Grad 5014 Week 3: Defining Academic Integrity

This week, we learned about defining academic integrity. This week’s ethics news which is about the Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer being fired for changing a photo he took as a photojournalist, really left a deep impression on me, as I thought as I didn’t realize altering a photo could also be a violation of integrity. 

I have read the “On Being a Scientist” during my Research Methods class last fall semester when I was a first year PhD student.  It has been very helpful for me in my research and also course works.

I have a better understanding of the  chapter on authorship and allocation of credit as I have experienced some hard times with authorship issue.  I completed an abstract for the Gerontological Society of America annual conference and I took it for granted that the professor who helped me editing the abstract should be the co-author and I added her name without asking, and the professor was very unpleased about this. At first, I felt strange and couldn’t understand why she was upset about it, but after read the norms and values, I knew that whether someone should be added as co-author depends on the intellectual contributions that a person has made,  not depends on the time or efforts, and editing is not considered as intellectual contribution. In addition, I should always talk with the professor or co-workers about the authorship ahead of time, and make it clear to everyone.  Now I know where I made a mistake and how to avoid this kind of mistakes in the future.

The case study offered in this module is also very interesting,  I think the committee should investigate the student’s data to determine guilt or innocence and if Ms. Smart is found guilty, her degree should be revoked and the problem shouldn’t be let go even she’s already graduated.

2 thoughts on “Grad 5014 Week 3: Defining Academic Integrity”

  1. Hey Yujun,

    Indeed I agree that the case-study covering Ms. Smart was quite interesting… Albeit, the names seem to have been modified to protect the people we are discussing, the fact that she chose to modify her data to support her own theories is just down right wrong. It’s sad to see such outcomes at times, but thankfully we have rules of conduct and ethics in place enforced by organizational bodies such as our Honor Code Court System that we can rest assured such violations will be handled justly.

    As for the case with Mr. Contreras, I actually chose to discuss his case in depth, and I would encourage to check it out!

    Finally, I found your experience with giving someone “co-authorship” as you felt they had deserved that designation, saddening. It can be quite confusing at times when you interact with people and do not get the result you expect. Of course, once you were educated that indeed editing did not warrant such a title, you understood and withdrew their name, however in my opinion I do not see any fault from your end. You were genuinely trying to give someone thanks by assigning them a title you believed they had deserved.

    1. Thank you so much for your reply! I will check out your case study about Mr. Contreras, and I do appreciate your sympathy for my experience of the co-authorship…

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