus. Student plagiarism has been a concern of higher education teachers for some time, but has received increased attention in recent years. This is, at least in part, because of the increased presences of new reports of high-profile plagiarism. In addition, the opportunity to plagiarize has never been greater. (p. 60)


In addition, blame has been placed on the growth of the Internet, which has given users unlimited access to material and is making the detection of plagiarism more difficult. Grossberg (2004) contributed to a round table discussion of plagiarism. As an expert in the field of American history, he stated: I want to discuss the problem of stolen words and ideas and our collective responsibility to prevent such thefts. I do so primarily from my perspective as the editor of a history journal because over the last few years, plagiarism has been my most direct encounter with the ethical problems that now seem to be plaguing our discipline. Plagiarism is on the rise and it is clear that our concern about it and other forms of ethical misconduct is growing. (p. 1333) McLafferty and Foust (2004) stated, “Plagiarism, widespread on college campuses, has become a way of life for some students. Even universities with honor systems are not exempt” (p. 186). They discovered that Lou Bloomfield, a physics professor at the University of Virginia, had developed software that crosschecked hundreds of papers and found numerous examples of copied text. They contended that “incidents such as these indicate the presence of a new student ethos in which plagiarism and other forms of cheating are common and even acceptable” (p. 186). Burkill and Abbey (2004) stated: The most common problems relate to academic dishonesty and, in particular, plagiarism. Every year students find themselves facing penalties and occasionally disciplinary hearing, because they have not followed the regulations relating to plagiarism. Research (Franklyn-Stokes & Newstead, 1995; Stefani & Carroll, 2001) has shown that up to 80% of students are plagiarizing someone else’s work. Sometimes this is done knowingly but a much larger and growing proportion of students are unwittingly involved in plagiarism. (p. 439) 2. Are there circumstances that should have led to May’s being forgiven for plagiarizing? My first impression was that May should have been given a second chance if she had been unaware of the policies and procedures regarding the citation of someone else’s work.


However, after conducting research on the topic, I do not feel that there are any circumstances that would excuse May’s plagiarism. If she had only copied a sentence or two, one might argue that she unknowingly plagiarized, but in this example, she presented whole paragraphs as her own words. There is no way that she could have written entire paragraphs verbatim without realizing that she was writing someone else’s words. Hayes and Introna (2005) discovered that students from the United Kingdom considered “copying a limited amount of text without referencing the sources to be tolerable” (p. 218). When they asked students what they considered substantial plagiarism in the context of a 3,000word essay, the students replies ranged from “its being more than two sentences to its being a whole paragraph” (p. 219). Grossberg (2004) asserted: We must make a commitment to the basic standards of ethical conduct in our discipline, which include preventing the misappropriation of other people’s words and ideas. We must do so to ensure that we all work within a common set of ethical standards as we write, teach, and edit. We must do so because ethical misconduct such as plagiarism is a big offense against our entire community that undermines our scholarship and our teaching. And we must do so despite the difficulties and complications, because ultimately the only effective solution to a problem such as this is a renewed commitment to collective vigilance and collective action. (p. 1340) 3. Should May be allowed to reapply to the program? Yes, I believe that everyone should be given a second chance. As a very religious person, I believe that no one is perfect. That is why as a devout Catholic, I need to go to Confession. I believe that May, after being given some time to reflect upon what she did, will be much more careful next time when citing information from other researchers and will not repeat the mistake.


REFERENCES Alberts, B., & Shine, K. (1994). Scientists and the integrity of research. Science, 266, 1660. Burkill, S., & Abbey, C. (2004). Avoiding plagiarism. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 28(3), 439-446. Caelleigh, A. S. (2003). Roles for scientific societies in promoting integrity in publication ethics. Science and Engineering Ethics, 9, 221-241. Dahlquist, G. (2006). Ethics in research: Why and how? Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 34, 449-452. Grossberg, M. (2004). Plagiarism and professional ethics-a journal editor’s view. Journal of American History, 90(4), 1333-1340. Hayes, N., & Introna, L. (2005). Cultural values, plagiarism and fairness: When plagiarism gets in the way of learning. Ethics and Behavior, 15(3), 213-231. Hochstein, D. D., Brewer, J., Steinke, M. D., & Taylor, J. D. (2008). Examining the issue of academic plagiarism: What do students at Wright State University Lake Campus know about plagiarism? Association for University Regional Campuses of Ohio, 14, 59-81. Kalichman, M. (2006). Ethics and science: A 0.1% solution. Issues in Science & Technology, 23(1), 34-36. McLafferty, C. L., & Foust, K. M. (2004). Electronic plagiarism as a college instructor’s nightmare-prevention and detection. Journal of Education for Business, 79(3), 186-189. National Academy of Science. (1995). On being a scientist: Responsible conduct in research. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Smith, D. (2003). Five principles for research ethics. Monitor on Psychology, 34(1), 56-62.

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