Reactively, Proactively, Implicitly, Explicitly? Academics’ Pedagogical Conceptions of how to Promote Research Ethics and Integrity
- 613 Downloads
This article focuses on academics’ conceptions of teaching research ethics and integrity. Seventeen academics from a Finnish research intensive university participated in this qualitative study. The data were collected using a qualitative multi-method approach, including think-aloud and interview data. The material was scrutinized using thematic analysis, with both deductive and inductive approaches. The results revealed variation in academics’ views on the responsibility for teaching research integrity, the methods employed to teach it and the necessity of intervening when misconduct occurs. The academics emphasized the responsibility of the individual teacher and the student to foster integrity as well as the shared responsibility of all members of the academic community. However, many academics felt that they themselves needed pedagogical training. Most shared the view that practices of responsible conduct in research can be explicitly and intentionally taught through demonstration, explanation, and practice. However, the academics also noted that learning research integrity and ethics takes place implicitly. A few questioned the need for and the utility of training in the form of courses or through an explicitly addressed topic included in, for instance, methods courses. Their views on the question of how to deal with alleged cases of misconduct varied. While many academics considered a proactive approach the best way to prevent misconduct, some trusted more in a reactive approach. The results show that, while in general academics agree on the importance of research ethics, their conceptions of teaching it vary. The teaching conception bears consequences for the teaching methods chosen, assignment of responsibility for both teaching and students learning, and for the way in which teachers believe that misconduct should be responded to.
KeywordsResearch ethics Research integrity Ethics training Preventing misconduct Teaching conceptions
This work was funded by the Academy of Finland with a grant (number 252813) to Erika Löfström. The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their feedback on an earlier version of the manuscript. The authors would also like to thank Elisa Huotari for assistance in the research.
- Aluede, O., Omoregie, E. O., & Osa-Edoh, G. I. (2006). Academic dishonesty as a contemporary problem in higher education: how can academic advisers help. Reading Improvement, 43(2), 97–106.Google Scholar
- Anderson, M. S., Horn, A. S., Risbey, K. R., Ronning, E. A., De Vries, R., & Martinson, B. C. (2007). What do mentoring and training in the responsible conduct of research have to do with scientists’ misbehavior? Findings from a national survey of NIH-funded scientists. Academic Medicine, 82(9), 853–860.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bertram Gallant, T. & Goodchild, L. F. (2011). Introduction. In T. Bertram Gallant. (Ed.) Creating the Ethical Academy. A systems approach to understanding misconduct and empowering change in Higher Education (pp. 3–11). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Breen, L., & Maassen, M. (2005). Reducing the incidence of plagiarism in an undergraduate course: the role of education. Issues In Educational Research, 15, 1–16.Google Scholar
- Ericsson, K. A., & Simon, H. A. (1993). Protocol analysis: verbal reports as data (Revised ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (2009). Ethical principles of research in the humanities and social and behavioural sciences and proposals for ethical review. Helsinki .http://www.tenk.fi/sites/tenk.fi/files/ethicalprinciples.pdf. Accessed 29 June 2015
- Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (2012). Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland. Guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity, 2012 .http://www.tenk.fi/sites/tenk.fi/files/HTK_ohje_2012.pdf. Accessed 29 August 2016
- Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture (2016). University Education in Finland. http://www.minedu.fi/OPM/Koulutus/yliopistokoulutus/?lang=en. Accessed 28 August 2016.
- Godecharle, S., Nemery, B., & Diereckx, K. (2013). Integrity training: conflicting practices. Science, 340(6139). doi: 10.1126/science.340.6139.1403-b.
- Gynnild, V., & Gotschalk, P. (2008). Promoting academic integrity at a Midwestern university: critical review and current challenges. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 4, 41–59.Google Scholar
- Halkoaho, A., Matveinen, M., Leinonen, V., Luoto, K., & Keränen, T. (2013). Education for research ethics for clinical investigators with Moodle tool. BMC Medical Ethics, 14(53), 1–6.Google Scholar
- Hyytinen, H., Holma, K., Shavelson, R. J. & Lindblom-Ylänne, S. (2014). The complex relationship between students’ critical thinking and epistemological beliefs in the context of problem solving. Frontline Learning Research, doi:10.14786/flr.v2i4.124.Google Scholar
- Martinson, B. C., Anderson M. S., & de Vries, R. (2005). Scientists behaving badly. Nature, 435, 737–738 (9 June 2005), doi: 10.1038/435737a.
- McGowan, U. (2009). Pedagogy, not policing. Positive approaches to academic integrity at the university. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 5(1), 35–37.Google Scholar
- Rissanen, M., & Löfström, E. (2014). Students’ research ethics competences and the university as a learning environment. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 10(2), 17–30.Google Scholar
- The European Code of Conduct on Research Integrity. (2011). European Federation of Academies of Science and Humanities and the European Science Foundation. http://www.allea.org. Accessed August 11, 2016.
- Trotman, T., Furnari, M., Löfström, E., & Shephard, K. (2013). Developing a research instrument for academic integrity in higher education: let’s start by asking the right questions. In A. Nayak & S. Saddiqui (Eds.), From policy to practice – bridging the gap. A collection of talks presented at the 6th APCEI (Asia Pacific conference on educational integrity), pp. 112–133. Maquarie University .http://web.science.mq.edu.au/conferences/6apcei/Proceedings/6APCEI_Proceedings.pdf
- van Someren, M.W., Barnard, Y. F., & Sandberg, J. A. C. (1994). The think aloud method. A practical guide to modelling cognitive processes. Department of Social Science Informatics. University of Amsterdam. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar