Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 393–418 | Cite as

Development and Preliminary Validation of a New Measure of Values in Scientific Work

  • Tammy English
  • Alison L. Antes
  • Kari A. Baldwin
  • James M. DuBois
Original Paper


In this paper we describe the development and initial psychometric evaluation of a new measure, the values in scientific work (VSW). This scale assesses the level of importance that investigators attach to different VSW. It taps a broad range of intrinsic, extrinsic, and social values that motivate the work of scientists, including values specific to scientific work (e.g., truth and integrity) and more classic work values (e.g., security and prestige) in the context of science. Notably, the values represented in this scale are relevant to scientists regardless of their career stage and research focus. We administered the VSW and a measure of global values to 203 NIH-funded investigators. Exploratory factor analyses suggest the delineation of eight VSW, including autonomy, research ethics, social impact, income, collaboration, innovation and growth, conserving relationships, and job security. These VSW showed predictable and distinct associations with global values. Implications of these findings for work on research integrity and scientific misconduct are discussed.


Values Research integrity Research ethics Responsible conduct of research Measurement Values in scientific work 



This research was funded in part by the US Office of Research Integrity, ORIIR140009; a National Center for Advancing Clinical and Translational Science Award, 2UL1 TR000448-06, and the National Human Genome Research Institute, K01HG008990.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tammy English
    • 1
  • Alison L. Antes
    • 2
  • Kari A. Baldwin
    • 2
  • James M. DuBois
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Division of General Medical SciencesWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA

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