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ResourcesResearch IntegrityA randomized trial of a lab-embedded discourse intervention to improve research ethics – PNAS ( Dena K. Plemmons, et al | January 2020)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

A randomized trial of a lab-embedded discourse intervention to improve research ethics – PNAS ( Dena K. Plemmons, et al | January 2020)

 


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Significance
The ethical practice of research requires researchers to give reasons and justifications for their actions, both to the other members of their research team as well as to external audiences. We developed a project-based training curriculum intended to make ethics discourse a routine practice in university science and engineering laboratories. Here, we report the results of a randomized control trial implemented among science and engineering laboratories in two research-intensive institutions. We demonstrate that, compared with the control laboratories, treatment laboratory members perceived improvements in the quality of discourse on research ethics within their laboratories as well as enhanced awareness of the relevance and reasons for that discourse for their work as measured in surveys administered 4 mo after the intervention.

Abstract

An interesting, hands-on and open access discussion about research integrity training in laboratory settings.

We report a randomized trial of a research ethics training intervention designed to enhance ethics communication in university science and engineering laboratories, focusing specifically on authorship and data management. The intervention is a project-based research ethics curriculum that was designed to enhance the ability of science and engineering research laboratory members to engage in reason giving and interpersonal communication necessary for ethical practice. The randomized trial was fielded in active faculty-led laboratories at two US research-intensive institutions. Here, we show that laboratory members perceived improvements in the quality of discourse on research ethics within their laboratories and enhanced awareness of the relevance and reasons for that discourse for their work as measured by a survey administered over 4 mo after the intervention. This training represents a paradigm shift compared with more typical module-based or classroom ethics instruction that is divorced from the everyday workflow and practices within laboratories and is designed to cultivate a campus culture of ethical science and engineering research in the very work settings where laboratory members interact.
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Keywords
research ethics, randomized trial, authorship, data management

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