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Ethics & Behavior

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Do Authorship Policies Impact Students'
Judgments of Perceived Wrongdoing?
Mary R. Rose & Karla Fischer
To cite this article: Mary R. Rose & Karla Fischer (1998) Do Authorship Policies Impact
Students' Judgments of Perceived Wrongdoing?, Ethics & Behavior, 8:1, 59-79, DOI: 10.1207/
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Published online: 08 Jan 2010.

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Date: 12 April 2016, At: 08:53

Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016

ETHICS & BEHAVIOR, 8(1), 59-79
Copyright O 1998, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Inc.

Do Authorship Policies Impact
Students' Judgments of
Perceived Wrongdoing?
Mary R. Rose and Karla Fischer
Department of Psychology
Duke University

Although authorship policies exist, researchers understand little about their impact
on perceptions of authorship scenarios. Graduate students (N = 277) at a large
university read 1 of 3 vignettes about a graduate student-faculty collaboration. One
half of the surveys included the American Psychological Association's statement on
authorship. Participants rated (a) the ethics of the professor as first author and (b) the
likelihood of a dissatisfied student reporting the authorship result, as well as the
effectiveness and negative consequences of reporting. Work arrangements on the
project had a consistent main effect. Also, an authorship policy impacted women's
ratings of first authorship when the student contributed the idea for a project. For men,
a policy impacted only ratings of the likelihood of reporting when a professor was
first author on a student's dissertation. Apart from sex, no other demographic
variables on participants were predictive. Discussion focuses on the policy's potential
for making only some specific issues salient.
Key words: publication ethics, authorship
Since 1993, two separate lawsuits have centered on disputes over credit for
academic work. Two junior researchers-a
psychologist and an epidemiologist-each won million dollar lawsuits at jury trials, arguing among other things
that their work had been used in grant applications without crediting them (Hilts,
1993;Taubes, 1995). These type of legal actions suggest that, in some instances,
conflicts over credit for academic work can escalate into potentially serious and
costly episodes. Even less high-profile disputes over authorship can be extremely
difficult to resolve, as they may involve accusations about "theft" of highly
Reprint requests should be sent to Karla Fischer, Department of Psychology: Social & Health
Sciences, Box 90085, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708485.

and institutions. 356). In addition. A recent survey of scientific professional organizations. consistency with proscribed ethical norms was not as apparent in a sample of student respondents. . One might conclude that ethical principles regarding authorship reflect the beliefs of most research psychologists. there is very little research on how influential authorship guidelines might be. 1995). including the American Psychological Association (APA). Spiegel and Keith-Spiegel(l970) found a relatively high degree of consensus on 11 scenarios given to a sample of 746 research and clinical psychologists. people's ratings did not reflect contemporaneousethical guidelines when case scenarios involved faculty-student collaborations. Nevertheless. and in general. 1993). and the guidelines clearly recommended "first authorship for the student in published dissertations" (p. However. in which differences in status and experience would be considered (Fine & Kurdek. labs. & Johnston. gave the advisor first authorship on a dissertation publication when faculty input was high. 1981). 1992). To combat difficulties in authorship determinations. Crego. credit should be proportional to one's contribution. be they ideas for research or credit for numerous types of labor on a project. Thus researchers' beliefs were consistent with principles regarding authorship available from the APA at that time: Credit goes to those (and to only those) who contribute to a project. even when advisor input was low. Costa and Gatz (1992) asked students and faculty members in psychology departments to read vignettes about faculty-student collaborations and to assign authorship order. Guidelines might influence pertinent authorship issues in a number of ways. A follow-up study involving only academic psychologists showed similar results (Bridgwater. some have offered proposals for revised systems of determining publication credit. For instance. The vignettes varied faculty input on the project. potentially creating consistency across individuals. especially students. Results showed that few of the student respondents assigned sole authorship to a student in a dissertation story. indicated that 55% had some statement on authorship (Council of Scientific Society Presidents.Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 60 ROSE AND FlSCHER intangible commodities. a number of professional societies and journals have developed policies.Codifying authorship standards seems especially important when collaborations involve both junior and senior researchers. as well as whether the work involved dissertation or master's-level research. a policy may standardize both junior and senior researchers' expectations for what level of work merits publication credit. a substantial number of respondents. Costa and Gatz noted that the APA had explicit criteria for authorship available at the time of the study. Respondents generally believed that authorship should never be given out of deference to status or without active involvement in a project. Allocating credit for student-faculty manuscripts has been identified as an important ethical issue for supervisors (Goodyear. In addition. Hence. & Walkenbach. especially with respect to trainees. Bornstein.

1969). Gilligan.Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 One explanation for these results is that policies on authorship are unable to overcome institutional or individual norms regarding authorship when collaborations involve people of disparate status. Previous research indicates that male graduate students tend to express more support for pursuing legal action when presented with hypothetical wrongful dismissal cases (Grant & Wagar. which (deliberately) were not part of the survey. Anderson. For instance. previous studies on authorship standards provide only indirect evidence about the relation between policy statements and individual beliefs. That is. and Lewis (1993). In general. Miceli & Near. Finally. For instance. 1982. 1992). Indeed. However. whether the presence of a written policy regarding authorship affects perceptions of a given authorship assignment has not been examined in any systematic way. reporting may be unlikely if groups perceive themselves as vulnerable to retaliation. a policy might communicate an institution's interest in being aware of and attempting to settle disputes. Apart from impacting perceptions of the merits of an authorship arrangement.Such work tends to find that men engage in greater rule-based moral reasoning than do women. regardless of the presence or absence of a policy. men may view reporting the violation as more likely and as more effective compared to women. to our knowledge. such people instead may view the risks of reporting as outweighing any impetus to pursue a claim. it is also possible that participants were simply unaware of policies on authorship. policies on authorship may also affect beliefs about available responses to a problematic situation.g. men may perceive greater harm when a rule or policy has been violated-an explanation supported by theorists of child and adult moral reasoning (e. Vidmar and Schuller (1987) found some evidence that men score higher on a claim propensity measure. men may express less concern over possible consequences associated with such reporting.. Swazey. Whether a policy can minimize one's sense of vulnerability has not been tested. compared to women. for instance. people may perceive the policy as institutional support for reporting problems. articles describe the results of the study. such as sex. . However. 1988). 1991. and offer some assessment of consistency between the two. & Near. Dozier. Kohlberg & Kramer. a policy's potential impact on either perceptions of wrongdoing or decisions to report may interact with other group membership variables. in addition. Some studies of academic and nonacademic "whistleblowing" found that men were more likely to report wrongdoing to a superior (Miceli. Nonetheless. On the other hand. found that a majority of graduate students believed they could not report problematic or ethically suspect situations to an institutional authority without expecting retaliation. present the substance of the written guidelines. These results suggest that. men and women may simply differ in their views of appropriate responses to a violation of any kind.

engineering. 1992) focused on graduate students in psychology. Costa & Gatz.. student). We predicted a main effect for vignettes. Although previous work regarding perceptions of authorship (e. The three vignettes. especially if the study was dissertation related.g. we expected a main effect for policy. effectiveness. developed through pretesting a number of different factors involved in collaborative research. biological. that is. (b) filing a complaint. and (c) contacting the journal to indicate that the authorship order is incorrect. We included sex in the model to explore possible effects. In addition. The questionnaire was distributed to 1. and social science fields at a large southeastern university. we created vignettes that would increase the likelihood that participants perceived some form of wrongdoing-in all cases the professor committed an ethically questionable act in managing a resulting manuscript. and possible negative consequences of (a) talking to a dean.Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 THE PRESENT STUDY The present study explores the relation between explicit knowledge of a policy on publication credit and graduate students' judgments of the ethical nature of an authorship assignment and beliefs about reporting. and when the participant was male. In a survey given to graduate students. participants read one of three vignettes about a collaboration between a student and an advisor. We expected higher likelihood and effectiveness ratings associated with such responses when the student in the vignette did more work on the project. such that participants would be less tolerant of a professor becoming first author when the professor was described as contributing less to the project. Because we asked about perceptions of both the authorship arrangement and the student's likelihood of reporting. our sample excluded psychology graduate students because they were part of pretesting and because they might be likely to have familiarity with the authorship policy described in the survey . To assess whether a policy also might impact beliefs about reporting a dispute. We also explored whether a policy serves to minimize students' perceptions of the possibility of negative consequences should they report. systematically varied the researcher's contributions and status (professor vs. We experimentally manipulated awareness of a policy on authorship by describing it in only half of the questionnaires. METHOD Participants and Procedure Eligible participants consisted of all graduate students in the physical. when apolicy was described. participants in the condition that included a policy statement should be less tolerant of deviationsfrom the policy or of questionable behavior.289 students across 30 university departments. participants rated the likelihood.

including a return envelope. policy-no-policy versions. We used pretesting to identify those contributions to a project TABLE 1 Summary of Sample Characteristics Variable % Sex Male Female Year First Second Third Fourth Fifth+ Race White Asian African American Hispanic Note. except that our sample included slightly more women than might have been expected (women are 37%of the population) and fewer minorities.Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 (discussed next).. Survey respondents generally matched the demographic characteristics of the school population. by discipline. however. In addition. Instrument Vignette construction. we compared sample characteristics against information available from the enrollment profile of graduate students at the university. Table 1 profiles our sample's characteristics. a reminder note was sent to every student. and by race).In addition. as well as the three vignette conditions) were equivalent and did not differ significantly by groups of people (e. by sex. we conducted chi-square tests on our sample.. 57 43 20 17 21 18 24 79 15 <1 <1 Variable Discipline Physical sciences Biological sciences EngineeringIComputer science Social science Previous authorship None One previous publication Two or more previous publications Previous first authorship % 20 42 21 16 31 21 48 46 . As our interest centers on responses to different conditions. A large number of factors might influence decisions about authorship. we had more returns from biological science students (who are 31% of the population) and slightly less from the social science students (who are 23%.e. our emphasis on ensuring anonymity of responses may have lessened people's tendency to respond. N = 277. Participants randomly received one of six versions of the questionnaire. This fairly low return rate is not unusual for surveys distributed through the mail. Approximately 2 weeks following distribution. Return rates for the different versions (i.g. for a response rate of 21%. excluding psychology). There were 277 surveys returned.

Thus. the professor has not always been first author on papers in the past). data collection) may be more variable. the professor does most of the remaining work (Vignette 2). one for each item) to indicate how ethical or unethical it was for the professor to be first author given the information described (e.e.g.. such as coming up with the idea for the study. We also included a statement about whether the study was dissertation related..e. (c) who developed the actual design of the study. However.. and authorship practices in the department. as well as whether certain items were likely to be perceived differently depending on the status of the contributor.. and it listed nine items that could conceivably be related to authorship determinations. Our rationale for this is that misappropriating written work done by others is defined as "plagiarism" (Goodyear et al. the student came up with the idea for the study. the professor has always been first author on papers which result from collaborative work"). We also represent a dissertation situation in which the student comes up with the idea and does most of the work. A second version of the pretest also stated that the professor had become first author. beliefs about authorship given factors unrelated to actual writing (e. and (e) whether the paper was a version of the student's dissertation.' From this pretest. each crossed with the policy-no-policy dimension. five items consistently impacted ethics ratings: (a) who came up with the idea.Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 that would be most important to manipulate in our vignettes. creating six conditions. The instrument indicated that the professor became first author on a resulting publication. to further restrict the possible dimensions of the vignettes. developing the design.g. To maximize power. The final vignettes represent the following arrangements: The professor comes up with the idea. and the context of the collaboration. Pretest measures and detailed results are available from Mary Rose on request. Twenty graduate students in psychology and 19 undergraduates taking an advanced course in psychology completed apretest questionnaireabout acollaborativeproject between a student and a faculty member. the lab's standard authorship practices. the student does most of the remaining work (Vignette 1). ethical or unethical). we wished to limit the number of vignettes to three. the student comes up with the idea. Even this more limited set of variables could be combined to create a large number of different vignettes. 1992). performing the analyses. we were able to determine which factors tended to produce extreme ratings at either ends of the scale (i. "The professor came up with the idea for the study" or "When this professor has worked with other students. but this work is overseen by the advisor 'Actual writing of the manuscript was not varied across vignettes..g. we decided to vary two general concepts: who came up with the idea for the study and who oversaw most of the remaining work on the project. but the information provided was favorable to the student (e. . The latter "context" variables included the quality of the working relationship. (d) who did the data collection and analysis. (b) who translated the idea into a researchable question. Participants were to consider each item separately and to mark 7-point Likerttype scales (i. Across versions..

Minor contributions to the research or to the writing for publications are appropriately acknowledged. A review of scientific organizations' codes of ethics by the first author indicates that submitting a manuscript without obtaining authors' final approval is discouraged by a number of academic groups. The instrument asked for demographicand personal information about the participant. In all cases. 3. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored article that is substantially based on the student's dissertation or thesis. those from medical journals). This policy was used verbatim.g. the vignettes stated that the advisor sent out the manuscript without giving the student a chance for a final review or discussing the order of authorship. Half of our questionnaires included the text of the APA's (1992) "Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. We selected this policy because. Psychologsts take responsibility and credit. 2. it addresses issues highly relevant to students (such as inclusion of the dissertation guideline and reference to collaborations with those who have more powerful institutional positions). The final versions of the vignettes appear in the Appendix." The principles state the following: 1. our study is inquiring about both the ethics of authorship arrangements and perceptions of students' willingness to contact authorities about a dispute with a faculty member. racial .. compared to other types of guidelines (e. only for work they have actually performed or to which they have contributed." which was described as the policy on authorship at the "hypothetical university. does not justify authorship credit. such as in footnotes or in an introductory statement. year in school. including authorshipcredit. To ensure that all scenarios included an action that could conceivably be labeled as injurious. regardless of their relative status.g.and it therefore offers a very minimal policy manipulation. Policy manipulation. These included sex.. except that the word Psychologists was changed to Researchers.Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 (Vignette 3). Language in all vignettes was neutral regarding sex. the professor ends up as first author on the resulting manuscript. such as Department Chair. Mere possession of an institutional position. We wished to avoid a situation in which respondents believed that no wrongdoing had occurred and therefore viewed questions about possible responses as virtually moot. Participant characteristics. the wording of the policy is very general (e. Finally. In addition. contribution is not further specified). Principal authorship and other publication credits accurately reflect the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved.

and 3) the seriousness of the negative consequences. a dean). discussing the issue with someone else who could give advice (e. Given previous reports on graduate students' reluctance to report ethical violations (Swazey et al. professional organization. 1993). and department. For each action. our present interests focus on graduate students' beliefs .. Using two separate 7point Likert-type scales. Higher numbers rated the item as more ethical. Asian.Respondents also indicated if they were aware of any policy on authorship from their department. and computer science-engineering. In this way.g. We present a number of things the student could do in response to the situation. university. Hispanic. if any. Measuring perception of possible responses. To protect participants' anonymity. the instrument also asked the following: Imagine the student in the case was dissatisfied with the order of authorship on the paper. Measuring perception of authorship designation. We then listed nine actions: doing nothing. another faculty member). social sciences. African American.. discussing the situation with someone in authority at the university (e.Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 group (White. and contacting the journal to inform them that the student believes the authorship order is incorrect. Native American. The rating of 4 served as a neutral point. we could assess the possibility that people in the no-policy condition might have had aparticular policy in mind while responding to the questions.g. to 5 (slightly ethical). that might result from taking the particular action. previous experience with authorship (first and otherwise). or a journal to which they have submitted work. making a formal complaint. ifany. a dissatisfied student might make in the situation. departments were broadly divided into four disciplines. The scale was labeled so that lower numbers corresponded to rating the item as more unethical. including physical sciences. use the scales below to mark a number which best describes your opinion about the following: 1) how likely it is that the student would respond in this particular way. from 1 (highly unethical). to 2 (somewhat unethical). resolving privately to discuss the issue of authorship in future collaborative work. biological sciences. participants were asked to rate how ethical it was for the professor to be first author and how ethical it was for the professor to submit the manuscript to the journal without discussing the order of authorship with the student. discussing the order of authorshipdirectly with the advisor. switching advisors.. to 6 (somewhat unethical). To assess the participants' perceptions of what responses. to 3 (slightly unethical). 2) how effective each response would be in resolving the student's dissatisfaction. or other). warning other students about collaborations with this faculty member. from 7 (highly ethical).

we conducted a 3 (vignette type) x 2 (policy present vs. effectiveness. as has been recommended in survey design literature(Backstr0m& Hursh-Cksar. discipline. The models included tests of both main effects and all higher order interactions. RESULTS Relation of Participant Sex to Other Variables As sex of the participant is one of our independent variables. and contacting the journal). with a 3 (vignette type) x 2 (policy present vs. a series of multivariate analysis of variance models for the 27-item strikes s e e m unwieldy. policy absent) x 2 (sex) design for each of the authorship order and submission items. we once again controlled for additional factors by adding covariates to the model (i. 1963.p. race. . Only 14 surveys (5%) had missing data on the variables we analyzed. Factor analysis. Thus. The means were derived from collapsing across the three reporting items (contacting someone in authority. in addition. we examined whether sex correlated with any other characteristics to avoid possible confounds. 202). filing a complaint. and less possibility of negative consequences. making a formal complaint. and significant main effect or interaction terms for the latter were followed up with post hoc tests of contrasts. speaking with the journal). and previous authorship experience). discipline. We further investigated significant main effect or interaction terms through post hoc tests of contrasts. a focus on this limited set of items is also proved more methodologically sound due to difficulties with data reduction. the effectiveness ratings. To examine the reporting items. Significant MANOVA values were followed up with univariate tests. would not be appropriate given differing experimental conditions. and previous authorshipexperience were added to the models as covariates. race.' The three ratings for each item were done on 7-point Likert-type scales with lower numbers indicating less likelihood. policy absent) x 2 (sex) multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). for instance. and the consequences ratings. There ch part from our theoretical interest in the items pertainingto reporting. Analytic Strategy Across all ratings. Our initial interest in the range of responses is best viewed as providing item for exploratory analyses.e. To examine whether any other demographic variables predicted responses..Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 AUTHORSHIP POLICIES 67 about reporting the situation to an authority. year in school. here we analyze only the latter three responses-those variables related to formal reporting (contacting a dean or other authority at the university. Our dependent variables were the means for the likelihood ratings. we conducted a separate three-way analysis of variance. In addition. year in school. For items pertaining to perceptions of the final authorship order and unilaterally submitting the manuscript. missing values were considered a neutral response.

3 Men. F(2. p < . 155) = 1. as well as a significant main effect for policy condition.83. However.58. F(1. Perceptions of Authorship Designation We asked. F(2. Controlling for first authorship was deemed especially important. p > . F(2. SE = . N = 258) = 5 .255) = 60. They estimate what the mean would have been had the analysis of variance design been balanced. p < . 155) = 55.M. Therefore. which are weighted by sample size of the cell. MSE = 2. . Because they are estimates of means. p < . 5 . Post hoc tests were conducted separately for men and for women.22). In addition.06.05. p < .001.276)= 2. 256) = 4.Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 were no differences between men and women on any of the background variables.001.22. presence of a policy (M = 3. In the male-only group.02.12. No other interaction terms (Vignette x Policy. A graph of means for men and women (Figure 1) indicates that this is the case. The significant three-way interaction term suggests that policy and vignette manipulations operated differently for men than for women.83. SE = . 38%). except that significantly more men reported having been a first author (53% vs. p < .18) had no main effect on authorship ratings. M = 2. MSE = 2. How ethical was it for the professor to be first author on the manuscript? First. Vignette x Sex. F(2. x2 (I.15. 156) = 0. the three-way interaction term still closely approached conventional significance. given that the vignettes involved questions concerning authorship order.18).1714or absence of a policy (M = 3. the main effect for sex was significant.05.0001.lo.11. these three main effects were qualified by a significant three-way interaction (Vignette x Policy x Gender). F(2. there was a highly significant main effect for vignette condition.14.31. F(2. Policy x Sex) were significant. There was also no significant interaction between policy and vignette. Male participants rated the professor's first duthor position as more unethical in the dissertation condition (Vignette 3. ~< . 40uranalyses used least-squaremeans. there was a large main effect for vignette condition. F(l. p > . p < . we decided to control for experience with first authorship by treating it as a covariate in our models.05.08. MSE = 2. it was more unethical for the professor to be first author in Vignette 1 (when the student did the work and the 'Note that due to missing data. the sample size was 258 when we include experience with first authorship as a covariate. However. 256) = 5.55. M = 1. Without the covariate. F(l.08.64. 255) = 3. SE = .94. the computer output provides standard errors rather than standard deviations. In addition. SE = . In addition.lo. p < .28. compared with Vignette 1 (in which the student did the bulk of the work and the professor generated the idea. the main effect for sex suggests that it is prudent to analyze the groups separately. 155) = 12.

Policy Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 r No Policy Women 6- Policy 5- r No Policy z0 4 . Higher ratings correspond to belief that professor as first authorship is more ethical.5 w g I 3- 21 I I 1 2 Professor idea/ student work Student idea/ professor work 3 Dissertation FIGURE 1 Ratings on first authorship by vignette and policy condition for men (upper graph) and women (lower graph). .

SE = . beyond vignette and policy. experience with first authorship. p < . 8 3 .2 1. policy had a significant effect for judgments of the professor as first author in Vignette 2 (the student contributed the idea and the professor carried out the study.p< . p > . SE= .38. As with male participants.17.8 1.24) than in Vignette 1 (when the student's role was limited to carrying ~ . F(1. in which the professor did the work but the student had the idea (M= 3.p < . Whereas all participants' mean ratings were solidly in the unethical range. Also. SE = . In addition. SE = . in Vignette 3 (the dissertation condition). female participants also had a significant main effect for vignette condition. < 1 also differed from Vignette 2. SE = .08. Women. Policy did not significantly impact ratings within Vignette 1 (policy M = 2. SE = . There was no main effect for policy when participants rated how ethical it was for the professor to submit the manuscript to the journal without having discussed the order of authorship with the student.67.28).23). both Vignettes 1 and 3 differed from Vignette 2: It was more unethical for the professor to submit the manuscript unilaterally in Vignette 1 (when the student had done the . p < . SE = . First. There was a significant main effect for vignette.29). on average women's ratings (M = 1. Vignette out the work on the study. F(2. there were no further significant predictors of authorship ratings. 116) = 7.M = 2.9. policy M = 3.Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 70 ROSE AND FISCHER professor came up with the idea) than when the situation was reversed and the student contributed the idea and the professor carried out the study (Vignette 2.001. SE = .79. F(l.13). SE = .48).001.81.16.O1. no-policy M = 4. 116) = 6. experience with authorship.22. results were unaffected by removing those in the no-policy condition who knew of some other policy (n = 12). 256) = 4. p < . M = there was a main effect for policy (policy M = 2.0001.13) reflected much more intolerance than did men's (M = 2.79. F(l. A very different picture emerged for the female participants. F(2. 116) = 3.02. F(2.O1. in addition.38. Once again. In addition. no interaction term reached significance. irrespective of participant sex. F(2.02.001. As the graph for women in Figure 1 illustrates. SE = .83. MSE = 1. women's ratings about the professor were low regardless of whether a policy was described (M = = 1 5 .21. or discipline) were related to authorship ratings.19.36. p < . no-policy M = 3. these findings did not differ when people in the no-policy condition who had indicated awarenessof some other policy (n = 7) were deleted from the analysis.28.45.39).57. 115) = 22. 155) = 39. F(2. 255) = 13. When other demographic variables were added to the model.23). p < . No demographic or background variables (race. SE = .81.43. and for sex.41. 116) = 0. F(1. SE = .115) = 8.20). Submitting the manuscript. SE = . SE = . no-policy M = 3. The professor as first author was perceived as significantly more unethical in the dissertation condition (M = 1. F(l.lo.40) or not described (M = 1. p < .

The likelihood of reporting was positively correlated with the effectiveness of doing so (r = . finally. No additional variables regarding participants' backgrounds predicted these ratings. M = 2.89. p c TABLE 2 Means and Standard Deviations for the Perceived Likelihood. M = 1.02 5. MANOVA results. and Consequences of Reporting a Problem With an Authorship Arrangement Likelihood Response Talking to a dean Filing a complaint Contacting the journal Efleciiveness Consequences M SD M SD M SD 2.13 1. Ratings made on a 7-point scale.p < . N= 277.68 6. M = 1.39 5.83 1. .0001). professor did bulk of the work on the project. Given unequal sample sizes between cells in our design. ~ followed up the MANOVA test with univariate tests of the likelihood. effectiveness. and consequences means. 3 4 .15.526) = 3 .13 3. likelihood and consequences ratings were uncorrelate. Perceptions of Reporting Table 2 presents the means and standard deviations of the likelihood.55. The three-way interaction between vignette.28. policy. SE = .91 2. effectiveness (M = 3. lower effectiveness. policy.02 1. 1989).63.67 1.56) . SD = 1.14) than in Vignette 2 (student had idea. The combined dependent variables were significantly predicted only by the c . SD = 1. effectiveness. we used the more conservative Pillai's Trace as our MANOVA test statistic (Tabachnick & Fidell.02. or fewer negative consequences.59. p >.74 2. Effectiveness. filing a complaint.10). and contacting the journal).and consequence ( M = 5.15 1. the effectiveness of reporting was positively associated with more negative consequences (r = .0001). lower values indicate lower perceived likelihood. SE = . SE = . F(6. and the interactions between these variables. Pearson correlations between the composite means on likelihood (M = 2. SD = 1. sex.27.14) and in the dissertation condition (Vignette 3.60 1 . (r = -.74 Note.70.41 1.90 3.71 AUTHORSHIP POLICIES Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 work on the project.17). The independent variables were the same as those used in the analyses of perceptions of wrongdoing: vignette type. We three-way interaction term (Vignette x Policy x Sex).48) ratings were modest. F(2.56 1.O1. and consequences estimates of the three reporting responses (contacting someone in authority.29.75 3. and sex significantly predicted only estimates of the likelihood that a dissatisfied student would engage in reporting behavior.15). p c . 263) = 8.62 1.51. MSE = 1.

05.22) compared to Vignette 1 (in which the professor had the idea. 116) = 6. SE = 0. policy condition.80. however.72 ROSE AND FISCHER Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 . M = 1. using only vignette. we again considered men's and women's responses separately.00.76. 155) = 6. student executed study) and Vignette 3 (dissertation scenario) is significant.116) = 6. SE = 0. 156) = 4.24) compared to Vignette 1 (M= 2. estimates of the likelihood of reporting increase across vignettes (M = 1. No other predictors (discipline. SE = 0. All findings for males were unaffected by deleting participants in the no-policy condition who indicated previous awareness of a policy. female participants viewed reporting as . 2. SE = . SE = 0. Unlike men. 116) = 5. F( 1. In the policy condition. as is the difference between Vignette 2 and 3.94. race. SE = 2 . Women.05. M = 2. on the other hand.80.20. M = 2. the dissertation condition. 156) = 10. M = 2. Vignettes 1 and 2 did not differ from one another. SE = 0. as with men. F(l.22. Only in the absence of a policy statement did women rate the likelihood of reporting as higher in the dissertation condition (Vignette 3. SE = 0.29).01.p < .89. women's likelihood ratings were lower in the policy condition compared to the no-policy condition.54. M = 1. respectively).53. 116) = that differed significantly from the other two vignettes. Women's ratings showed nearly an opposite pattern. MSE = 1.08. these three conditions did not differ significantly from one another. p < . M E = 1. and an interaction term as predictors.79. An examination of a possible policy effect within each of the three vignettes resulted in a significant effect for policy only in Vignette 3. likelihood of reporting was lower in Vignette 2 (M = 1. p < . SE = 0. p < . Means appear to decrease somewhat in the no-policy condition (M = 2. and 3.33). M = 1.21 for Vignettes 1.89.p < .46. Within the policy-present condition. experience with authorship) were significant when added as covariates. p < . F(l. M = 1. In other words.001.16. In further analyses of the likelihood variable. In the policy-present condition. the dissertation situation.78. the dissertation scenariodid not produce likelihood of reporting estimates (M= 1. F(1. however.22 for Vignettes l . p c . Men.00. F(l. respectively). SE = 0. Finally. which indicates that the pattern of results for men and for women are almost reverse images of one another. SE = 0. SE = 0. 156) = 9. The likelihood of reporting was rated as higher when the policy statement was described compared to when it was not.89. policy effects within each vignettecondition appeared only in Vignette 3. A test of simple effects within the policy condition indicates that the difference between Vignette 1 (professor had idea.26. F(1. and 3. F(2.22. and Vignette 2 (in which the student contributed the idea.05. A significant Vignette x Policy interaction appeared in the male-only group.p < .30. The means of these results are graphed in Figure 2. F(1.05.

Higher ratings correspond to higher likelihood estimates. Men's ratings appear in the upper graph and women's in the lower graph. by vignette and policy condition. .Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 Men Professor ideal student work Student ideal professor work -+ No policy U Policy Dissertation Women ----t-- U Professor ideal Student idea/ student work professor work No policy Policy Dissertation FIGURE 2 Likelihood ratings for a composite variable of possible reporting behaviors.

policy-aware women were critical of the professor's position as first author. The APA policy's explicit .74 ROSE AND FISCHER Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 less likely in the dissertation scenario when they had been exposed to a policy on authorship. Women in the policy conditions seemed to protect students' interests in first authorship across conditions: In Vignette 2. their ratings did not benefit the professor in Vignette 1. Perceptions of Authorship Order Consistent with previous studies. in which the student contributed the idea but the professor oversaw data collection and analyses. We now discuss results for ratings of wrongdoing and ratings of reporting separately. however. Interestingly. and analysis of the data compared to responsibility for coming up with the idea for the study. Turning to our initial question regarding the effect of a policy description on reactions to authorship arrangements. it is possible that these female participants were more likely to adopt the perspective of the student when reading the vignettes. The pattern of results for all analyses did not change when policy-aware participants in the no-policy conditions were removed.presence or absence of auniversity policy had no significant impact on men's ratings of the ethics of the advisor as first author in any vignette. The policy's explicit commentary that students should generally be first author in such situations is consistent with the beliefs of students in our sample. Why might female graduate students exhibit this pattern of responses in the policy condition? Although the vignettes were purposefully neutral in language regarding sex. the impact of an authorship policy depended a great deal on the sex of the respondent. On the other hand. an authorship policy did impact female participants' ratings. we found that our description of a policy had no impact on ratings of the professor as first author in dissertation-related manuscripts. In addition. compared to women who were not provided with a policy description. all participants' ratings of the appropriateness of a given authorshiporder were greatly affected by descriptionsof work arrangements on the project: The more work a professor was described as doing. respondents appeared to place the most value on the combination of work related to overseeing the design. This significant policy effect for women appeared only in Vignette 2. Nevertheless. DISCUSSION Our survey results indicate that a policy impacts perceptions of the ethics of an authorship arrangement between a professor and a student. when contributions and roles were reversed. who uniformly expressed strong disapproval of the professor taking first authorship in this case. the more ethical the professor's position as first author appeared to be. collection. as well as perceptions regarding the likelihood that a student--described as dissatisfied-will report the problem in some manner.

Reporting When Dissatisfied Consistent with previous studies. of the vignette. instead. From this perspective. we note that some respondents may have been uncertain as to whether our question referred to consequences for the student or for the faculty member. and they indicated that severe negative consequences would probably accompany such reporting. men rated a student as more likely to report when the vignette described an advisor as first author on a dissertation-related manuscript (Vignette 3a-n) authorship arrangement the policy discourages. they may wish to confirm their beliefs that wrongdoing has occurred. as well as to test more directly whether any significant results reflect differences in interpretations of a given policy. Neither variations in work arrangements nor description of a policy nor participants' sex predicted ratings of the effectivenessof reporting as a way to resolve the student's dissatisfaction. when asked to rate the likelihood that a dissatisfied student would report the situation. Of course.e. In addition. we might consider why one might pursue more formal action (i. by itself. likelihood ratings were higher when no university policy was described. people may do so for an informational purpose: For instance. To explain this apparent sex difference in reactions to a policy. Only female participants in the policy condition showed favoritism to the student. men and women may differ in their views about the informational value of the policy. further work would be needed to replicate this finding. Thus. If one regards the policy as a useful source of information about wrongdoing. male and female graduate students in our sample differed in their responses to apolicy in the dissertation condition. is irrelevant to authorship determinations may have focused women's attention on protecting the student's interests. Thus. . or both. however. graduate students rated the likelihood that a dissatisfied student would report a problematic situation to someone in authority as low. then reading it has answered whether the institution similarly views the professor as first author on a dissertation manuscript as "usually" inappropriate. and this action might be perceived as less likely.When authorship guidelines were present. on the other hand. the result may reflect a tendency (albeit slight) on the part of the women to align themselves with the student's interests when issues of status have been made salient. Women. contacting another institutional authority would provide little new knowledge.Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 AUTHORSHIP POLICIES 75 notation that consideration of senior status. which may relate to the relatively fewer opportunities there are to observe female faculty members: women constitute only 17% of the faculty in the departments surveyed.The null result also appeared for ratings of possible negative consequences associated with reporting.. contacting an institutional authority) in a situation involving putatively unethical conduct. students also expressed only moderate support for the effectiveness of such reporting. However. had lower likelihood ratings in this same instance. First.

we were able to vary systematically contributions and status in the stories. however. whether plagiarism has occurred.this does not explain results in the no-policy condition. We have very little information on nonresponders. the role of outside funding. Ratings regarding wrongdoing and the possible impact of an authorship policy may very well differ in these other situations. descriptions were necessarily short and limited in detail to maintain consistency across the variations. such as more information about the history of the project. much of the final product necessarily involved judgment calls. Clearly a wide range of details are available for inclusion in the vignettes. First. and men and women may respond differently to this possibility. return rates did not differ by survey condition. Second. regardless of whether actions have violated a clearly stated community norm. the overall quality of the working relationship. our overall sample may have been subject to a volunteer bias or have disproportionately included those people with particularly strong opinions about authorship. we are conservative about generalizing these results to a broad group of graduate students. and information about contributor's construals regarding the importance of their work on a project. Limitations The present study is subject to several limitations.Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 76 ROSE AND FISCHER Nevertheless. people may also pursue formal actions because they desire institutionallysponsored restitution or even retribution for their perceived injury. However. and it might also be interesting to experimentally vary the specificity of a given policy to test for possible differences on ratings of both wrongdoing and the likelihood of formal action. speculative at this point. These possibilities are. This community is predominantly White. the vignette methodology itself contains both strengths and weaknesses. A more detailed policy may provide evidence about the possibility of an institutional intervention into the situation. nevertheless. and in more serious cases. except that we know our sample generally reflects the demographics of the university. on the other. A lower desire for condemnation or retribution would probably make one less likely to report a problem. Future work on responses to ethical violations might benefit from detailed inquiries into men's and women's expectationsfor institutional involvement. Notably. the sex of the participants. and it bears noting that our results may not generalize to other groups. given a single-site sample and a response rate of 21%. On one hand. Although results from pretesting guided many of our decisions about what to include in the vignettes. for presumably both men and women without policy guidance might also wish to contact an authority for consultative purposes. . women and men may differ in their absolute desire to see the advisor condemned or punished. People may also have concerns over whether another person deserves any authorship credit at all. For instance. and men's likelihood ratings were uniformly low when no policy was described. We can make few pronouncements about other types of authorship situations or other possible disputes.

47. it would have been interesting to give our survey to junior and senior faculty to compare their perspectives to those of the students. Thus. Although this could have provided acomparison to our conditions." Relatedly. Survey research. G.. we did not have a situation in which the student came up with the idea and executed the study. For example. were resources available. If policies are ignored or minimized by some groups. REFERENCES American Psychological Association. in which the professor takes first authorship. A further limitation is that we also did not have instances in which the student becomes first author on the paper because of our desire to examine students' reactions to a possible violation of expectations. however. we may wish to learn more about the impact of creating community standards with respect to conduct in science. & Hursh-Char. 1597-1 61 1. (1992). C. we urge further research on policy perceptions so that we might create guidelines that best serve the needs of those they seek to protect. concerns about both the number of cells in our design and the ecological validity of the stories limited our ability to fully cross the design. Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. However. . Backstrorn. this appears to be the case for women but not for men. we wished to maintain some plausibility for our reporting items. In addition. Chicago: Northwestern University Press. This limits our ability to know the relative contribution of either factor. Finally. but the project was not described as a dissertation. their effectiveness might be limited. even a detailed institutional policy may not guarantee that wrongdoing will be reported. they may have an impact on men's beliefs about the likelihood of seeking out institutional authorities. (1963). the dissertation vignette differed from the others in that the student both came up with the idea and carried out the work. As professional organizationsand others debate the substance and language of policies regarding research practices. We generally view this study as exploratory in nature and encourage further work to more fully examine the practical effect of policies aimed at guiding academic work and authorship designations in particular. American Psychologist. when policies do indicate proper authorship assignment (as on dissertations). On the other hand.Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 AUTHORSHIP POLICIES 77 In addition. This would have helped us to isolate the impact of describing something explicitly as a "dissertation. two variables had to be simultaneously varied: referring to the project as a dissertation and describing a student who has a higher level of involvement in the project. CONCLUSION Do policies impact students' judgments regarding authorship? Results from our study point to the possibility that such policies affect views of wrongdoing in cases in which a correct authorship designation is not apparent.

12. excited by the idea.. Plagiarism suit wins. A. 268.. L. Perceptual mid Motor Skills. American Psychologist. M. R. & Walkenbach. Science. develops the initial idea into a workable study. B. Continuities and discontinuitiesin child and adult moral development. 25. C. (1993). M. S. the student supervises all the data collection and analysis. & Near. Blowing the whistle on data-fudging: A controlled field experiment. APPENDIX Vignette 1 A graduate student and the student's advisor decide to work collaboratively on a research project.. L. (1970).Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 78 ROSE AND FISCHER Bridgwater. Individual differences and the pursuit of legal rights: A preliminary inquiry. G. experts hope it won't set a trend. 299-317. M. T. P. P. M. (1989). Fine. Bornstein. D. J. Law and Human Behavior.93-120. (1995). Spiegel.. Human Development. . M. American Scientist. Kohlberg. 81. A. Once the results are available. J. & Schuller. 74.. p. & Lewis.2 million. (1987). J. 27 1-295. R. L. which is primarily done by a group of undergraduate students. Taubes. Instead of giving the paper back to the student for another revision. (1982). W. Washington. The paper is left with the advisor for additional review. 1125. DC: Author. Ethical issues in the supervision of student research: A study of critical incidents. C. Goodyear. 524-525. In a dtyerent voice: Psychological theory and women's development. In addition. New York: Harper Collins. 354-357. S." The paper that went out to the journal listed the advisor as first author and the student as second author. J.. the advisor sends the following note: "I made some slight changes to the paper and sent it out to the journal. 3. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. C.). Reflections on determining authorshipcredit and authorshiporder on faculty-student collaborations. The student. 1073-1074. K. P. (1981). American Psychologist. A. September 25). Scholar who sued wins $1. P. A. (1992). Cambridge. & Kurdek. 203-2 10... (1995). (1992).. H. 267-28 1.. Individual and situational correlates of whistle-blowing. Swazey. Miceli. (1993). American Psychologist. & Keith-Spiegel. Hilts. Using multivariate statistics (2nd ed. Sociery policies on ethics issues. Assignment of publication credit: Ethics and practices of psychologists. Grant. & Fidell. Miceli. J. Costa.. Determination of authorship credit in published dissertations. P. Anderson.Jourml of Applied Social Psychology. & Gatz. K. (1969). A23. G. (1988). Crego. A.. (1992). 21. 11. 23. the advisor and student both contribute equally to writing the manuscript.. D. 738-747. & Near. M. P. 41.. (1993.. R. The New York Times. Tabachnick. M. 542-553. Willingness to take legal action in wrongful dismissal cases: Perceptual differences between men and women. Vidmar. Gilligan. Ethical problems in academic research. B.. Personnel Psychology. Ethical issues and the assignment of publication credit. H. Dozier. & Johnston. Psychological Science. MA: Harvard University Press. P. 36. J. 48. S. (1991). Council of Scientific Society Presidents. & Wagar. The advisor has the idea for a study and poses a specific question to be investigated. We should be hearing from them shortly. & Kramer. M. J. N. 1141-1 147. P.

We should be hearing from them shortly. Once the dissertation is approved." The paper that went out to the journal listed the advisor as first author and the student as second author. We should be hearing from them shortly. Instead of giving the paper back to the student for another revision. . The advisor. The student has the idea for a study and poses a specific question to be investigated. the advisor supervises all the data collection and analysis. excited by the idea. The paper is left with the advisor for additionalreview. which is primarily done by a group of undergraduate students. the student supervises all the data collection and analysis. Instead of giving the paper back to the student for another revision. In addition. The paper is left with the advisor for additional review. the advisor sends the following note: "I made some slight changes to the paper and sent it out to the journal. the advisor sends the following note: "I made some slight changes to the paper and sent it out to the journal. the advisor agrees to help the student revise it into a format suitable for journal publication. Once the results are available. As part of an assignment in a course taught by the advisor. The project develops into the student's dissertation. the advisor and student both contribute equally to writing the manuscript. Vignette 3 A graduate student and the student's advisor decide to work collaboratively on a research project. which is primarily done by a group of undergraduate students. develops it into a workable study. They both work equally on preparing this manuscript. the student develops it into a workable study. the student had proposed an idea for a study and a specific question to be investigated.AUTHORSHIP POLICIES 79 Downloaded by [b-on: Biblioteca do conhecimento online UAC] at 08:53 12 April 2016 Vignette 2 A graduate student and the student's advisor decide to work collaboratively on a research project. With the advisor's assistance." The paper that went out to thejournal listed the advisor as first author and the student as second author. In addition.