Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research

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Malaysian Educational Module on

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Responsible Conduct of Research

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Edited by De-Ming Chau, Lay Ching Chai & Abhi Veerakumarasivam

2018

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Malaysian Educational Module on

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© Academy of Sciences Malaysia 2018 All Rights Reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system,or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior permission in writing from the Academy of Sciences Malaysia. Academy of Sciences Malaysia

Level 20, West Wing, MATRADE Tower

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Jalan Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah off Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia

Cataloguing-In-Publication Data

Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research ISBN 978-983-2915-37-91

1.Research--Moral and ethics aspects. 3. Scientists--Professional ethics. 174.95 Suggested citation Chau, D.M., Chai, L.C., Azzam, G., Chan, S.C., Thahira Begum S.A Ravoof., Normi, Y. M., Ong, B.H., Zulkharnain, A., Abdullah, N., Abdullah, N.S., and Veerakumarasivam, A. (2018). Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Academy of Sciences Malaysia.

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Content Forewords iv Authors vii Acknowledgements

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Introduction

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Chapter 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

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Chapter 2: Research Misconduct 41

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Chapter 3: Culture of Safety and Dual Use Research

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Chapter 4: Conflict of Interest 93 117

Chapter 6: Peer Review

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Chapter 7: Research Data Management

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Chapter 8: Financial Responsibilities

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Chapter 9: Mentor-Mentee

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Chapter 10: Collaborative Research

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Appendix: Active Learning Pedagogy and Tools

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Chapter 5: Authorship and Publications

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FOREWORD

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MINISTER, HIGHER EDUCATION MALAYSIA

First and foremost, on behalf of the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), I would like to congratulate the Young Scientists Network - Academy Sciences Malaysia (YSN-ASM) for completing this Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), and championing the culture of responsible conduct of research. This educational module comes at an opportune moment, namely as Malaysian universities are publishing more than ever with the highest growth rate recorded in the past 10 years.

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Under the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education), 10 shifts have been identified to elevate the nation’s education ecosystem, primarily of which is to produce holistic, entrepreneurial and balanced graduates who are able to think critically while having a good balance of akhlak and ilmu where ethics and integrity will play a major role. At the same time, MOHE has also set ambitious targets for Malaysian universities to be globally competitive, especially in research. This thirst for knowledge and research advancement must be balanced with a good culture of responsible conduct of research.

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I am also very pleased to see multiple ministries and agencies supporting this educational module together with MOHE. Thank you and congratulations to YSN-ASM, Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM), Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and Higher Education Leadership Academy (AKEPT). This shows that embedding a culture of responsible conduct of research, ethics, and integrity is of great importance to many stakeholders. This educational module together with the Blueprint will have a positive impact on the higher education ecosystem in the long run. Greater credibility will lead to greater opportunities to collaborate internationally, as we uphold our research integrity. Together, let’s make sure our universities continue “Soaring Upwards” with a very strong culture of responsibility and high ethical values.

YB Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh

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MINISTER, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION MALAYSIA

Integrity is the foundation of all sciences.

Since the independence of our nation, we are witnessing and enjoying great progress in research, development and innovation in Malaysia. These achievements are made possible because of various established government policies on R&D, the talented workforce in R&D, and the availability of state-of-the-art research facilities.

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While Malaysia joins other nations in the current global R&D race to deliver impactful scientific outputs, we must also place a great emphasis on the quality of the research and its output. We should not forget the importance of injecting ethical values and integrity in R&D in order to build trust that permeates through all facets of the research ecosystem in Malaysia. This value of integrity is vital to be fostered as one of the pillars in the research community in all Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), and Research Institute (RIs) in this country.

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Young Scientists Network-Academy of Sciences Malaysia (YSN-ASM) has led a commendable effort in designing and developing the Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), first of its kind in Malaysia. This effort is indeed timely and this is an important document to safeguard our research ecosystem and to keep our research progress on the right track. Ethical researchers will gain the trust from our society, and most importantly they should be able to carry out the best practice of research and innovation in solving societal needs. Later, a boost in R&D and innovation will contribute to the STI driven economy in Malaysia. I would like to thank and congratulate Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) and YSN-ASM on the completion of this historical educational module. I would also like to thank my counterpart at the Ministry of Higher Education for supporting the development of this module. I believe this concerted effort will lead us to achieve not only “Negaraku Berinovasi”; but most importantly, “Negaraku Berintegriti”. YB Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau

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PRESIDENT, ACADEMY OF SCIENCES MALAYSIA

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It is difficult to deny that in the current diverse world of academia, research is gaining more significance. Even at the local front, Malaysia as a nation has a national focus to continue increasing research output and quality. With strong growth in the number of papers published, a substantial rise in patents filed/granted, markedly increasing citation numbers, solid revenues generated by the local Research Universities and more-and-more translational research efforts being shared to, and benefitted by the masses, it is clear that research is contributing positively towards the nation’s goal of TN50.

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Research is not only done to elaborate on current facts; it is a crucial endeavour in gaining new knowledge, amplifying understanding and disseminating such information. While many deem rightly that these are the raison d’être for carrying out scientific investigations, what is commonly overlooked and is perhaps more decisive nowadays, are the motivations and actions that govern the entire research journey. It is a responsibility to clearly understand these motivations and actions. It is not just about the results that were gained; it is also about illustrating how and why such results were obtained. These illustrations are part of a bigger picture in terms of conserving the dignity in research, safeguarding the sanctity of knowledge and humanising science for the future. This is where I personally believe that the Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) is a precious manuscript. It serves as a guide to all researchers, investigators, scientists, young and experienced alike; this module provides resources, guidelines and comprehension relating to RCR. Coupled with excellent delivery and interactive sessions, I am sure that this module will project a new paradigm within related individuals in viewing research. Congratulations to the team from the Young Scientists Network-Academy of Sciences Malaysia in making this a reality. The family of Academy of Sciences Malaysia is very proud to be a part of this, and I personally hope that this will be a continuous effort, ultimately injecting soul into research for a Progressive Malaysia 2050. Well done YSN-ASM, thank you, and good luck. YBhg. Professor Datuk Dr. Asma Ismail FASc

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CHAIR, YOUNG SCIENTISTS NETWORK-ACADEMY OF SCIENCES MALAYSIA

The Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research is a significant milestone for our country’s scientific ecosystem. We recognise that the immense scientific progress that has been achieved by our scientific community needs to be coupled with robust dialogue regarding the responsibility of the community in upholding the integrity of science and ensuring that science truly serves humanity. I truly believe that this internationally-inspired, home-grown Module will be key towards promoting a robust RCR dialogue in Malaysia and potentially the region.

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I would like to thank the following individuals and organisations; for without their support and contribution, this Module would not have materialised: I would like to thank Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia and Dato’ Seri Haji Idris bin Jusoh, Minister of Higher Education Malaysia for their visionary leadership and their support for the development of this Module. YSN-ASM’s bottom-up approach definitely benefited from your top-down engagement on the theme of scientific integrity and excellence.

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My deepest gratitude to Professor Datuk Dr. Asma Ismail FASc, President, Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) for seeing the potential of this initiative at its early stages when she was the Director General of the Department of Higher Education and enabling our strategic collaboration with AKEPT as well as generally inspiring us with her words of wisdom and charismatic presence. A special mention also goes to Academician Tan Sri Datuk Ir. Dr. Ahmad Tajuddin Ali FASc, Former President, ASM; it is during his tenure as President of ASM that YSN-ASM was established in 2012. Thank you for your trust in us as well as for challenging us to create a ‘real’ positive impact. The advice and support from Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr. Mohamed Mahyuddin Mohd Dahan FASc and Professor Dr. Helen Nair FASc since the start of this journey has been tremendous. We really appreciate your mentorship and the flexibility afforded to us to chart this journey. I also want to express my sincere gratitude to Pn. Hazami Habib, CEO, ASM, whose behind-the-scenes tireless dedication towards championing YSN-ASM by providing us with sound strategic advice and creating various opportunities for us to pursue cannot be understated.

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Thank you U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine for triggering this dialogue amongst us, the initial seed grants to fund training workshops, advice and reference material support. A special thanks to Senior Programme Officer, Dr. Lida Anestidou. This Module is another example of the power of science diplomacy. AKEPT has been a truly great partner in supporting us in this mission. A special mention goes to their previous Director, Prof. Dr. Haji Mohamad Kamal Haji Harun FASc and Deputy Director, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohd Rushdan Mohd Jailani. We look forward to continuing the YSN-ASM-AKEPT partnership in promoting responsible conduct of research in the country. Congratulations Dr. Chai Lay Ching and Dr. Chau De Ming who have done a fantastic effort in working together with a group of fellow young scientists to develop this Module. I am really heartened that this whole process has also strengthened the collaborative spirit and enhanced our friendship bond that exists between us. Thank you.

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To the ASM Secretariat, especially Mr. Hendy Putra Herman who has led the logistics and administrative support for YSN-ASM these past few years. A special thanks is also extended to Ms. Dharshene Rajayah for supporting the design and publication process. To all Fellows of ASM and members and affiliates of the YSN-ASM, thank you for your continuous support. I am heartened to know that so many of you have become champions of RCR in the country.

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The publishing of this Module is by no means an end to our journey in promoting RCR in the country. On the contrary, it is only the end of the first part of our journey. I expect that this Module will become a living document that will undergo continuous revisions and updates. We hope to work closely with the National Committee on Research Integrity and other strategic partners, including the industry to enhance our content and reach. As the robustness of the national RCR dialogue grows, we will look into new ways to communicate and engage with as many stakeholders as possible to ensure that not only RCR education becomes mainstream, the increase in knowledge actually impacts wide-spread change in practice and attitude.

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YBhg. Professor Dr. Abhi Veerakumarasivam

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AUTHORS Dr. Chau De-Ming

Universiti Putra Malaysia

Dr. Lay Ching Chai

University of Malaya

Dr. Mohd Ghows Mohd Azzam

Universiti Sains Malaysia

Associate Professor Dr. Chan Soon Choy

Perdana University

Dr. Thahira Begum

Universiti Putra Malaysia

Universiti Putra Malaysia

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Dr. Normi Mohd Yahaya

Associate Professor Dr. Ong Boon Hoong

University of Malaya

Dr. Azham Zulkharnain

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

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Associate Professor Dr. Norhayati Abdullah Dr. Norazharuddin Shah Abdullah

Universiti Sains Malaysia Sunway University

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Professor Dr. Abhi Veerakumarasivam

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Academician Tan Sri Datuk Ir Dr. Ahmad Tajuddin Ali FASc Professor Datuk Dr. Asma Ismail FASc Professor Emeritus Dato’ Dr. M. Mahyuddin Dahan FASc Professor Dr. Helen Nair FASc Madam Hazami Habib Dr. Lida Anestidou

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Host Universities of YSN-ASM RCR Workshops Perdana University Universiti Malaysia Sarawak Universiti Malaysia Terengganu Universiti Putra Malaysia Universiti Sains Malaysia Universiti Teknologi Malaysia University of Malaya

Akademi Kepimpinan Pendidikan Tinggi (AKEPT) Professor Dr. Mohamad Kamal Hj Harun FASc Associate Professor Dr. Mohd Rushdan Mohd Jailani Associate Professor Dr. Ismie Roha Mohamed Jais Mr. Mohd Hafiz Sulaiman Mr. Muhamad @ Abd Malik Daud @ Abd Aziz

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We would like to acknowledge the following researchers who participated at the Malaysian Educational Institutes on RCR and contributed to the reviewing and refining of this Module. The Malaysian Educational Institutes on RCR took place on the 18th to 23rd of September 2016, 2nd to 5th of April 2017, and 26th to 29th of November 2017. Professor Dr. Lim Jit Kang Professor Dr. Lee Yeong Yeh Associate Professor Dr. Ahmad Taufek Abdul Rahman Associate Professor Dr. Asrul Akmal Shafie Associate Professor Dr. Cheah Yoke Kqueen Associate Professor Dr. Kesaven Bhubalan Associate Professor Dr. Siti Fauziah Toha Associate Professor Dr. Sumathi Sethupathi Dr. Adrian Ng Kok Wen Dr. Chang Kah Haw

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Universiti Sains Malaysia Universiti Sains Malaysia Universiti Teknologi MARA Shah Alam Universiti Sains Malaysia Universiti Putra Malaysia Universiti Malaysia Terengganu Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman Universiti Teknologi MARA Shah Alam Universiti Sains Malaysia


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Dr. Chuah Candy Universiti Sains Malaysia Dr. Farrah Aini Dahalan Universiti Malaysia Perlis Dr. Ho Wai Shin Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Dr. Lai Ngit Shin Universiti Sains Malaysia Dr. Lee Hooi Ling Universiti Sains Malaysia Dr. Leow Chiuan Herng Universiti Sains Malaysia Dr. Leow Chiuan Yee Universiti Sains Malaysia Dr. Manraj Singh Cheema Universiti Sains Malaysia Dr. Mas Jaffri Masarudin Universiti Sains Malaysia Dr. Mohana Sundaram Muthuvalu Universiti Teknologi Petronas Dr. Mohd Firdaus Abdul Wahab Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Dr. Nethia Mohana Kumaran Universiti Sains Malaysia Dr. Noor Ain Kamsani Universiti Putra Malaysia Dr. Noor Syamilah Zakaria Universiti Putra Malaysia Dr. Nor Alafiza Yunus Universiti Putra Malaysia Dr. Norlida Mat Daud @ Daud Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Dr. Nurriza Ab. Latif Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Dr. Nur Faeza Abu Kassim Universiti Sains Malaysia Dr. Oon Chern Ein Universiti Sains Malaysia Dr. Pasupuleti Visweswara Rao Universiti Malaysia Kelantan Dr. Razinah Sharif Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Dr. Saleha Shahar Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Dr. Sharifah Rahmah Syed Muhammad Universiti Malaysia Terengganu Dr. Siti Kartini Enche Ab Rahim Universiti Malaysia Perlis Dr. Siti Sarah Othman Universiti Putra Malaysia Dr. Tan Yee Shin University of Malaya Dr. Tee Kok Keng University of Malaya Dr. Wan Chang Da Universiti Sains Malaysia Dr. Yuwana Podin Universiti Malaysia Sarawak Ms. Faizatul Lela Jafar University of Malaya

Academy of Sciences Malaysia Ms. Alia Samsudin Ms. Dharshene Rajayah Ms. Edzdiani Sharmeen Mohar Ms. Farah Elida Mr. Hendy Putra Herman Mr. Mohd Zefri Mohd Zulkefli Ms. Sazarul Aini Sabot Ms. Syazwani Ramli Mr. Saiful Suhairi Suarni

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INTRODUCTION

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Fostering a Responsible Conduct of Research Culture

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The intensification of scientific research in Malaysia on the road to becoming a high-income nation The Malaysian Government’s Economic Transformation Programme focuses on 12 National Key Areas that represent economic sectors that account for significant contributions to the country’s Gross National Income (Performance Management and Delivery Unit, 2013). These initiatives aim to attract a significant amount of investments and create new job opportunities. Scientific advancements and technological innovations are recognised as key drivers to generate and share knowledge as well as translate these discoveries to applications that would in turn, stimulate wealth creation and improve the quality of life (OECD, 2000). Since scientific progress is an integral component of Malaysia’s transformation into a high-income nation, the Malaysian government has introduced multiple initiatives to develop a robust scientific ecosystem that is equipped with comprehensive policies. Scientists are not only expected to generate knowledge but are also required to enhance human talent development and produce commercial products for wealth generation. Consequently, funding bodies require specific key performance indicators that include the number of papers, graduate students and patents generated from each research project. These indicators are then used to reward high-achieving scientists with pecuniary benefits, promotions, national recognition and fame. As a result of these initiatives, the R&D ecosystem in Malaysia has grown and productivity has significantly improved.

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The global threat of irresponsible conduct of research The violation of the standard codes of scholarly conduct and ethical practices appears to be a global phenomenon. The Japanese and Korean stem cell scandals (Rasko and Power, 2015; Resnik, 2006), the false association of MMR vaccination and autism (Allan and Ivers, 2010) and the increasing number of scientific retractions due to alleged fraudulent or careless research is a major concern (Breen, 2016; Steen et al., 2013). In Malaysia, reports on scientific misconduct have also begun to surface (The Star Online, 2016). A self-administered questionnaire-based international study reported that about 2% of scientists admitted to committing scientific misconduct and 34% admitted to committing other questionable practices (Fanelli, 2009). It is expected that this is merely the ‘tip of the iceberg’ because the reported statistics do not include the majority of global institutions that do not have official regulatory frameworks that govern scientific integrity. The ease to fabricate and manipulate data is mainly due to loop-holes in the peer review process and the lack of a robust research ecosystem. The increased focus on tangible research outputs without the necessary support framework and the over-incentivisation of ‘research successes’ have also fostered a chronic culture of ‘publish or perish’ that may drive researchers to resort to misconduct. The adverse consequences of scientific misconduct are not limited to time and financial costs but also the reputation of the scientific community and the country as a whole. Breach in the public trust of science has very damaging consequences. Incidentally, there is growing anxiety that technological progress in scientific research will precipitate widespread harm to health, social inequality and conflict. Although technologies such as artificial intelligence, genetic editing and nanotechnology harbor significant potential benefits, they may also pose potential threats to the

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safety and security of humanity (Carafano and Gudgel, 2017 Goldstein, 2017; Wolt, 2017; Ishii, 2015). Thus the scientific ecosystem has a responsibility to engage in transparent discourse with multiple stakeholders, including the public. There has to be an honest assessment of the potential of unintended negative consequences in a specific type of research. In addition, mechanisms to mitigate potential nefarious intent that have security and safety implications have to be developed; while ensuring that the progress of research is not impeded and actually delivers the promised benefits.

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Responsible conduct of research The evolution of scientific progress has highlighted the need for ensuring credible, sound and robust scientific practices, in which ethical and responsible conducts of research have acquired considerable global attention. The US National Institutes of Health (2009) defines Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), or scientific integrity as “the practice of scientific investigation with integrity”. The concept of RCR is more than just being aware of established professional best practices and ethical values, it is also about believing in the importance of these practices in the scientific process and thus applying these responsible research practices. RCR encompasses several major areas that include scientific misconduct, the use of human subjects and animal models in experimentation, mentoring, authorship and peer review, managing competing interests, collaborative research, ownership of data and intellectual property, and data management. An important feature of fostering an RCR culture includes ensuring that science is conducted in a responsible way as well as that the research is conducted in a socially responsible manner; where science actually serves humanity.

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Supporting the national agenda on RCR through RCR education: balancing legal frameworks with a culture of RCR In 2017, the National Science Council, chaired by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, The Hon. Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak endorsed the Malaysian Code of Responsible Conduct in Research (MCRCR). The MCRCR (National Science Council, 2017) is a significant statement by the Malaysian government on the importance of integrity and accountability in the pursuit of science. However, legal frameworks and codes of conduct alone are insufficient in ensuring adherence to the principles and aspirations of RCR. The fostering of a national culture of RCR requires a multipronged approach that is focused on developing awareness and capacity to adhere to and foster RCR. An important component in this multipronged approach is RCR education that nurtures and enculturates the RCR culture across the scientific and academic ecosystems. When a scientific ecosystem is confined by limited resources and research activity, existing regulatory frameworks are usually able to protect the integrity of the scientific enterprise as well as secure the safety and well-being of the society from any potential unintended risks or risks arising from malicious intent (Figure 1A).

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However, as a scientific ecosystem grows in the context of resources as well as in the depth and spread of research activity, existing regulatory frameworks may not be sufficient in protecting the integrity of the scientific enterprise. Failure to prevent research misconduct and irresponsible practices will negatively impact the quality of research as well as erode the public trust in the scientific ecosystem. The failure to promote safe and secure science will also pose significant threats or harm to the society and environment (Figure 1B).

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Figure 1A: Small scientific ecosystems are easier to regulate

Figure 1B: Legal-regulatory frameworks are often insufficient in growing scientific ecosystems

On the other hand, if regulatory frameworks are overly stringent and the approach to governance of a scientific enterprise is heavy-handed, research progress will be significantly dampened. Although the potential negative consequences to scientific integrity, society and the environment can be avoided, the dampened scientific progress associated with an over regulation of science will surely result in the failure to address the various challenges the world faces. This failure will ultimately result in a greater threat to humanity (Figure 1C).

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Figure 1C: Overregulation will stifle research progress

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The only way a continuously advancing and safe scientific ecosystem can exist is by fostering an RCR culture that supports institutional and individual compliance to existing regulatory frameworks; where an individual scientist’s adherence to professional best practices and ethical norms is defined by legal boundaries as well as personal conviction, awareness and discipline. A collective culture of RCR essentially functions as a moral compass that guides scientists as they navigate through the ups and downs and the twists and turns of their research journey (Figure 1D).

Figure 1D: An RCR culture is key in ensuring the balance between research progress and integrity

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Brief History of the Young Scientists Network-Academy of Sciences Malaysia RCR Programme US-Malaysia science diplomacy: kick-starting the RCR education agenda In 2013, the US National Academy of Sciences (USNAS), Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) and Akademi Kepimpinan Pendidikan Tinggi (AKEPT) organised a workshop, the first Educational Institute on Responsible Science in Kuala Lumpur. The workshop involved three participating countries, Malaysia, India and Pakistan and it introduced the concept of Responsible Science and Active Learning Pedagogy. The ultimate goal of this workshop was to facilitate the building of networks of similarly trained researchers with a common appreciation for the importance of responsible science Educational Institute on Responsible Science, Hotel Istana, as a basis for global scientific excellence; Kuala Lumpur, August 2013 and active learning as a means towards improved teaching. Subsequent to the workshop, USNAS offered small grant opportunities to promote similar educational efforts in their home institutions. The Malaysians who attended the Institute submitted proposals and were successfully awarded the USNAS grants to promote RCR in their respective institutions. As a result of these grants, multiple workshops were successfully conducted by the Malaysian participants in their respective institutions.

Participants in the 2013 Educational Institute on Responsible Science engaging in deep discussions

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YSN-ASM RCR Programme: building on (inter)national collaboration & youth leadershipvolunteerism In recognition of the importance of the propagation of RCR in the Malaysian ecosystem and the initial successful workshops conducted by the Malaysian participants, the ASM Council approved the formalisation of a RCR programme in 2015. Since young scientists play a significant role in the research enterprise as well as in the training of a new generation of scientists, the council appointed the Young Scientists Network-Academy of Sciences Malaysia (YSN-ASM), chaired by Prof. Dr. Abhi Veerakumarasivam (Sunway University) to implement the programme. Two Fellows, Prof Emeritus Dato’ Dr. M. Mahyuddin Dahan FASc and Prof. Dr. Helen Nair FASc were appointed as advisors to the YSN-ASM RCR Programme. The ultimate goals of this programme were to ensure that RCR was integrated into the science curriculum at institutions of higher learning and also, the creation of a responsible scientific ecosystem in the country.

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At the YSN-ASM annual colloquium in 2015, Drs. Chai Lay Ching (University of Malaya) and Chau De Ming (Universiti Putra Malaysia) were officially appointed as co-chairs of the YSN-ASM RCR Programme. This programme committee consisted of YSN-ASM members and affiliates who demonstrated significant commitment towards the RCR agenda. Over the last 4 ½ years, Malaysian scientists have continued to interact and collaborate with USNAS, now known as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) with NASEM providing support in content development and pedagogical tools. The Reunion Meeting for the Educational Institute on Responsible Science in 2014 and the RCR workshops and strategic meeting in 2015 were critical in building the collaboration between NASEM and ASM that culminated in the establishment of the YSN-ASM RCR programme. The first phase of the programme involved the intensification and standardisation of the content and pedagogy of the workshops/seminars that were organised to increase RCR awareness and stakeholder engagement in various universities in Malaysia.

Participants of the RCR awareness workshops at (L) Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, (R) Universiti Sains Malaysia

Since the inception of the inaugural RCR Institute in 2013, more than 20 workshops have been organised across Malaysia; reaching out to more than 1000 researchers in Malaysian. The participants of these workshops have been predominantly young and active researchers but these workshops have also benefited from significant support by senior academic leaders in the country. Pre- and post-survey studies were conducted in some of these workshops. Analysis of the surveys indicated a general poor awareness on RCR amongst Malaysian researchers, regardless of age group and the years of experience in research and teaching. The active learning pedagogy used in the workshops was also shown to be effective in increasing the performance on knowledge-based questions amongst the participants. During these workshops, attendees gained insights from evidence-based research on how people learn and were introduced to active learning techniques to Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research

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enhance the instruction of responsible science. Based on the post-survey analysis, the participants were clearly satisfied with the materials they were exposed to. Thus, these workshops proved be a successful method of promoting awareness on RCR amongst researchers in Malaysia.

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Development of the Malaysian Educational Module on RCR The successful organisation of the RCR workshops boosted the confidence of our Malaysian young scientists in their ability to champion RCR education. This increase in confidence was coupled with a greater desire to expand the reach and magnitude of impact of the YSN-ASM RCR programme. At this juncture, the members of the YSNASM RCR programme committee recognised that there have been in the past, pockets of local initiatives by individual researchers to promote scientific integrity with Young scientists reviewing the Module at the RCR workshop at AKEPT varied outcomes. It was evident that many of the participants of the YSN-ASM RCR workshops were eager to share their new found RCR knowledge at their own institutions and organise similar workshops. However the lack of easily accessible and digestible RCR content and teaching guides hampered the momentum that was established at these workshops. While there are many online sources available, many researchers expressed the need for a Malaysian Educational Module for RCR that could be their primary reference guide. A national module on RCR education was identified as essential for promoting the harmonisation and intensity of RCR instruction in the country. Thus, the process of developing this Module began in early 2016.

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In May 2016, the then DirectorGeneral of the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia, Prof. Datuk Dr. Asma Ismail FASc identified AKEPT as a strategic partner for the YSNASM RCR Programme. In view of their primary function to design and coordinate programmes for the training and development of higher education practitioners and academic leaders of various levels, AKEPT was seen as the perfect Prof. Dr. Helen Nair reflecting on the YSN-ASM RCR Programme at the platform for collaboration with RCR workshop at AKEPT YSN-ASM. Since September 2016, YSN-ASM has developed a great working collaboration with AKEPT to deliver various workshops. The AKEPT workshops, called the Malaysian Educational Institute on RCR, have been integral in

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engaging top young scientists in the country to be involved in the process of reviewing and refining the Module.

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Participants of the RCR workshop at AKEPT

RCR workshop participants with Prof. Datuk Dr. Asma Ismail and top management of AKEPT

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The YSN-ASM RCR programme has also gone international. In August 2017, YSN-ASM collaborated with AKEPT and the Global Young Academy to organise the 2nd ASEAN Science Leadership Programme. During this programme, YSN-ASM was identified as the champion to lead the RCR agenda in the ASEAN region. It was recently presented at the ASEAN Science Technology and Innovation Conference in conjunction with the 10th ASEAN STI Week in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar in October 2017. In addition to various local presentations, the YSN-ASM RCR programme has also been presented at the Meeting of States Parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention in Geneva, Switzerland in December 2015, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2016 Annual Meeting in February 2016 in Washington DC, USA, the Asia-Pacific Biosafety (Top) Participants at the 3rd Worldwide Meeting of Young Academies. Association (APBA) 11th Annual (Bottom) Participants from 10+1 ASEAN countries at the 2nd ASEAN Biosafety Conference in June 2016 Science Leadership Programme in Siem Reap, Cambodia and the 3rd Worldwide Meeting of Young Academies in July 2017, Johannesburg, South Africa. Cambodia and Thailand have also invited the YSN-ASM RCR programme committee to conduct RCR workshops in their respective countries. The Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research With the top-down engagement fostered, the perfect partnership with AKEPT established and the increasing confidence garnered through international recognition, the YSN-ASM RCR programme presents to you the first edition of the Malaysian Educational Module on RCR. This Module is designed to foster a culture of RCR in the Malaysian scientific ecosystem by acting as a reference material as well as a teaching guide to promote awareness, increase knowledge and create a positive impact on attitudes and practices that embody scientific integrity. This Module is the first of its kind in Malaysia and it is an important document that will contribute to our nation’s dialogue on research integrity. This Module is comprised of 10 chapters with each chapter focusing on different but interconnected topics of RCR. This Module encourages robust dialogue and ethical reflexivity. It is essential that scientists and students (future scientists) are sensitised to the holistic concepts of RCR in their scientific 9

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practices and training. Often the ethics dialogue is confined to either at a macro level, where the large or long-term impacts of unethical practices are discussed or at a micro level, where the focus is on individual ethical conflicts. It is very rare that the ethics discourse is targeted at both the macro and micro levels. Due to the lack of this comprehensive and holistic dialogue and perhaps our colonial histories, we often assume that the best solution to make something Participants test-running a role play activity in the Module at AKEPT more ‘ethical’ is by adopting Western standards and coupling them with more stringent rules that may ultimately inhibit research progress. Thus, there needs to be a robust interdisciplinary discourse that exposes researchers in this region to ethical reflexivity so that we are able to identify innovative ways to balance the risk of significant harm and the promise of dramatic benefits. This Module encourages scientists to embrace their major role in serving humanity through science while reflecting on the challenges that they face in realising their role and deciphering strategies to limit these challenges and maximise their positive impact. Thus the Module is rooted on practicalities that need to be addressed to ensure that the promise of science is realised; both at a personal and institutional level.

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The current Malaysian Higher Education Blueprint emphasises the notion of balance between Akhlak and Ilmu that takes into account Malaysia’s unique socio-economic-demographic composition (Ministry of Education Malaysia, 2015). RCR education is aimed at ensuring a perfect convergence between the rapid increase in scientific knowledge and the responsible practices in the discovery, innovation and application of this knowledge. This Module ensures that RCR education is contextualised for Malaysians to ensure that our unique historical and cultural perspectives are considered in the background of the realities of the highly interconnected world we live in today. Although this Module has been developed Participant uses a drawing to present a RCR by Malaysians for Malaysians, we believe that this concept at AKEPT Module is also relevant to champion RCR in ASEAN. There is growing evidence that although traditional didactic lectures are routinely used to disseminate vast amount of information to a large number of students, the learning process is often passive and superficial (Schmidt et al., 2015). This lethargic learning process is often associated with poor student motivation and engagement. The limitations in this learning process often result in undergraduates completing their education without the necessary skill sets to satisfy the workforce demands. In addition, multiple studies have demonstrated that efficacious active learning is a Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research

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Introduction

INTRODUCTION: Fostering a Responsible Conduct of Research Culture


INTRODUCTION: Fostering a Responsible Conduct of Research Culture

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viable strategy to spark students’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects (Freeman, 2014) to subsequently mitigate the progressive shrinking in terms of the percentage of students choosing STEM subjects. Since RCR is not in the mainstream psyche of our Malaysian scientists, an appreciation of the importance and more pertinently, the application of the RCR principles can be better achieved through active learning. The instruction of this Module is based on the active learning pedagogy whereby multiple engaging activities such as case studies, role playing, peer learning and self-reflection are embedded in the guide to better affect changes in the attitude and practices of RCR.

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Future directions of the YSN-ASM Programme We recognise that there is significant room for improvement for this Module. Therefore, this Module is seen as a ‘living document’ that will undergo frequent revisions and updates to include up-todate knowledge, case studies, policies and guidelines, and pedagogies. We also intend to expand the scope of this Module to cover additional topics within the RCR umbrella in future editions of this Module. The Module is also made available online (http://www.akademisains.gov.my). This is in the spirit of open access and the desire to promote RCR to the widest audience possible. In tandem, training of trainers (TOT) workshops will be organised in collaboration with AKEPT to develop a larger pool of highly skilled and trained RCR instructors. These cohorts of pioneer RCR instructors will then be able to implement the Module in their own as well as in other institutions across the country.

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We will also be working closely with the National Committee on Research Integrity (NCRI) to develop courses that aptly assess the attitude and competencies of researchers in the country on RCR. The increased dialogue of RCR amongst Malaysian researchers will promote the synthesis of a robust national educational platform and policies that mitigate scientific misconduct; thus complementing the National Science Council-endorsed MCRCR.

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Finally, we hope that this Module will be the platform on which the development of a nationalised and formal educational curriculum on RCR in all Institutes of Higher Learning in Malaysia can be built; making RCR a cornerstone in the training of scientists in the country and the region. To ensure the sustainability of this initiative, an Advisory Committee for the YSN-ASM Malaysian RCR programme has been established.

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2013

AD Sept 2016 1st Malaysian Educational Institute at AKEPT

May 2016 Start the Module development

May 2016 Engagement with Director General of Department of Higher Education, MOHE

YSN-ASM

Launch of Module by YB MOHE Minister

Feb 2018 Regional Conference to Promote Safe and Secure Science in the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia in SU

Introduction

Higher Learning Leadership Academy Academy of Sciences Malaysia Ministry of Higher Education Perdana University Responsible Conduct of Research Sunway University University of Malaya Universiti Putra Malaysia Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Universiti Malaysia Terengganu Universiti Sains Malaysia Universiti Malaysia Sarawak U.S. National Academy of Sciences Young Scientists NetworkAcademy of Sciences Malaysia

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USM UNIMAS USNAS

SU UM UPM UTM UMT

ASM MOHE PU RCR

AKEPT

Jan 2018 Establishment of YSN-ASM RCR Programme Advisory Committee

Evolution of the YSN-ASM RCR Programme & Milestones Achieved

Sharing experience at the Reunion meeting for the Educational Institute on Responsible Science

Nov 2017 3rd Malaysian Educational Institute at AKEPT

Aug 2017 Proposal for ASEAN RCR Network at 2nd ASEAN Science Leadership Programme at AKEPT

April 2017 2nd Malaysian Educational Institute at AKEPT

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2017

April 2016 RCR Awareness workshop at UNIMAS

Co-chairs of the Programme are appointed

Dec 2015 The YSN-ASM RCR Programme is officially formalised at the YSN-ASM Colloquium 2015

Oct-Dec 2015 RCR workshops and surveys at UMT, USM and UTM

April 2014 RCR workshops at PU and UM

RCR workshops at UM, UPM & UTM

Oct -Dec 2013 USNAS awards workshop grants to successful Malaysian applicants

Aug 2013 The Educational Institute on Responsible Science in Kuala Lumpur by USNAS, ASM and AKEPT introduces RCR to Malaysian researchers

2014

Sept 2015 ASM grants seed funds to YSN-ASM to conduct RCR workshops and surveys

2016

2015

Aug 2015 USNAS conducts RCR workshops and fosters greater collaboration with ASM

2018

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INTRODUCTION: Fostering a Responsible Conduct of Research Culture

REFERENCES: Allen, M.G. and Ivers, N. (2010). The autism-vaccine story: fiction and deception? Canadian Family Physician, 56 (10), 1013.

2.

Breen, K.J. (2016). Research misconduct: time for a re-think? Internal Medicine Journal, 46(6), 728-733.

3.

Carafano, J. and Gudgel, A. (2007). Nanotechnology and national security: small changes, big impact. Retrieved from https://www.heritage.org/defense/report/nanotechnology-andnational-security-small-changes-big-impact

4.

Fanelli, D. (2009). How many scientists fabricate and falsify research? a systematic review and meta-analysis of survey data. PLoS ONE, 4(5), e5738.

5.

Freeman, S., Eddy, S.L., McDonough, M., Smith, M.K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., and Wenderoth, M. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(23), 8410–8415.

6.

Goldstein, P. (2017). Will AI technology usher in a wave of security threats? Retrieved from https:// biztechmagazine.com/article/2017/01/will-ai-usher-new-wave-cybersecurity-vulnerabilities

8.

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Ishii, T. (2015). Germline genome-editing research and its socioethical implications. Trends in Molecular Medicine, 21(8), 473-481. Ministry of Education Malaysia. (2015). Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education). Putrajaya, W.P.: Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia. National Institute of Health. (2009). Update on the requirement for instruction in the responsible conduct of research. Retrieved from https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/notod-10-019.html

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7.

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10. National Science Council. (2017). An Initiative of Science to Action: The Malaysian Code of Responsible Conduct in Research. Cyberjaya, Selangor: Malaysia Industry-Government Group for High Technology. 11. OECD. (2000). Science, technology and innovation in the new economy. Retrieved from http:// www.oecd.org/science/sci-tech/1918259.pdf 12. Performance Management and Delivery Unit. (2013). Overview of ETP. Retrieved from http:// etp.pemandu.gov.my/ 13. Rasko, J. and Power, C. (2015). What pushes scientists to lie? The disturbing but familiar story of Haruko Obokata. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/feb/18/harukoobokata-stap-cells-controversy-scientists-lie

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14. Resnik, D.B., Shamoo, A. and Krimsky, S. (2006). Fraudulent human embryonic stem cell research in south korea: lessons learned. Accountability in Research, 13(1), 101-109.

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15. Schmidt, H.G., Wagener, S.L., Smets, G.A.C.M., Keemink, L.M. and van der Molen, H.T. (2015). On the use and misuse of lectures in higher education. Health Professions Education, 1(1) 1218. 16. Steen, G.R., Casadevall, A. and Fang, F.C. (2013). Why has the number of scientific retractions increased? PLoS ONE, 8(7), e68397. 17. The Star Online. (2016). Four researchers falsified science data, says UM. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/06/17/four-researchers-falsified-sciencedata-says-um/

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18. Wolt, J.D. (2017). Chapter twelve - safety, security, and policy considerations for plant genome editing. Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science, 149, 215-241.

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CHAPTER 1 Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

CHAPTER 1

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Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

SYNOPSIS

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This chapter aims to improve the awareness among the participants that the professional responsibilities of researchers are not confined to merely conducting good research. In reality, researchers play multiple roles and have various responsibilities. In fact, it is expected that researchers embrace the responsibility of asking questions and seeking answers through research, sharing and spreading the new knowledge found and teaching/grooming the next generation of researchers to continue seeking for new knowledge. Nowadays, researchers also play an important role in transferring the knowledge they generate in the laboratory to society that contributes to the wealth and well-being of the nation and society. Thus, ethical standards and values serve as an important guide for researchers to conduct and perform their duties as a researcher. This chapter contains four parts. Part 1 introduces participants to the various roles and responsibilities of researchers and Part 2 focuses on the social responsibilities of researchers. Part 3 introduces and discusses the importance of applying ethical values in research and finally Part 4 deals with the consequences if a researcher is derelict in their responsibilities.

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KEY MESSAGES

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1. Researchers undertake various roles and responsibilities in their profession that include conducting accurate, reliable and socially responsible research; bridging science and industry as well as being involved in the policy making and governing of research. 2. Researchers are part of the society and also receive research funding from the society, thus they have social responsibilities that include conducting research that ultimately brings benefit to the society as well as communicating their research findings with the general public. 3. Irresponsible researchers can create direct or indirect negative impact to the research community and society. 4. Researchers are guided by ethical values and standards including honesty, fairness, openness, and respect in their conduct of research.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES At the end of the chapter, participants should be able to: 1.1 recognise the multiple roles and responsibilities of researchers. 1.2 describe the social responsibilities of researchers. 1.3 identify shared ethical values of researchers. 1.4 discuss the negative consequences of irresponsible conduct of research.

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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

ACTIVITY LIST

Activity 1.2

Drawing for understanding: This activity aims to introduce the complex nature of the research community and the roles and responsibilities of researchers to different stakeholders in research. (LO 1.1)

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Activity 1.1

Case study: This activity aims to engage participants to think about the consequences of a researcher who conducts research not with the ultimate purpose to benefit the society but just for his or her own agenda. This activity intends to extend the concept of a researcher’s social responsibility to cover the purpose of conducting research that ultimately benefits mankind or the society. (LO 1.2) Brainstorming: This activity aims to introduce participants to ethical values that should be upheld by the research community. (LO 1.3)

Activity 1.4

Role play: This activity aims to engage the participants in reflecting on the effect of dishonesty and irresponsibility on the research ecosystem. (LO 1.4)

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Activity 1.3

MATERIALS Quantity

Handout 1.1

1 copy per participant

Handout 1.2

1 copy per participant

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Materials

Mahjong paper

Coloured marker pens

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CONTENT

PART 1: ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF RESEARCHERS Seeking truth to help mankind better understand the world we live in and improving life is the ultimate goal of researchers. Therefore, designing, planning and conducting good research is the major responsibility of researchers. However, in reality, being a researcher is more than running experiments or conducting studies. Very often, researchers assume multiple roles in their professions. For example, a researcher can be an advocate for science, an advisor to governmental agencies on policy-making decisions, a consultant to industries, an educator in universities and an expert on public issues. The research community is very complex and involves many different stakeholders in which researcher plays a central role in linking all the stakeholders.

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Chapter 1

This chapter contains 4 activities:


CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

Activity 1.1: Drawing of understanding Purpose:

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This activity aims to introduce the complex nature of the research community and the roles and responsibilities of researchers to different stakeholders in research. Instructions:

Note to instructor:

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1. Ask each group to brainstorm and list various stakeholders in the research ecosystem. The group must include “RESEARCHER” as one of the stakeholders. Ask them to write each stakeholder on separate piece of sticky note and stick the notes onto the Mahjong paper provided. 2. Next, ask each group to draw a concept map to link the stakeholders and write the responsibility of each of the stakeholders in the relationship that links the two stakeholders together. 3. Ask each group to present the concept map to the class.

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You may take part in the discussion and give some guidance to the participants to increase the complex relationships that exist in the research community. For example, you may ask probing questions such as “ Who monitors the progress of research?” “Who ensures that the researcher is conducting research in an ethical manner?” “Who provides funding to the researchers?” “How do researchers respond to society issues?”. Model answer(s):

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See Figure 1.1

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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

• Conduct research to

Provide research funding

solve specific issues

• Advice government on specific issues

• Improve economy

Serve as administrators (e.g. dean, director of research centre, etc.)

• Collaborate on research

Provide consultation to solve issues/ technology and knowledge transfer

RESEARCH MANAGEMENT

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GOVERNMENT

RESEARCHER Provide fundings/ Technology transfer

• Peer review

OTHER RESEARCHERS

Become a researcher

• Lecturing • Guide and train

student to conduct research

INDUSTRY • Write articles in news column • Being interviewed on specific

Assist in research project

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issues

MEDIA

UNDERGRADUTE AND POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS

• Give talk/share knowledge • Transfer technology to benefit general public

GENERAL PUBLIC

Work for industry/ government after graduation

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Figure 1.1: The roles and responsibilities of researchers and the relationships with multiple stakeholders that form the research community.

Figure 1.2 summarises the responsibilities of the multiple roles a researcher might play. Each role has a different set of duties. Generally, a researcher not only conducts research, he or she may spend a significant amount of time on responsibilities beyond direct research activity such as serving as a dean of faculty in a university, sitting in various committees or working groups on specific issues and providing consultancy to industry.

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EDUCATOR/TEACHER/LECTURER Train students to think critically Share new knowledge with students Impart ethical values to the students Guide students to become a better researcher Prepare the next generation of people to contribute to society

INDUSTRY CONSULTANT Transfer knowledge from laboratory to industry Advice industry Collaborate with industry on research projects

ADVISOR/POLICY MAKER Provide advice to policy makers to create good policies Communicate research findings to the policy makers Collaborate with policy makers on research projects

RESEARCHER Design experiments Conduct research Perfom peer review Share knowledge with others i.e.: through presentations/ publications Mentor other researchers Manage data and finance

ADMINISTRATOR/MANAGER Govern research to provide a conducive research environment Inculcate a good research culture Ensure safe environment for research

Figure 1.2: Example of responsibilities of a researcher as an educator, an advisor or policy-maker, an industry consultant and an administrator or manager. Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research

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Chapter 1

Manage funding and ensure professional ethics of researchers

FUNDER


CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

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As shown in Figure 1.1 and Figure 1.2, the research ecosystem is complex with many stakeholders that play specific roles to sustain this ecosystem. Researchers themselves also play multiple roles. Therefore, it is important for researchers to realise that how they carry out their various responsibilities could impact many stakeholders including the academic community, industry, government and general public. To ensure the continuous advancement in science while being conscious about both the positive and negative impacts of research, all members of the research community abide by a set of shared values and standards that guide researchers on how to conduct research and carry out their daily duties in a responsible manner.

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Responsibilities of a researcher as an educator: A researcher has an obligation to plan and conduct research that will lead to a better understanding of nature, human behaviour and the world we live in for the improvement and betterment of humankind. Researchers are also responsible for ensuring that their research is conducted in an ethical and responsible manner, which includes the efficient use of research funding and resources, and the sharing and dissemination of research findings to their peers and the public. Science is a cumulative enterprise in which new research builds on trust and also on previous results (National Academy of Sciences, 2009). Therefore, inaccurate research findings will just waste the time, resources and efforts of other researchers who try to replicate or use the findings to progress the field of research. It is a researcher’s responsibility to ensure sustainability and continuous growth in science.

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Responsibilities of a researcher as an educator: As an educator, a researcher has the responsibility to always share true and up-to-date knowledge with their students, peers and also the public. Researchers are obliged to check the validity of the information that is being shared. Sharing of false information and knowledge would lead to very serious consequences that will harm the next generation of scientists/researchers. It is also the responsibility of an academician to teach and demonstrate the correct research methodology and ethical research approaches to their mentees and research students. Unethical conduct in research will initiate a bad research culture that will have a long-term negative impact on the research community as well as the society. For example, a researcher can set a bad example and send a wrong message on authorship assignment to students if he or she deems it acceptable to have honorary authors in his or her scientific publications. This culture might be passed down and will cause unimaginable harm to the research community. Responsibilities of a researcher in policy making: Many researchers contribute to policy making as an expert in their own profession. It is an impactful role played by researchers in shaping the society and determining how things work in their respective fields. Therefore, it is essential that a researcher who is involved in policy making upholds ethical values, which is to remain neutral and objective in providing advice. The policy should be made based on good and solid science as well as to ensure maximum benefit to the country and all the stakeholders. Bias in decision making could cause irreparable damage to the country, society, as well as the scientific ecosystem.

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Responsibilities of a researcher as an industry consultant: Researchers also play an important role to bridge the gap between science and industry. Many industries have recognised the value of science in the development of their businesses and have therefore established collaborations with academicians as their consultants. The main duty of an industry consultant is to troubleshoot and solve issues in the industry or conduct research for new inventions that can bring income to the industry. Therefore, a researcher as an industry consultant has the responsibility to manage potential conflicts of interest carefully to maintain the balance between science and company benefits. A loss of balance might bring serious consequences that will not only harm the industry but also the society. For example, manipulating research data to show only the positive effects of a new therapeutic drug in order to expedite the drug approval process is ethically wrong and could have long-term damaging effects.

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Responsibilities of a researcher as a research administrator: The research community often assumes the responsibility to self-regulate and self-govern. Many senior researchers have been granted extra responsibilities as leaders. For example, many researchers lead their academic unit, department, faculty or even university or research institution. Some researchers are also responsible for managing research funding and providing support to other fellow researchers. Therefore, research administrators have a responsibility to carry out their duties ethically, set realistic expectations in research performance and also to inculcate good research culture. The abuse of power by research administrators or managers can impede the progress of science and bring a direct negative impact to the research community and country..

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PART 2: SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF RESEARCHERS Every researcher has the responsibility of doing ‘good science’, which means to design, plan, and conduct research in an accurate, reliable and ethical manner. ‘Good science’ is the product of good scientific practices or a responsible conduct of research. However, the responsibility of every researcher should extend beyond just doing ‘good science’. There is another dimension of a researcher’s responsibility, which is ‘social responsibility’.

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Chapter 1

CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers


CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

Activity 1.2: Case study Purpose:

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This activity aims to engage participants to think about the consequences of a researcher who conducts research not with the ultimate purpose to benefit the society but just for his or her own agenda. This activity intends to extend the concept of a researcher’s social responsibility to cover the purpose of conducting research that ultimately benefits mankind or the society. Instructions:

Note to instructor:

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1. Ask the participants to read the case study in Handout 1.1. 2. Next, ask the participants to discuss the questions below: a. What do you think about Dr. Wong’s actions? b. Do you think that he is being a socially responsible researcher? Explain your thoughts. c. Do you think that Dr. Wong’s behaviour and actions will bring any negative impact to the general public and research community?

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You may read and explain the case out-loud before asking them to discuss the questions within their group. Point out that what Dr. Wong did was just to ‘play the game’ in order to produce a remarkable CV for his promotion. Dr. Wong was just carried away by the pressure of “publish or perish” practices in the academic community. You may ask the participants to consider whether Dr. Wong’s actions were appropriate even though he was not involved in any research misconduct such as falsification, fabrication or plagiarism (see Chapter 2). Model answer(s): a.

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b.

Dr. Wong’s actions distort the real purpose and meaning of doing research. Even though his research may not bring any harm to the public and environment, it clearly does not bring any obvious benefits to the society. Dr Wong is not being socially responsible. He only cares about producing papers without caring if his research contributes to the society or makes an impact. He is wasting the money of the funders, most likely public funds. He is also wasting resources such as the time and efforts of other researchers, editors, reviewers, and research managers. These wasted resources can be used for more important things. The money, time and effort that Dr. Wong wasted could have been used by other researchers to conduct research that have meaningful outcomes. Dr. Wong also deceived people about his true contributions to the scientific community and is a wrong example for other researchers to emulate. Dr Wong should share his knowledge and wisdom with the general public and policy makers as part of his social responsibility. Dr Wong also has a social responsibility to ensure that his students are trained to do research and be accountable to the society in a right manner so that the students will also be socially responsible in the future.

c.

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Whilst serving the interest of science, researchers should also think about serving the interests of the society. Social responsibility is written in the code of ethics of many scientific bodies and professional associations. In the code of ethics of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2017) it states “investigators will promote and follow practices that enhance the public interest or well-being”. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE, 2018) requires its members to “accept responsibility in making decisions consistent with the safety, health, and welfare of the public, and to disclose promptly factors that might endanger the public or the environment”. The Royal Society of Chemistry (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013) requires its members not only to be excellent in chemical science, but also to “have responsibilities arising from their duty to serve the public interest…”, such as “advance the welfare of society, particularly in the field of health, safety and the "advocate" environment ”and to“ advocate suitable precautions against possible harmful side-effects of science and technology”.

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The National Institute of Health (National Institute of Health, 2017) listed one of its goals as “to exemplify and promote the highest level of scientific integrity, public accountability, and social responsibility in the conduct of science.” In the Malaysian Code of Responsible Conduct in Research (National Science Council, 2017), researchers’ “accountability to the public is crucial for the sustenance and sustainability of the scientific enterprise”. A researcher does more than just supervising students, managing research and generating research outputs. Researchers should also embrace a greater sense of social responsibility. Other than his/her responsibility to the academic community, a researcher has a responsibility to the greater public community too. “Science as the process of knowledge augmentation is embedded in a wider socio-ethical context, and scientists must be aware of their special responsibility towards society and the welfare of mankind” (All European Academies, 2011). Researchers have a social responsibility to ensure that their research is used to advance the “well-being of mankind and the good of society” (All European Academies, 2011). Researchers carry out these social responsibilities through the various roles described above including their roles as educators, public advocates, government advisors, industry consultants, etc.

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The social responsibilities of researchers also extend to how researchers manage the risks and hazards of research especially research with Dual Use potential (see Chapter 3). Researchers have a social responsibility to ensure that their research does not harm anyone and their research outcome is not misused. PART 3: IMPORTANCE OF ETHICAL VALUES IN RESEARCH At this point, the roles and responsibilities as well as the social responsibilities of researchers have been discussed. Every researcher may play different roles at any given point and the responsibilities of the researchers are not merely inward-looking (research for research’s sake) but also outwardlooking (research as a social responsibility). As such, researchers should apply a set of universal ethical principles and values in carrying out their roles and contributing to humanity. Researchers have to make many decisions every day – how to conduct an experiment, how to represent data, how to discuss an issue with a student, etc. Very often, the decisions that researchers make are guided by clearly-written codes, policies, laws, and regulations while some decisions are made based on accepted standards of the scientific field, society or community. However, there are situations where there are no clear-cut policies, regulations or rules to guide a researcher’s decision making process. In these situations, researchers’ decision-making is guided by their own ethics Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research

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Chapter 1

CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers


CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

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compass. Ethics are a set of norms or standards of conduct adopted by society or a community of people in distinguishing good from bad, desirable from unfavourable and acceptable from unapproved behaviour or practices. Ethics also describes “the critical consideration and clarification of (moral) values, integrating and prioritising them as needed so we make a decision we consider to be “right”” (Macrina, 2014). For example, “Do not lie”, “Do not steal”, “Help the needy”, etc. In research, a researcher’s actions or decision-making are often based on a set of values or principles. Research ethics, therefore, is the process of “analysing our values in seeking a decision on how to act” (Macrina, 2014). Ethics shapes the moral behaviour or values that are upheld by the society or community such as honesty, justice, etc. As a philosophical discipline of study, ethics is defined as “a systematic approach to understanding, analysing, and distinguishing matters of right and wrong, good and bad, and admirable and deplorable as they relate to the well-being of and the relationships among sentient beings.” (Rich, 2013).

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In the next section, we will discuss the various values and principles that researchers should have in order to make ethical research decisions. Activity 1.3: Brainstorming

Purpose:

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This activity aims to introduce participants to ethical values that should be upheld by the research community. Instructions:

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1. In their respective groups, ask the participants to brainstorm and make a list of ethical values every researcher should have while conducting research. Ask the participants to refer to the complex map of research community and the roles and responsibilities of researchers that they drew in Activity 1.1. 2. Next, ask a member from each group to shout-out 2 or 3 ethical values. 3. As the instructor, collate these points on the whiteboard. 4. In their groups, ask the participants to provide 2 or 3 scenarios of how these ethical values can be applied in the conduct of research. 5. Then, ask each group to share their thoughts with the whole class. 6. Finally, ask each group to discuss the following question: “What is the ultimate purpose/ benefit of applying these ethical principles and values in the conduct of research?”. When they are ready, ask the participants to share their thoughts with the whole class.

Note to instructor: •

• •

In summary, there are three parts to this activity. First – listing ethical values and principles; second – applying these ethical values and principles in the conduct of research; third – appreciating the purpose of applying these ethical values and principles. If the list of ethical values that you have collated is long, you may either group those that are related or give the participants the 5 values found in Table 1.1. You may spend a bit more time on step 6 above to allow more participants to share their thoughts.

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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

The following table lists the main ethical values that researchers should apply in conducting research ethically and responsibly.

Example of applications:

Honesty

Honesty in conducting and reporting research Honesty in managing grants Honesty in attribution of credit

Objectivity

Being an objective peer reviewer Being objective in providing advice to government or industry Avoid being biased due to conflict of interest

Reliability

Reliable, careful and meticulous in conducting research Be a reliable mentor or supervisor Practice good data management

Respect

Respect the privacy of sensitive information such as confidential information of patients Being open and transparent with collaborators and respect their opinion Respect the rules and regulations that governs research Respect the diversity and individual differences and experiences of researchers

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Ethical values

Accountability

Accountability in management of research funding Accountability in sharing accurate research data and knowledge Taking responsibility of the safety of research personnel, environment and society

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These ethical values and values are essential in building trust (IAP—the Global Network of Science Academies, 2016). Trust between researchers, trust between researchers and policy-makers and trust between researchers and the public. Failing to adhere to any of these values will result in diminished trustworthiness. Researchers who adhere to these values would also expect other researchers to do the same. Likewise, policy-makers and the public also expect researchers to act in a trustworthy manner. This trust, is the foundation of integrity – of the person and the results of the research. Without trust and integrity, the research enterprise will crumble and research progress will be stunted. All researchers have the inherent responsibility to educate future generation of scientists (All European Academies, 2011). All researchers have the obligation to set an example of being individuals with integrity whom the future scientific generation will want to emulate and follow. Ultimately, the purpose of research is to serve humanity. Researchers make new discoveries, create new technologies and uncover new knowledge so that humanity as a whole can be better served. Therefore, all researchers must apply these ethical values in their respective research endeavours in order to serve humanity; even if their research is fundamental in nature.

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Chapter 1

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Table1.1. Ethical Values in the Conduct of Research


CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

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PART 4: NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES OF THE IRRESPONSIBLE PRACTICES OF RESEARCHERS The dereliction of responsibility, either intentionally or unintentionally through negligence and recklessness in research could bring a lot of harm not just to the researcher, but also to our natural environment, and society. Researchers often carry out multiple roles in their profession and irresponsibility in carrying out their various roles would lead to serious consequences that may have a direct or indirect influence on the researcher, the research community, and society. Examples of consequences due to the dereliction of responsibility and misbehaviour by researchers are listed in Table 1.2.

Table 1.2. Examples of consequences due to the dereliction of responsibility and misbehaviour by researchers.

Researcher

Irresponsible conduct

Consequences

Cooking up research data without actual research activity

• • •

• •

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Reckless in handling safety issues related to research

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Governmental advisor

Educator

Research manager

Jeopardises one’s career Mistrust among researchers Wastes resources and money for researchers who tried to repeat the experiments Slows down the progress of R&D Public loss of trust in science

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Role

• •

Causes harm to researchers working in the laboratory Causes harm to the environment and society

Biased peer review

• •

Mistrust among researchers Slows down the progress of R&D

Provides wrong information for policy making.

The policy made could be either ineffective or cause harm to others Government and public mistrust Slows down the progress of R&D

Treating students biased manner.

• • in

a

Creates mistrust that affects students’ interest in science

Reckless in teaching by giving wrong information and knowledge to students

• •

Creates misconceptions in science Jeopardises the future of students

Neglect in governing research misconduct

Increase in research misconduct cases that can cause many consequences

Inefficient in managing research funding

• •

Unsustainable research ecosystem Waste of resources

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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

Activity 1.4: Role play

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This activity aims to engage the participants in reflecting on the effect of dishonesty and irresponsibility on the research ecosystem. Instructions:

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1. Divide the class into six groups: • researchers from country A • the government of country A • the media • the industry investors • the public • the international investigation team comprising of space researchers from different countries 2. Distribute Handout 1.2 to the participants according to their assigned character. 3. Ask the participants to read the case study carefully and understand the character that they will play. Ask each group to strategise how to present their talking points according to the guide in their handout. 4. Set up the press conference scene in the class. Ask researchers from country A, the government of country A, and the industry investors to sit facing the media, public and the international investigation team. 5. As an instructor, you will play the role of a moderator of the press conference. To begin with, introduce all the players in the press conference. Then, invite the government of country A to report on the programme. After that, you may invite the researchers involved directly in the project to report on some details and the progress of the program. Finally, open the floor to the media, public, and international investigation team for a Q&A session. 6. End the role play. 7. Pose these questions to the participants after the role play to stimulate discussion: a) What ethical values are lacking in the researchers who were involved in the space program? b) What are the consequences due to the irresponsible acts of the researchers? c) Would it have made a difference if the researchers chose to tell the truth to the public at the very beginning? Will telling the truth make them more responsible as researchers? d) Are the researchers solely to be blamed for the unfortunate incident?

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Chapter 1

Purpose:


CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

Note to instructor:

You may encourage a heated debate and argument between the researchers and government versus media, public and international investigation team. However, you may conduct a simplified version of this activity (without doing the role play) by asking the participants to read the case study carefully and discuss the questions in groups. Then ask the participants to share their thoughts with the class. Tell the participants that this case study is a fictional story inspired by the story of Laika, the space dog.

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Model answer(s):

CONCLUSIONS

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The irresponsible acts of the scientists include recklessness in research planning (the fact that the scientists decided to go ahead with the space program despite being not ready and not having any plan to return the monkey from space), cruelty to animal subjects and dishonesty (telling lies and hiding the truth from the public). The dishonesty of researchers caused a public loss of confidence and distrust of scientists. This has caused much harm to science despite the progress in space research. However, the researchers also faced significant pressure from the government and industry investors, so they should also share some responsibilities for causing this situation.

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Researchers assume various roles in their profession other than just conducting good and socially responsible research. They are also involved directly or indirectly in the other societal activities related to their expertise such as in policy making, bridging science and industry as well as in regulating and leading R&D in the country. Researchers have obligations to themselves, the research community and the society. Irresponsible research behaviour would cause irreparable damage not just to the researchers, but also the research community and the public. If researchers realised their immense responsibilities and obligations towards other researchers, towards themselves, and toward the society, researchers are more likely to make responsible choices (National Academy of Sciences, 2009). This is where education and fostering of robust dialogue on responsible conduct of research is critical. Researchers should be guided by professional standards, ethical and moral values, including honesty, justice, openness, and respect in the conduct of research. These moral values shape the responsible conduct of research, including the way research is conducted (Chapter 2: Research Misconduct and Chapter 3: Culture of safety and Dual Use Elements in Research), managing and sharing of research data (Chapter 7: Research Data Management; chapter 5: Authorship and Publications), reviewing and training (Chapter 9: Mentor-Mentee; Chapter 6: Peer Review), managing of research funding (Chapter 8) and research collaborations (Chapter 10: Collaborative Research and Chapter 4: Conflict of Interest).

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LIST OF REFERENCES

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. (2017). Code of ethics. Retrieved from http://www.asbmb.org/Advocacy/CodeOfEthics/?terms=ethics

IAP-the Global Network of Science Academies. (2016). Doing global science. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. IEEE. (2018). IEEE Code of Ethics. Retrieved from http://www.ieee.org/about/corporate/ governance/p7-8.html

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Macrina, F.L. (2014). Scientific integrity: text and cases in responsible conduct of research. Washington, DC: American Society for Microbiology Press. National Academy of Sciences. (2009). On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research (Third Edition). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. National Institutes of Health. (2017). What we do – mission and goals. Retrieved from https://www. nih.gov/about-nih/what-we-do/mission-goals

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National Science Council. (2017). An initiatives of science to action: The Malaysian code of responsible conduct in research. Cyberjaya, Selangor: Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology Rich, K.L. (2013). Introduction to Ethics. In Butts, J.B. and Rich, K.L. (eds), Nursing ethics 3rd edition (pp. 3-30). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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Royal Society of Chemistry. (2013). Professional Practice and Code of Conduct. Retrieved from http://www.rsc.org/globalassets/03-membership-community/join-us/membership-regulations/ code-of-conduct.pdf

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All European Academies. (2011). The European code of conduct for research integrity. Retrieved from http://www.allea.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Code_Conduct_ResearchIntegrity.pdf


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FURTHER READING

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Martinson, B. C., Anderson, M. S. and De Vries, R. (2005). Scientists behaving badly. Nature, 435(7043), 737-738. National Academy of Sciences. (1992). Responsible Science, Volume I: Ensuring the Integrity of the Research Process. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

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Shamoo A and Resnik D. (2015). Responsible Conduct of Research, (Third edition). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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HANDOUT 1.1

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Dr Wong is a young researcher with expertise in organic chemistry. He has achieved an outstanding record by publishing an average of 30 papers each year for the last 3 years. However, when his achievements were examined closely, it was found that some of his publications were produced from poorly planned research with questionable experimental design. Also, most of the papers described research projects that produced no novel findings. In fact, Dr Wong told his PhD students that the strategy to secure an academic position or to gain rapid promotion was to publish as many research papers as possible by conducting short-term experiments and to slice the research findings into many parts so as to publish it in various places to increase the number of publications, as well as to publish in journals that accept the papers rapidly even though the journals were known to have a poor peer-review process. Although Dr. Wong was not involved in massaging or producing fake research data, it was obvious that Dr. Wong did not care if his research produced any new or significant findings just as long as he could publish his research easily and quickly. Dr. Wong has also rejected many invitations to speak to groups of young scientists about his research because he thinks that it does not have any impact on his promotion in the university and therefore it is a waste of his time. Everything he does is based on the criteria that is measured by his institution for his promotion.

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Chapter 1

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Case Study


CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

HANDOUT 1.2

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Activity 1.4: Character: Researchers from country A

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Country A wants to be the first country to send humans to Mars. To accomplish this ultimate goal, scientists from country A designed a spacecraft to send a monkey to Mars. This multi-billion project was funded by an international high-technology company. According to the scientists, the space craft is designed to bring the monkey back to earth. The public was very excited about this project as it would pave the way for humans to travel to Mars. Two weeks after the spacecraft was launched, the scientists reported that the monkey was in good condition and that the project was on course to become a success. Soon after, reports began to surface that the monkey had died but the scientists maintained their position that the monkey was still alive. Soon, more reports surfaced that the monkey had indeed died. The government of country A launched an investigation to determine whether these reports were true. After their investigation, the government revealed that the money had indeed died. A panel of international researchers and experts were hired to investigate the situation further. The report from this panel revealed that the spacecraft was never designed to bring the monkey back to earth. The report also revealed that the monkey died within hours of being launched into space but the reason why it died remains to be investigated. The report further suggested that the entire project was badly planned in a haphazard manner due to the immense pressure to perform. These revelations have created a public outcry and the public as well as the media demand to know the whole truth behind these unfortunate events.

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Scenario:

You are the researchers who were involved in the project. The government of country A has called for a press conference. The press conference will be attended by you, government officials of country A, the industry investors, the media, the public and also the international investigation team comprising of space researchers from different countries.

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Your role is to deny the accusations from the media and public that the research was conducted in an unprofessional manner. You need to defend yourself by saying that all research has limitations and unpredicted results are a natural part of science. You need to stress that although the monkey died in the research, it was still the biggest human milestone achieved in space research. Tell the media and the public that this project generated important knowledge and research data for future space travel of humans and it was the greatest scientific achievement that country A has achieved so far. However, the truth is that the project was conducted under tremendous pressure as both the government and the investor had unrealistic expectations on the project and had been pushing for the launch despite being told by the researchers that they had encountered issues pertaining to the safety of the spacecraft.

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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

HANDOUT 1.2

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Country A wants to be the first country to send humans to Mars. To accomplish this ultimate goal, scientists from country A designed a spacecraft to send a monkey to Mars. This multi-billion project was funded by an international high-technology company. According to the scientists, the spacecraft is designed to bring the monkey back to earth. The public was very excited about this project as it would pave the way for humans to travel to Mars. Two weeks after the spacecraft was launched, the scientists reported that the monkey was in good condition and that the project was on course to become a success. Soon after, reports began to surface that the monkey had died but the scientists maintained their position that the monkey was still alive. Soon, more reports surfaced that the monkey had indeed died. The government of country A launched an investigation to determine whether these reports were true. After their investigation, the government revealed that the money had indeed died. A panel of international researchers and experts were hired to investigate the situation further. The report from this panel revealed that the spacecraft was never designed to bring the monkey back to earth. The report also revealed that the monkey died within hours of being launched into space but the reason why it died remains to be investigated. The report further suggested that the entire project was badly planned in a haphazard manner due to the immense pressure to perform. These revelations have created a public outcry and the public as well as the media demand to know the whole truth behind these unfortunate events.

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Scenario:

You are the government of country A and you have called for a press conference. The press conference will be attended by the researchers from country A who were involved in the project, your government’s officials, the industry investors, the media, the public and also the international investigation team comprising of space researchers from different countries.

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Your role is to announce to the public that country A has set a new milestone in space research that nobody has ever achieved before. You defend the space research programme and congratulate the researchers for doing a great job. You also support the researchers’ statement that the death of the monkey was an unforeseen accident. You continue to deny that the research was rushed. You say that the ability to design and build the spacecraft in 4 weeks is a testament of immense capability of your nation’s space research programme. However, the fact is one week before the expected launch, the lead researcher of the project had requested to postpone the launch due to safety issues of the spacecraft that the researchers needed more time to solve these issues. Due to national pride, you insisted that the launch was carried out as originally planned. To defend the national pride, you blame the industry investors for not providing sufficient oversight and exerting unreasonable pressure. If the public and media begin to blame you, you will change your opinion and blame the researchers for not doing a good job and advising the government honestly.

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Chapter 1

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Activity 1.4: Character: The government of country A


CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

HANDOUT 1.2

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Activity 1.4: Character: The industry investors

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Country A wants to be the first country to send humans to Mars. To accomplish this ultimate goal, scientists from country A designed a spacecraft to send a monkey to Mars. This multi-billion project was funded by an international high-technology company. According to the scientists, the spacecraft is designed to bring the monkey back to earth. The public was very excited about this project as it would pave the way for humans to travel to Mars. Two weeks after the spacecraft was launched, the scientists reported that the monkey was in good condition and that the project was on course to become a success. Soon after, reports began to surface that the monkey had died but the scientists maintained their position that the monkey was still alive. Soon, more reports surfaced that the monkey had indeed died. The government of country A launched an investigation to determine whether these reports were true. After their investigation, the government revealed that the money had indeed died. A panel of international researchers and experts were hired to investigate the situation further. The report from this panel revealed that the spacecraft was never designed to bring the monkey back to earth. The report also revealed that the monkey died within hours of being launched into space but the reason why it died remains to be investigated. The report further suggested that the entire project was badly planned in a haphazard manner due to the immense pressure to perform. These revelations have created a public outcry and the public as well as the media demand to know the whole truth behind these unfortunate events.

AD

Scenario:

You are the industry investors. The government of country A has called for a press conference. The press conference will be attended by the researchers from country A who were involved in the project, government officials of country A, you as the industry investors, the media, the public and also the international investigation team comprising of space researchers from different countries.

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Your role is to express disappointment against the irresponsible acts committed by the researchers. You need to make a stand that the company has stopped investing in the project and request an explanation from the researchers. Make a point that the company invested billions of dollars into the project and the company is of course expecting to get promising results and progress. Insist that your company never rushed the progress and never supported bad planning. However, the fact is that your company actually had pushed for the launch to be carried out as soon as possible despite being told by the lead researcher that they had encountered some safety issues with the spacecraft and that they needed to postpone the launch.

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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

HANDOUT 1.2

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Country A wants to be the first country to send humans to Mars. To accomplish this ultimate goal, scientists from country A designed a spacecraft to send a monkey to Mars. This multi-billion project was funded by an international high-technology company. According to the scientists, the spacecraft is designed to bring the monkey back to earth. The public was very excited about this project as it would pave the way for humans to travel to Mars. Two weeks after the spacecraft was launched, the scientists reported that the monkey was in good condition and that the project was on course to become a success. Soon after, reports began to surface that the monkey had died but the scientists maintained their position that the monkey was still alive. Soon, more reports surfaced that the monkey had indeed died. The government of country A launched an investigation to determine whether these reports were true. After their investigation, the government revealed that the money had indeed died. A panel of international researchers and experts were hired to investigate the situation further. The report from this panel revealed that the spacecraft was never designed to bring the monkey back to earth. The report also revealed that the monkey died within hours of being launched into space but the reason why it died remains to be investigated. The report further suggested that the entire project was badly planned in a haphazard manner due to the immense pressure to perform. These revelations have created a public outcry and the public as well as the media demand to know the whole truth behind these unfortunate events.

AD

Scenario:

You are members of the media. The government of country A has called for a press conference. The press conference will be attended by researchers from country A who were involved in the project, government officials of country A, the industry investors, you the media, the public and also the international investigation team comprising of space researchers from different countries.

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Your role is to demand the truth! You will question the government of country A and researchers based on the following points: • Was there ever a plan to retrieve the monkey safely from space before the launch? • Did the monkey die within hours after the launch? When did it actually die? and how? • Why did the researchers lie about the monkey’s death? • Was it true that the spacecraft was designed and built in less than 4 weeks? Was it a rushed job? • Shouldn’t the government and industry investors take responsibility for these? • You may also ask other relevant questions but stay on topic.

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Chapter 1

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Activity 1.4: Character: The media


CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

HANDOUT 1.2

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Activity 1.4: Character: The public

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Country A wants to be the first country to send humans to Mars. To accomplish this ultimate goal, scientists from country A designed a spacecraft to send a monkey to Mars. This multi-billion project was funded by an international high-technology company. According to the scientists, the spacecraft is designed to bring the monkey back to earth. The public was very excited about this project as it would pave the way for humans to travel to Mars. Two weeks after the spacecraft was launched, the scientists reported that the monkey was in good condition and that the project was on course to become a success. Soon after, reports began to surface that the monkey had died but the scientists maintained their position that the monkey was still alive. Soon, more reports surfaced that the monkey had indeed died. The government of country A launched an investigation to determine whether these reports were true. After their investigation, the government revealed that the money had indeed died. A panel of international researchers and experts were hired to investigate the situation further. The report from this panel revealed that the spacecraft was never designed to bring the monkey back to earth. The report also revealed that the monkey died within hours of being launched into space but the reason why it died remains to be investigated. The report further suggested that the entire project was badly planned in a haphazard manner due to the immense pressure to perform. These revelations have created a public outcry and the public as well as the media demand to know the whole truth behind these unfortunate events.

AD

Scenario:

You are members of the public. The government of country A has called for a press conference. The press conference will be attended by researchers from country A who were involved in the project, government officials of country A, the industry investors, the media, the public and also the international investigation team comprising of space researchers from different countries.

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Your role is to be angry and disappointed. You question the researchers and government for being unethical, dishonest and unprofessional in the space program. You need to express your disappointment and mistrust of the researchers. You need to also show mistrust towards the scientists in general. You demand explanation and action!

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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

HANDOUT 1.2

AD

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Country A wants to be the first country to send humans to Mars. To accomplish this ultimate goal, scientists from country A designed a spacecraft to send a monkey to Mars. This multi-billion project was funded by an international high-technology company. According to the scientists, the spacecraft is designed to bring the monkey back to earth. The public was very excited about this project as it would pave the way for humans to travel to Mars. Two weeks after the spacecraft was launched, the scientists reported that the monkey was in good condition and that the project was on course to become a success. Soon after, reports began to surface that the monkey had died but the scientists maintained their position that the monkey was still alive. Soon, more reports surfaced that the monkey had indeed died. The government of country A launched an investigation to determine whether these reports were true. After their investigation, the government revealed that the money had indeed died. A panel of international researchers and experts were hired to investigate the situation further. The report from this panel revealed that the spacecraft was never designed to bring the monkey back to earth. The report also revealed that the monkey died within hours of being launched into space but the reason why it died remains to be investigated. The report further suggested that the entire project was badly planned in a haphazard manner due to the immense pressure to perform. These revelations have created a public outcry and the public as well as the media demand to know the whole truth behind these unfortunate events. Scenario:

The government of country A has called for a press conference. The press conference will be attended by researchers from country A who were involved in the project, government officials of country A, the industry investors, the media, the public and also you as the international investigation team comprising of space researchers from different countries.

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Your role is to question the poor design and implementation of the space research program. Point out to the media and public that your team has investigated this incidence and found that the failure is due to the defect in the safety design of the spacecraft. You should question the researchers in the project on how could they commit such misconduct. Question their training and ethics! Also, defend yourselves and the research community by defending the professionalism and ethics of the research community in general if the public displays mistrust of the whole research community.

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Chapter 1

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Activity 1.4: Character: International investigation consortium comprising of space researchers from different countries


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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

39 Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research


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Chapter 1

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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers


CHAPTER 2: Research Misconduct

CHAPTER 2

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Research Misconduct

SYNOPSIS

KEY MESSAGES

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This chapter introduces the major types of research misconduct which are falsification, fabrication and plagiarism. There are 5 parts in this chapter. Part 1 defines the scope of research misconduct and differentiates research misconduct from irresponsible conduct of research. Part 2 defines and differentiates between falsification, fabrication and plagiarism and Part 3 identifies the causes of research misconduct. Part 4 discusses the negative consequences of research misconduct and, finally, Part 5 identifies ways to mitigate the negative consequences of research misconduct.

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1. Research misconduct, in the context of this Chapter, is defined as “fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results” (Office of Science and Technology Policy, 2000). 2. Fabrication is defined as “making up data or results and recoding or reporting them” (Office of Science and Technology Policy, 2000). 3. Falsification is defined as “manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record” (Office of Science and Technology Policy, 2000). 4. Plagiarism is defined as “the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit” (Office of Science and Technology Policy, 2000). 5. Research misconduct happens for many reasons including the pressure to perform, for convenience, systemic loopholes, and opportunities that are presented to the researchers. 6. Research misconduct affects the whole research ecosystem negatively. Amongst other negative consequences, research misconduct creates mistrust within the system. It creates mistrust between peer reviewers, funders, editors, and the public. It also damages the reputation of researchers. 7. All parties within the research ecosystem should play important roles in mitigating the negative consequences of research misconduct. This include promoting responsible conduct of research through education, closing loopholes in the system, and having better enforcement in dealing with research misconduct.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES At the end of the chapter, participants should be able to: 2.1 define research misconduct. 2.2 differentiate and provide examples of falsification, fabrication and plagiarism. 2.3 identify the causes of research misconduct. 2.4 assess the negative impacts of research misconduct. 2.5 plan and strategise ways to mitigate the negative consequences of research misconduct.

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CHAPTER 2: Research Misconduct

ACTIVITY LIST Sticky notes: This activity aims to help the participants identify and discuss various unethical practices in research. (LO 2.1)

Activity 2.2

Test-learn-test: This activity aims to test the participants’ ability to differentiate between falsification, fabrication and plagiarism. (LO 2.2)

Activity 2.3

Drawing for understanding: This activity aims to enhance the participants’ understanding of falsification, fabrication and plagiarism. (LO 2.2)

Activity 2.4

List and rank: This activity aims to guide the participants in identifying the causes of research misconduct. (LO 2.3)

Activity 2.5

Case study: This activity aims to reinforce the participants understanding of research misconduct and their ability to apply their knowledge to assess the negative impact of research misconduct. (LO 2.3 and 2.4)

Activity 2.6

Drawing for understanding: This activity aims to encourge the participants to reflect on the negative consequences of research misconduct. (LO 2.4)

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Activity 2.1

Shout-out: This activity aims to get the participants to develop strategies to mitigate the negative impact of research misconduct. (LO 2.5)

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Activity 2.7

MATERIALS

Quantity

Handout 2.1

1 copy per participant

Participant-response tool

1 set per participant

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Materials

Coloured marker pens Sticky notes

Mahjong paper

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Chapter 2

This chapter contains 7 activities:


CHAPTER 2: Research Misconduct

CONTENT

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There are many reasons for conducting research. The core reason we do research is to search for truth and create new knowledge. This knowledge is further communicated to other researchers or the public to solve additional research problems or to improve the society. Researchers often have other roles and responsibilities such as being a consultant to the industry or advisor to the government. These stakeholders, including the community, rely on the expertise of the researchers to provide answers and solutions to their problems. Therefore, researchers have the duty to ensure that research is carried out and reported in an ethical and responsible manner. Research misconduct is a serious offense in terms of research integrity and is damaging to the researchers themselves as well as the research ecosystem. Research misconduct also creates mistrust in the research community. The definition of research misconduct varies broadly, which will be further explained in Part 2 of this chapter. Research misconduct, in the context of this Chapter, can be defined as “fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results” (Office of Science and Technology Policy [OSTP], 2000).

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Many cases of research misconduct have been reported. One such case is the case of Dr. John Darsee, who worked in the Department of Cardiology at Harvard University. He was caught fabricating data in May 1981. Subsequent investigations of the case resulted in the retraction of more than 10 publications in journals and more than 45 abstracts (Columbia University, 2004). Another prominent case involved a radiologist at the University of California, San Diego, Dr. Robert Slutsky. He was found to have fabricated/falsified data. Investigations showed that “of his 137 publications, 77 were valid, 48 were questionable, and 12 were fraudulent” (Columbia University, 2004). It is alarming to note that 2% of scientists admitted to having “fabricated, falsified or modified data or results at least once” (Fanelli, 2009). According to the same report, approximately 30% of scientists have engaged in questionable research practices. Titus (2008) reported that approximately 3% of 2,212 researchers surveyed have observed “likely misconduct”. Research misconduct is a serious offense with regards to the integrity of research and the trustworthiness of the research enterprise. The goal of this chapter is to highlight research misconduct in the context of fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism, discuss the possible causes of such misconduct and their consequences; as well as identify ways to minimise them.

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PART 1: UNETHICAL RESEARCH PRACTICES - IRRESPONSIBLE CONDUCT OF RESEARCH AND RESEARCH MISCONDUCT There are many examples of unethical practices in research. These unethical practices may occur at any part of the research process - from research planning and designing to the execution of the research, the mentoring of students and publication of research findings. It is important for researchers to be able to identify practices that are generally considered unethical or irresponsible so that they can avoid or prevent these unethical practices.

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CHAPTER 2: Research Misconduct

Activity 2.1: Sticky notes Purpose

Instructions:

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1. Ask the participants to think about examples of unethical research practices. Ask them to write these examples on individual piece of sticky notes and paste the notes at the designated space. 2. Tell the participants to write each example on individual piece of sticky notes. 3. After all the participants have completed this task, proceed to stick the following labels, which are printed on individual pieces of paper, near the previous designated space: a. Apply for research grants b. Peer review grant applications/manuscripts c. Conduct experiments d. Collaborate with other researchers e. Supervise or mentor students f. Publication and authorship g. Manage research fund h. Manage research data i. Conduct research with human or animal subjects j. Others 4. Ask the participants to rearrange their sticky notes and paste them under these labels. 5. Ask the participants to contribute new examples on sticky notes under these labels. 6. After the participants have completed the task, you may read out some of their notes. Note to instructor:

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As the participants are carrying out step 1, encourage them to think about unethical practices in all aspects of the research process. Do not point them to specific areas of the research process. They will only cluster these unethical research practices at step 3.

Model answer(s):

Examples of research misconduct or irresponsible conduct of research: 1. Apply for research grants • Stealing of ideas from other researchers • Submit the same proposal to different funders at the same time 2. Peer review grant applications/manuscripts • Biased reviewer • Intentionally delay the review of a competitor’s manuscript 3. Conduct experiments • Falsification or fabrication of data • Ignore safety issues Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research

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This activity aims to help the participants to identify and discuss various unethical practices in research.


CHAPTER 2: Research Misconduct

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4. Collaborate with other researchers • Hiding data from collaborator • Passive collaborators 5. Supervise or mentor students • Inappropriate relationship with students • Failing to provide appropriate supervision to the students 6. Publication and authorship • Plagiarism • Assign authorship inappropriately

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7. Management of research fund • Use research fund to pay for personal expenses • Do not keep proper records of fund expenditure

8. Management of research data • Collect research data using unvalidated method/spoiled equipment • Do not record data appropriately • Do not store data appropriately

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9. Human and animal ethics • Conducting human or animal research without ethics approval • Breach of patient’s confidentiality There is a clear distinction between research misconduct and irresponsible conduct of research. In general, research misconduct are wrongful conducts that are clearly defined by institutional laws, regulations, policies or codes. Irresponsible conduct of research, on the other hand, often does not have such a clear legal or policy framework. Irresponsible conduct of research often is defined as a breach of norms that are widely accepted as best practices or standards.

RE

All codes of conduct in research list fabrication, falsification and plagiarism as research misconduct. One of the most commonly accepted definition of research misconduct is “fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results” (OSTP, 2000; All European Academies [ALLEA], 2017). The Malaysian Code of Responsible Conduct in Research (National Science Council [NSC], 2017) as well as an earlier version of The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (ALLEA, 2011) also describe other forms of research misconduct such as “misrepresentation of interests, breach of confidentiality, lack of informed consent, abuse of research subjects or materials” as well as “attempts to cover up misconduct and reprisals on whistleblowers”. It should be emphasised that research misconduct, as defined within the context here, is not limited to the reporting of research results. Falsification, fabrication and plagiarism are also prohibited in the writing of proposals, performing research, collecting data, and reviewing research. It is worth highlighting that “Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion” (OSTP, 2000).

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PART 2: FALSIFICATION, FABRICATION AND PLAGIARISM All codes on research ethics list falsification, fabrication and plagiarism as misconduct. We will next discuss the differences between falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism as well as identify examples of these misconduct.

Purpose:

This activity aims to test the participants’ ability to differentiate between falsification, fabrication and plagiarism. Instructions:

AD

O

1. Without explaining the meaning and scope of falsification, fabrication and plagiarism, go through the following scenarios with the participants and ask them to determine whether the scenario describes “falsification”, “fabrication” or “plagiarism” based on their own perception and understanding. 2. Use a participant-response tool, such as clickers, to determine the participants’ responses. 3. Do not reveal the answer as you go through each scenario. You may record the participant’s responses on the whiteboard. 4. Proceed to conduct Activity 2.3. 5. Repeat this activity again by going through the same questions and asking the participants to choose their answers. 6. Compare the responses of the participants before and after Activity 2.3.

RE

Scenario 1: Johan spent a year collecting data for his experiment. When he began to analyse the data, he realised that some of the data he collected were missing. Instead of repeating the experiments, Johan made-up some data to be included in the analysis. Johan’s action is an act of: (A) falsification (B) fabrication (C) plagiarism (D) not an act of misconduct Scenario 2: While preparing a new manuscript, Dr. Lee copied and pasted a section from the “discussion section” of another paper that she published a year ago. She did this without citing the original paper. Dr. Lee’s action is an act of: (A) falsification (B) fabrication (C) plagiarism (D) not an act of misconduct

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Activity 2.2: Test-learn-test


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Scenario 3: Dr. Ishak is a medical researcher who is testing a new drug to treat heart disease. During the study, he found that 30 patients experienced some side-effects. While reporting his findings, Dr. Ishak reported that just 20 patients experienced side-effects. Dr. Ishak’s action is an act of: (A) falsification (B) fabrication (C) plagiarism (D) not an act of misconduct

O

Scenario 4: Dr. Rajiv was reviewing a grant proposal that was sent to him by the funder. He liked the research idea in the grant proposal. He gave the grant proposal a bad review and wrote an improved proposal a few months later using the research idea that he obtained from the grant proposal he reviewed. Dr. Rajiv’s action is an act of: (A) falsification (B) fabrication (C) plagiarism (D) not an act of misconduct

AD

Note to instructor: If there are still participants who answered wrongly in the re-test, you should proceed to ask the participants why they still think that the answer is otherwise. You may ask them to explain why they choose a different answer than the model answer. You may need to explain the concepts of fabrication, falsification and plagiarism if the misconception still exist. Model answer(s):

RE

The correct answers are: • Scenario 1: (B) Fabrication • Scenario 2: (C) Plagiarism • Scenario 3: (A) Falsification • Scenario 4: (C) Plagiarism

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Activity 2.3: Drawing for understanding Purpose:

Instructions:

Note to instructor:

O

1. Ask each group to work as a team and use drawings to represent the concepts of “falsification”, “fabrication” or “plagiarism”. 2. Ask the participants to use the internet to find the explanation of these terms. 3. Ask each group to provide a few examples of “falsification”, “fabrication” and “plagiarism”. 4. Ask each group to draw on a piece of Mahjong paper and present their drawings to the rest of the class.

Encourage the participants to draw creatively. Model answer(s):

None. As long as the drawing reflects accurate understanding of the terms, it is acceptable.

AD

Definition of Fabrication, Falsification and Plagiarism Fabrication: “Making up data or results and recording or reporting them” (OSTP, 2000)

RE

All European Academies (ALLEA, 2011) define fabrication as “making up results and recording them as if they were real”. “Making up data or results” can be described as creating fictitious data without carrying out any experiments or collecting any data. Data fabrication may occur not only in the report of the results but also during the process of generating and collecting raw data. Another example of data fabrication is when data from a published study is relabeled, massaged, or manipulated to be re-presented or re-published as an entirely new set of data. These data are presented as new even though the research was not carried out. Examples of fabrication: a. A researcher who is conducting a survey created additional survey responses from fictitious subjects that were never surveyed. b. A researcher forged consent forms while conducting experiments involving human subjects. c. Data from another paper, either from the researcher’s own paper or another researcher’s paper, was re-labelled and presented as a new set of data. d. A researcher manipulated the original data collected from an experiment and presented the manipulated and original data as two different data sets.

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This activity aims to enhance the participants’ understanding of falsification, fabrication and plagiarism.


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Falsification: “Manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record” (OSTP, 2000) All European Academies (ALLEA, 2011) define falsification as “manipulating research materials, equipment or the process of changing, omitting or suppressing data or results without justification”. There are various forms of falsification in research. The most common form of research falsification is when a researcher modifies or “massages” data in such a way that the data no longer represents the original data that was collected or recorded. Data can be artificially modified by either adding data that was not in the original data set or omitting data that were deemed undesirable. The artificially “massaged” data would be made to look as if it fits the hypothesis or expected results. Such practices are misleading because the presented data does not represent the scientific reality.

O

Examples of falsification: a. Altering survey questionnaires of human subjects to misrepresent the actual survey response. b. Adding multiple fictitious data points to make the data/graphs look better or fit the expected results. c. Manipulating the settings of a research instrument so that the results that are produced will artificially conform to predictions or hypothesis. d. Exaggerating the positive response of an animal to a drug treatment although the response was minimal. e. Replacing a test sample with a positive control to ensure that positive data is obtained.

AD

Plagiarism: “The appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.”(OSTP, 2000) All European Academies (ALLEA, 2011) define plagiarism as “using other people’s work and ideas without giving proper credit to the original source, thus violating the rights of the original author(s) to their intellectual output”. The most common form of plagiarism is text or word plagiarism. Text or word plagiarism can be commonly found in reports, thesis, proposals, manuscripts, social media, magazines, newspapers and other forms of presentation.

RE

Examples of text or word plagiarism are: a. Direct/Verbatim plagiarism: Word-for-word plagiarism whereby the whole text or sections of text are copied verbatim without citations and quotation marks. b. Mosaic plagiarism: The sourced text is largely kept the same with some words simply substituted with synonyms. c. Uncited paraphrase: The text sufficiently paraphrased the sourced text but the source was not cited; thus presenting the new text as an original idea. Text or word plagiarism can be found in every part of a written article such as the title, abstract, introduction, methods, etc. Researchers who re-publish their own manuscript or article, whether in its entirety, in parts or in translation, without the consent of the publisher, has also committed plagiarism since the publisher holds the copyright of the manuscript. Sometimes this is also called self-plagiarism. Researchers who fail to cite their own published work will mislead readers into thinking that the work being described was original. In cases where researchers wish to re-publish an article as a translation, it is compulsory for the researchers to obtain approval from the publisher who published the original text.

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PART 3: CAUSES OF RESEARCH MISCONDUCT

Activity 2.4: List and rank Purpose:

Instructions:

O

This activity aims to guide the participants in identifying the causes of research misconduct.

AD

1. Ask the participants to discuss and make a list of the causes of research misconduct. 2. Then, ask each group to shout out 2-3 items on their list. 3. Write the participants answers on the whiteboard. Once every group has shouted-out their answers, you would have built a list of causes of research misconduct. 4. Next, ask the participants to come to the front and use a marker pen to choose 3 causes that they think are the biggest contributors towards research misconduct. 5. You will obtain a clearer picture of what are the main causes of research misconduct after each participant has voted. Note to instructor:

The purpose of this activity is to identify the main causes of research misconduct. This will be used as the basis for the discussion on identifying strategies to mitigate research misconduct in Activity 2.7. Model answer(s):

RE

Potential causes or factors that lead to research misconduct include the following: 1. Stressful job 2. Pressure to perform 3. Poor judgment 4. Psychological problems 5. Insufficient or poor supervision or mentoring 6. Greed 7. Laziness or convenience 8. Quick fame and recognition 9. Lack of a conducive work environment that fosters research integrity 10. Lack of training in research integrity 11. Lack of regulations 12. Loopholes in the research ecosystem 13. Lack of education or awareness of what researchers can or cannot do while handling data. Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research

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In addition to text or word plagiarism, researchers commit plagiarism when they use other researchers’ ideas or processes without acknowledging the origins of the ideas and processes. Idea and process plagiarism often occurs during the peer review process of manuscripts or grant proposals. It may also happen during formal or informal conversations about research ideas. Information in a manuscript or grant proposals are privileged information that should be kept confidential by the peer reviewer. A peer reviewer cannot discuss the contents of manuscripts or grant proposals with another person nor can he or she use the privileged information to write his or her own manuscripts or grant proposals based on the information in the article being reviewed.


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O

N LY

The causes of research misconduct can be broadly categorised into three areas – personal factors, systemic problems and opportunities. Personal factors include the pressure to perform, financial pressure, misjudgment, ego, psychological problems, etc. These personal factors influence researchers to cut corners, seek quick rewards and commit research misconduct. Research misconduct may also occur because of opportunities. For example, there are softwares that are available that can help researchers enhance the quality of images or data. However, these software can also be misused to manipulate and falsify data. In some cases, materials or processes can be easily manipulated to generate falsified data. Opportunities also present themselves when supervisors or mentors deliberately advise students or mentees to commit research misconduct. The existence of predatory or bogus journals has also created opportunities for researchers to publish falsified or fabricated data. In addition to personal issues and opportunities, systemic problems also contribute to research misconduct. These systemic problems include the lack of institutional accountability, lack of transparency, lack of education on the responsible conduct of research, insufficient supervision from the supervisor, insufficient education on what would constitute as data falsification or plagiarism, etc. Activity 2.5: Case study

Purpose:

This activity aims to reinforce the participants understanding of research misconduct and their ability to apply their knowledge to assess the negative impact of research misconduct.

AD

Instructions:

1. Distribute Handout 2.1 to the participants. 2. Ask the participants to go through the case study and discuss the questions associated with the case study. 3. Ask representatives from each group to present their answer to the class. Note to instructor:

RE

Ask the participants to read the case study quietly on their own before they discuss the questions. Tell the participants that the scenario in the case study is purely fictional.

Model answer(s):

Question 1: • Jamilah fabricated data, according to Point no. 1. She did not conduct the experiments to generate the two additional images. Instead, she took existing images from an unrelated experiment and manipulated the images to make them look like new data. • According to Point no. 3, Jamilah also fabricated data to generate the two tables since the tables were sourced from a previous paper by Dr. Subra. This suggested that Jamilah did not conduct the experiments to generate the data for the table. Instead, she took the table from another paper by Dr. Subra to make it look like her own data. • Jamilah has committed plagiarism according to Point no. 4. • Taken together, Jamilah has committed a serious breach of research ethics.

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AD

O

Dr. Subra: • Poor supervision and monitoring – Dr. Subra did not hold frequent meetings with Jamilah and if there were such meetings, the duration was too short to allow scrutiny for possible research misconduct on Jamilah’s end. In addition, Dr. Subra did not carry out a proper or thorough review of both the research and manuscript; thus allowing flawed and fabricated data as well as plagiarised text to be published. • Since Dr. Subra failed to detect obvious research misconduct, such as fabrication (Point no. 3) and plagiarism (Point no. 4), this raises the suspicion that Dr. Subra himself might have contributed to the research misconduct directly or he might have influenced Jamilah to fabricate data and plagiarise the text. • Poor collaborative research practices (Point no. 5) – Dr. Subra did not hold frequent meetings with Jamilah and Prof. Lau (as collaborator). • Dr. Subra has also committed research misconduct because he is the principle investigator and the most senior author of the paper. He is fully responsible for the integrity of the published data.

RE

Prof. Lau: • Poor collaborative research practices (Point no. 5) – he neither had any scientific contribution in Jamilah’s research nor did he attend any progress report meetings. • Poor mentoring of Dr. Subra & Jamilah (Point no. 5 and Line 3 of the main text) – As the most senior member of the group and the expert in the field, he did not set a good example to both Dr. Subra and Jamilah. • Irresponsible authorship – Prof. Lau’s name was included in the authorship list even though he “did not have any scientific contribution in Jamilah’s research” (Point no. 5). This raises the question whether he coerced Dr. Subra into including his name or Dr. Subra “gifted” the authorship to Prof. Lau to enhance the prestige of the paper. Both of these conducts are considered irresponsible. • As a co-author of the paper, Prof.Lau is also associated with the research misconduct, although he did not contribute to the work.

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Question 2: Jamilah: According to Point no. 2, Jamilah was unable to produce the raw data to support a graph in her paper. This raises the suspicion that she also fabricated the data for that graph. However, it cannot be concluded that she actually fabricated the data for that particular graph. This could be due to carelessness in the way Jamilah managed the data. She should have been more prudent in keeping and documenting the raw data.


CHAPTER 2: Research Misconduct

Question 3: Possible contributing factors to these individuals’ actions:

N LY

Jamilah: Jamilah probably felt the pressure to complete and publish her work since she spent 5 years doing her PhD and wanted to complete her work as soon as possible to obtain a better position. She took short-cuts to complete her work to attain rewards and recognition. Her actions could also be attributable to the lack of supervision from both of her mentors – Dr. Subra and Prof. Lau. Their negligence allowed her to conduct research unethically and irresponsibly. Jamilah might have even committed the research misconduct with guidance from Dr. Subra.

O

Dr. Subra: He probably felt the pressure to perform so that he could enhance his research reputation and improve his chances for promotion. He may have overly exerted pressure on Jamilah to perform due to his own need to perform. As a research supervisor, Dr. Subra failed to provide proper guidance to Jamilah on how to conduct research ethically and responsibly. Dr. Subra did not spend the necessary time required for proper supervision. All of these may have contributed to Dr. Subra’s sheer negligence of Jamilah’s work and conduct. Assuming Dr. Subra “gifted” the authorship to Prof. Lau, he did this to enhance the chances of the paper being published.

AD

Prof. Lau: Poor awareness on the role and responsibilities as a mentor, collaborator and author. He did not provide good mentoring to both Dr. Subra and Jamilah. Prof. Lau also did not carry out his duty as Jamilah’s co-supervisor. Whether the authorship was “gifted” or “coerced”, this authorship enhanced Prof. Lau’s own reputation as a knowledge contributor in the field although he did not contribute towards to Jamilah’s research.

RE

Question 4: 1. Better supervision/mentorship: • regular meetings. • scrutinising data and paper/due dilligence. • explaining the importance of data integrity over “positive” data. • set reasonable goals for Jamilah. 2. Identify another co-supervisor if they were too busy. If too busy, Prof. Lau should not have agreed to be supervisor/advisor.

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PART 4: NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF RESEARCH MISCONDUCT

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Activity 2.6: Drawing for understanding Purpose:

Instructions:

1. Show the participants the figure below that depicts the various stakeholders in a research ecosystem.

General public

O

Students, trainee, mentee

University or institute

AD

Researcher

Government or policy-maker

Other researchers

RE

Natural environment or ecosystem

2. Ask each group to recreate this concept map on a piece of Mahjong paper and provide examples on how research misconduct can negatively affect each of these stakeholders. 3. Next, ask each group to present their concept map to the class.

Note to instructor:

You may ask the participants to identify other stakeholders that are not shown in the figure above. You may also ask the participants to revisit the case study in Handout 2.1 and ask them to identify the negative consequences that would happen to Jamilah, Dr. Subra and Prof. Lau; as well as the institution and research ecosystem as a whole.

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This activity aims to encourge the participants to reflect on the negative consequences of research misconduct.


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Model answer(s):

There is no model answer, per se, for the concept map above. The explanations are found in the section below. Possible negative consequences (based on the case study in Handout 2.1):

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Jamilah: Whether she acted on her own or was influenced directly by Dr. Subra, her research misconduct will result in her having a bad reputation. This in turn will create a general mistrust towards her work ethics and principles as a researcher. She might lose her job or not be able to obtain any job as a researcher because of her tarnished reputation.

O

Dr. Subra: Whether or not Jamilah acted alone or was influenced by Dr. Subra, Dr. Subra’s reputation as an ethical researcher has been severely damaged. There will be mistrust of his past and current research. He might be banned by future funders and publishers might also cast doubt on his manuscripts in the future. Dr. Subra might be fired for this research misconduct. He sets a bad example to other researchers and students and has contributed towords building an unethical and irresponsible research culture.

AD

Prof. Lau: Prof. Lau will garner a bad reputation for neglecting his responsibility as a mentor, collaborator and co-supervisor. He sets a bad example to other researchers and students and has also contributed towards building an unethical and irresponsible research culture.

RE

Research misconduct is damaging as it causes deception that “lead others to a false conclusion” (NSC, 2017). Researchers are funded by the government or private sectors to carry out their research and are therefore accountable to these funding agencies or institutes. In Malaysia, a majority of the research funding originates from the government, which ultimately means that it is supported by taxpayers. “Falsification or misrepresentation in obtaining funding, and misappropriation or misuse of research funds is a form of deception” (NSC, 2017). Falsification or fabrication of data would lead to a waste of taxpayers’ money because the funds given are not used appropriately to generate new data or knowledge. Such research misconduct will jeopardise the careers of the researchers who carried out such activities and the reputation of their collaborators, and also tarnishes the name of the university associated with the researcher. In other words, the action of an unethical researcher, if caught falsifying or fabricating data, will affect not only the researcher but also the research ecosystem surrounding the researcher. For example, in the aftermath of the STAP stem cell research misconduct case, where data was fabricated, a senior member of the research group committed suicide and several laboratories at the institute were shut down (Cyranoski, 2015). In addition to affecting the lives of people directly or indirectly associated with a research misconduct case, data generated from research misconduct will misguide other researchers into pursuing research based on invalid data. Not only will this waste the resources (i.e. time, effort and funds) of other researchers, it also wastes the resources of journal reviewers, publishers and funding agencies. False or fabricated data can have a major impact on public policies or opinion. Wrong or ineffective public policies might be made based on these data, which could lead the public astray or, worse, endanger the public. One such example involves a study which reported that the vaccination of children could cause autism. This resulted in many parents advocating against vaccination, which is an important safeguard against any infectious diseases. However, it was later

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O

Research misconduct, whether exposed or not, sets a bad example for trainees, students, research mentees and other colleagues. Researchers should be mindful that they are leaders or future leaders of their research group and they ought to lead by example by doing science with integrity. “Research misconduct and fraud are certainly unacceptable; they may lead to false pursuits to other scientists, acceptance of fallacious ideas or harmful, unsafe, deficient or inappropriate products or procedures, or formulations. They may lead to implementation of poor policies and legislation, which can cause loss of public confidence and general distrust of science. As a consequence, this may result in various restrictions of otherwise acceptable research, thus obstructing the pursuit of knowledge and slowing the progress of science. This will not be in the best interest of individuals and communities.” (NSC, 2017). PART 5: WAYS OF MITIGATING THE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES OF RESEARCH MISCONDUCT Activity 2.7: Shout-out

Purpose:

AD

This activity aims to get the participants develop strategies to mitigate the negative impact of research misconduct. Instructions:

1. Ask the participants to refer to the concept map they created in Activity 2.6 and the causes of research misconduct they identified in Activity 2.4. 2. Ask them to shout-out ways to mitigate the negative consequences of research misconduct.

RE

Note to instructor:

Ask the participants to also consider the responsibilities of other research stakeholders apart from the researchers. Instead of conducting this activity using shout-out, you may conduct this activity using brainstorming, sticky notes, or list and rank activity.

Model answer(s):

See the section below.

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found that the results of the paper were falsified/fabricated (Rao and Andrade, 2011). This example highlights that “research misconduct is damaging to science, because it may create false leads for other scientists or the results may not be replicable, resulting in a continuation of the deception. It is also harmful to individuals and society. If policy or legislation is based on the results of fraudulent research, harmful consequences are not inconceivable” (ALLEA, 2011).


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O

N LY

Every stakeholder in the research ecosystem has a role to play in minimising or even preventing the occurrences of research misconduct. The most important responsibility falls on the shoulder of the Principal Investigator who is accountable for the integrity of the research. As mentioned earlier, the main purpose of research, amongst other reasons, is to find solutions to problems such as solutions that may improve the livelihood of people. Therefore, the Principal Investigator should avoid committing any research misconduct. They should apply the important values discussed in Chapter 1, such as honesty, openness and respect of others. Researchers who maintain a high standard of research integrity will inspire others to follow and ensure that a culture of responsible science will be carried forward to the next generation of researchers. Principal Investigators should also remind their subordinates about the importance of research integrity and the repercussions of committing research misconduct. It is also the obligation of the Principal Investigator to monitor the work of their students or research assistants to ensure that actual research is being performed and data is being collected. In addition, Principal Investigators must pay close attention to the details of the data presented to them so that they may be able to detect any suspected research misconduct and keep their students or research assistants constantly accountable of their conduct.

AD

Co-principal investigators or collaborators also have an obligation towards their fellow colleagues to be accountable for their own work (NSC, 2017). Collaborators often share authorship in publications and they should be aware of the gravity and responsibility of being a co-author. Coauthors are also held accountable for the integrity of the research reported in a journal article. Collaborators should refrain from hiding or sweeping any suspicious research misconduct under the carpet. They should find proper channels to address this issue either with their colleagues who are suspected of committing research misconduct or with the appropriate regulatory bodies. “Frequent meetings among members are crucial not just for information dissemination but also for detecting early tell-tale signs which could lead to serious research misconducts in the future” (NSC, 2017).

RE

Students or research assistants should refrain themselves from committing research misconduct. They should be aware of what is permitted or not permitted when collecting and analysing data. It is also important for students and research assistants to be reminded of the values that should be upheld and practiced throughout the research. As peer reviewers also play a role in preventing research misconduct, utmost vigilance while reviewing a manuscript is advised to ensure that the data and the manuscript text do not contain any traces of research misconduct. It is important to note that research institutions, serving as the platform where various stakeholders in the research ecosystem are engaged, hold great responsibility in ensuring that an ethical conduct of research is maintained. In general, research institutions have their respective policies or guidelines as well as offices or committees on ethical research conduct. Apart from advocating researchers and collaborators to adhere to these policies or guidelines, it is equally important for institutions to create awareness on the responsible conduct of research via frequent trainings and to encourage researchers to report research misconduct (NSC, 2017). By: (1) having policies and/or guidelines for researchers to adhere to, (2) providing training to raise the awareness of the responsible conduct of research among researchers, (3) encouraging researchers to report cases of research misconduct as well as (4) having an office or committee dedicated to the responsible conduct of research, it will ensure that the code of ethics in research is institutionalised at all levels within the institutions. Such a top-down system within an institution, when enforced, will help to minimise research misconduct by eliminating possible loop-holes within the system that may be

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CONCLUSIONS

RE

AD

O

Research misconduct is a serious breach of research integrity and it causes significant impact on the whole research ecosystem. It causes mistrust within the system, damages the reputation of individuals and institutions as well as may bring harm to people and environment. All researchers should avoid committing research misconduct and they should also play a role in minimising the occurrence of research misconduct by applying ethical values such as accountability, transparency and honesty.

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used by irresponsible researchers for their own convenience. Should researchers suspect or detect signs of research misconduct, they should report the case to the committee or office responsible in handling such cases (i.e. office of research integrity) by adhering to the guidelines set by their respective institutions. Where manuscripts are involved, researchers can direct their report to editors of the journal.


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LIST OF REFERENCES

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All European Academies. (2017). The European code of conduct for research integrity. Retrieved from http://www.allea.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/ALLEA-European-Code-of-Conduct-forResearch-Integrity-2017.pdf All European Academies. (2011). The European code of conduct for research integrity. Retrieved from http://www.allea.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Code_Conduct_ResearchIntegrity.pdf

Columbia University. (2004). Responsible conduct of research: research misconduct. Retrieved from http://ccnmtl.columbia.edu/projects/rcr/rcr_misconduct/foundation/index.html Cyranoski, D. (2015). Collateral Damage: How one misconduct case brought a biology institute to its knees. Nature, 520(7549), 600-603.

Fanelli, D. (2009). How many scientists fabricate and falsify research? A systematic review and metaanalysis of survey data. PLoS one, 4(5), e5738.

O

National Science Council. (2017). An initiative of science to action: Malaysia code of responsible conduct of research. Cyberjaya, Selangor: Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology. Office of Science and Technology Policy. (2000). Federal research misconduct policy. Retrieved from https://ori.hhs.gov/federal-research-misconduct-policy

AD

Rao, T. S., and Andrade, C. (2011). The MMR vaccine and autism: Sensation, refutation, retraction, and fraud. Indian journal of psychiatry, 53(2), 95-96. Titus, S. L., Wells, J. A., and Rhoades, L. J. (2008). Repairing research integrity. Nature, 453(7198), 980-982.

FURTHER READING

Columbia University. (2004). Responsible Conduct of Research Courses Portal. Retrieved from http://ccnmtl.columbia.edu/projects/rcr/

RE

Garfinkel M. (2015). A Fresh Look at Self-Plagiarism. Retrieved from https://www.aaas.org/news/ fresh-look-self-plagiarism IAP-the Global Network of Science Academies. (2016). Doing global science: a guide to responsible conduct in the global research enterprise. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Martinson, B. C., Anderson, M. S., and De Vries, R. (2005). Scientists behaving badly. Nature, 435(7043), 737-738. National Academy of Sciences. (2009). On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research (Third Edition). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Steneck, N. H. (2007). ORI Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office. UK Research Integrity Office. (2009). Code of Practice for Research: Promoting good practice and preventing misconduct. Retrieved from http://ukrio.org/publications/code-of-practice-forresearch/

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HANDOUT 2.1

A few months after Jamilah’s paper was published, news began to surface that the data in Jamilah’s paper was suspicious. The university administrators were alerted about this matter and began to investigate this issue thoroughly. At the end of the investigation, the university administrators identified several issues:

AD

O

1. Two images in Jamilah’s paper were duplicated and manipulated to generate two additional images for another experiment in the same paper. 2. Jamilah was unable to produce the raw data to support a graph in her paper. 3. Two tables in Jamilah’s paper looked almost identical to other tables found in Dr.Subra’s publications from two years ago. 4. The Introduction and Discussion sections of Jamilah’s paper contained wordings that were poorly paraphrased from other papers written by Dr.Subra. 5. Professor Lau admitted to the university administrators that he had never attended any research update meetings with Jamilah and did not provide any scientific contribution towords Jamilah’s research. 6. Dr. Subra also admitted that he and Jamilah met once every two months to discuss Jamilah’s research progress. During these meetings, Dr. Subra rarely spent more than 10 minutes discussing Jamilah’s data. Discussion questions:

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1. Describe the research misconduct found in the case above. 2. Describe the other irresponsible research conducts in the case above. 3. What do you think the factors thats contributed towords the actions of Jamilah, Dr. Subra and Professor Lau? 4. What could Dr. Subra and Professor Lau have done to prevent Jamilah’s action from taking place?

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CASE STUDY Dr. Subra was a rising scientist in the Department of microbiology. He was eligible for a promotion. He had a PhD student named Jamilah who was co-supervised by Professor Lau. Professor Lau was Dr. Subra’s mentor and is a prominent scientist in the field. After 5 years of PhD research, Jamilah finally completed her research and published her research with Dr. Subra as the corresponding author and Professor Lau as a co-author. Jamilah graduated and found an academic position elsewhere.


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Culture of Safety and Dual Use Research

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Culture of Safety and Dual Use Research

SYNOPSIS

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This chapter aims to promote a culture of safety in research as well as to introduce the basic elements and concepts of Dual Use research (DUR). It is important that researchers are able to recognise the potential hazards and risks associated with the conduct of research inside or outside the laboratory. It is equally important that researchers are able to realise and identify the potential hazards or risks their research findings may have on the environment and society, particularly if the research findings are misused with malicious intent. Therefore, a culture of safety and responsibility should be inculcated among researchers to increase their awareness on safety issues in research and minimise the risks associated with Dual Use research. There are 5 parts in this chapter. Part 1 introduces the concept of hazards and risks in research and Part 2 identifies common hazards found in the research environment. This is followed by Part 3 that discusses the roles and responsibilities of researchers and research stakeholders in mitigating the risks associated with research. Part 4 introduces the concept of Dual Use research and Part 5 discusses the roles and responsibilities of researchers in mitigating the risks of Dual Use research.

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KEY MESSAGES

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1. Culture of safety is a shared value among researchers and research stakeholders in order to minimise any harm caused by research to the researchers, community and environment. 2. Research can be used intentionally or unintentionally to cause harm to the environment, ecosystem or public health. 3. Dual Use research refers to research that is carried out with a legitimate purpose that could be used for both good and harmful purposes. 4. Researchers should identify potential hazards, risks, and Dual Use elements in their research to ensure that their research is conducted in a safe and secure manner. 5. All stakeholders including the government, institutions, journal editors and researchers have the obligation to ensure safe science and mitigate potential risks associated with the scientific enterprise.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES At the end of the chapter, participants should be able to: 3.1 identify hazards and risks associated with research and strategise plans to mitigate these identified risks. 3.2 recognise the importance of assessing the risks related to research to ensure the health and safety of research personnel, environment and general public. 3.3 explain the concepts of Dual Use research. 3.4 identify Dual Use elements in research. 3.5 appreciate the dilemma of Dual Use in research and the researcher’s responsibility in reducing the risks of Dual Use research.

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ACTIVITY LIST

Activity 3.2

Think-pair-share: This activity aims to create an awareness that various hazards are present in the research environment and it is important to identify these potential hazards and devise plans to reduce these risks. (LO 3.1)

Role play: This activity aims to highlight the importance of identifying hazards in research and the responsibilities of researchers and other stakeholders in mitigating those risks. (LO 3.1 and LO 3.2)

Case study: This activity aims to introduce the concept of Dual Use research. (LO 3.3 and LO 3.4)

Activity 3.4

Video analysis: This activity aims to strengthen the understanding of the concept of Dual Use research. (LO 3.3)

Activity 3.5

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Activity 3.3

Role play: This activity aims to demonstrate that all stakeholders have a role in resolving issues concerning research with Dual Use research potential. (LO 3.4 and LO 3.5)

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MATERIALS

Quantity

Handout 3.1

1 copy per participant

Handout 3.2

1 copy per participant

Handout 3.3

1 copy per participant

Handout 3.4

1 copy per participant according to their assigned character

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Materials

CONTENT

Researchers have the responsibility of ensuring that the research they carry out will bring benefits but not harm society and the environment. The types of harm include physical injuries or damage to infrastructure that may happen during the process of conducting research such as explosions caused by the mishandling of explosive materials in a lab; or as a result of the research such as the misuse of research output such as knowledge, research materials or resources for malicious purposes. In all cases, the lab personnel, community and environment can be harmed and this may create catastrophic consequences to humanity. The culture of safety in science also includes issues on security, especially those concerning Dual Use research, a concept that will be discussed later in this chapter.

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Activity 3.1

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This chapter contains 5 activities:


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PART 1: RISKS AND COMMON HAZARDS FOUND IN THE RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT Researchers conduct research in many places such as in laboratories, computer rooms, offices, public areas or out in the field such as in a farm or out in the ocean. Research can be conducted using computers, laboratory equipment, animals and human subjects; research can also be conducted by gathering information from literature. Every research workplace and method of conducting research possesses their own hazards and risks that could potentially cause harm to the research personnel, the public and the ecosystem involved.

Biological – pathogens, biological waste, blood samples, etc. Chemical – pesticides, toxins, flammables or corrosive materials, etc. Physical – noise, radiation, magnetic field, etc. Safety – heavy machinery, slipping/tripping hazards, etc. Psychosocial – emotional, physical, mental stress, etc. Ergonomic – repetitive movements, improper position of workstation, etc.

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• • • • • •

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“A hazard is any source of potential damage, harm or adverse health effects on something or someone” (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 2011). Hazards in the workplace are “activities, processes or substances used” that could cause injury or harm to people in the workplace (Health and Safety Executive, 2014). There are two general categories of hazards: i) health hazards, which cause illness; and ii) safety hazards, which cause physical harm or injuries. Hazards can be further categorised into various types (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 2011):

Hazards are ubiquitous in any work environment. Some hazards are readily recognisable while others are less apparent. Hazards only pose threats in specific circumstances. Hazards do not only cause harm to the research personnel. Hazards can also cause danger to public safety and may lead to damages to health and the environment.

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Identifying hazards require a high-level of awareness and specific knowledge beyond just common sense. Adequate counter measures can only be implemented when hazards are properly identified and categorised. A risk, on the other hand, is the probability or likelihood of a hazard, such as those listed above. Risks can be measured on a continuum of low risk to high risk. In general, a risk can be defined as a function of the likelihood or probability that harm will occur and the severity or the consequences of the harm (Figure 3.1).

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What is the probability that the harm will occur?

How severe will the harm be?

RISK

Figure 3.1: Likelihood and consequences of risks in research.

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The likelihood determines the chances of the harm occurring while the consequences affect how severe the harm will be, e.g. infection, diseases, hospitalisation, death, etc. Certain hazards have a low probability of causing harm (low risk); while some hazards have a high probability of causing harm (high risk). Some hazards cannot be completely avoided or removed but the risk (probability of causing harm) can be reduced by having a mitigation plan. As defined by Kaplan and Garrick (1981), risk assessment consists of answering the following three questions: i) What can go wrong? ii) How likely is it? iii) What are the consequences? A risk matrix that takes into consideration both the likelihood and consequences of a risk is often used to describe and characterise the risk related to a particular hazard in research (Figure 3.2).

LIKELIHOOD

HIGH

VERY HIGH

VERY HIGH

VERY HIGH

MEDIUM

MEDIUM

HIGH

VERY HIGH

VERY HIGH

Seldom

LOW

MEDIUM

HIGH

HIGH

VERY HIGH

Remote

LOW

LOW

MEDIUM

HIGH

HIGH

Unlikely

LOW

LOW

MEDIUM

MEDIUM

HIGH

Incidental

Minor

Serious

Major

Catastrophic

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Frequent

MEDIUM

Risk

Occasional

CONSEQUENCES

Figure 3.2: Risk assessment matrix to characterise overall risks associated with hazards in research.

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Likelihood


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It is the responsibility of researchers to identify the hazards associated with a particular research and assess the risks of these hazards. The conduct of research in a laboratory or in the field should be planned and carried out in a safe manner and precautionary measures should be taken when dealing with hazards in order to prevent harm to the research personnel, public and ecosystem. Activity 3.1: Think-pair-share Purpose:

This activity aims to create an awareness that various hazards are present in the research environment and it is important to identify these potential hazards and devise plans to reduce these risks. Instructions:

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1. Distribute Handout 3.1 to each participant. 2. Ask the participants to consider the nature of their research and list the potential hazards and associated risks of these hazards that they may face. 3. Once the participants have completed this task, ask the participants to share what they have written with the person next to them. 4. Next, ask the participants to describe and characterise the overall risk of each identified hazard by referring to the risk matrix (Figure 3.2). Each risk should be characterised as very high, high, medium or low. 5. Then, ask the participants to provide plans to mitigate the risks that they ranked medium, high and very high. 6. Ask the participants to share what they have written with the person next to them. 7. Finally, select a few participants to share what they have written with the whole class. Note to Instructor:

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Ask each participant to focus only on their own research or work environment and encourage them to think broadly and comprehensively about the potential hazards. As they consider the associated risks in steps 4 and 5, encourage the participants to also think about risks to the environment and public. Model answer(s):

Examples of hazards in research environments: Research activity: High-speed centrifugation of a water sample in a glass tube ▪▪ Hazard: broken glass tube ▪▪ Associated risk: cuts and injury to personnel ▪▪ Likelihood: seldom occurs ▪▪ Consequences: minor ▪▪ Risk score: medium ▪▪ Mitigation plan: o Make it compulsory for lab personnel to wear cut-resistant gloves when carrying out centrifugation. o Train lab personnel on first aid treatment if cuts occur.

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Every researcher, institution and other stakeholders have the responsibility to protect the safety of the research personnel and ecosystem during the conduct of research. We may never be able to completely eradicate accidents and injuries, but we can instil a culture of safety in our academic and research enterprises that significantly minimises the frequency and severity of such accidents. As a researcher, duty of care towards the research subjects - humans, animals, inanimate or environmental - is essential so that risks, disruptions or destruction is minimised, thus ensuring the safety, wellbeing, dignity of and respect to research subjects (National Science Council, 2017). Lead researchers also have the responsibility of providing a safe environment for everyone who is working on the research by carefully planning the research to reduce unintended harm to all parties. Many of these situations, particularly harm to the research personnel and public can be prevented if proper measures are in place, such as laboratory safety procedures, and biosafety and biosecurity procedures. Activity 3.2: Role play

Purpose:

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This activity aims to highlight the importance of identifying hazards in research and the responsibilities of researchers and other stakeholders in mitigating those risks. Instructions: 1.

2. 3.

Divide the class into 5 groups and assign each group to one of the roles listed below: • Dr. Sarah • Dr. Ali • Mr. Lee • Mr. Raj • Dr. Ibrahim, the Director of the Research Management Office of Dr. Sarah’s university Distribute Handout 3.2 and ask them to read the scenario and discuss the associated questions. When they are ready, ask the group that is playing “Dr. Ibrahim” to initiate the discussion.

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Research activity: Collecting samples from the ocean that involves diving ▪▪ Hazard: faulty diving equipment ▪▪ Associated Risk: death ▪▪ Likelihood: seldom occurs ▪▪ Consequences: major ▪▪ Risk score: high ▪▪ Mitigation plan: o Implement a standard operating protocol (SOP) in checking and cross-checking the quality and function of the diving equipment prior to diving. o Researchers involved in the activity must be trained and certified, for example, they should have a valid diving licence.


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Note to instructor:

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Guide the participants as they prepare for their roles. Make them realise that they need to fully embrace their roles. You may ask probing questions to steer them towards the right direction. Model answer(s):

See the section below for an understanding of the various roles and responsibilities.

Everyone involved in a research project should think about the hazards and risks associated with their research. Mitigating risks in research is not only the responsibility of researchers but also the responsibility of other stakeholders such as the research institutions, funding bodies and government regulating bodies.

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The responsibilities of each stakeholder are described below:

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Responsibilities of Principal Investigators: –– Identify the hazards and risks involved in their research that could bring harm. If necessary, consult proper regulatory or advisory bodies and work with the oversight bodies to assess the risks. –– Establish strategies or plans to reduce risks associated with their research. –– Constantly discuss the hazards, risks and mitigation plans with research assistants, students and other co-investigators throughout the research process. –– Provide good supervision and ensure that all researchers are properly trained to conduct research in a safe manner and that the risk mitigation plans are followed. –– Be familiar and comply with all the institutional and national policies and requirements related to research safety (National Science Council, 2017). –– Have a proper data management plan to protect the data especially if the data is sensitive and confidential. –– In a laboratory environment, ensure that safety devices are strategically placed to prevent or manage hazardous conditions. –– Provide a transparent and open environment for all the researchers to communicate any concerns regarding the risks and hazards of the undertaken research. –– Prepare proper documentation for any potentially hazardous materials. Responsibilities of research assistants and post-graduate students –– Ensure that proper training is received before conducting the research. The trainings that researchers may receive, such as Good Clinical Practice, biosafety training or animal handling, depends very much on the nature of the research (National Science Council, 2017). –– Be aware of the research surroundings and readily identify potential hazards and risks. –– Be open and ready to discuss any issues concerning hazards and risks with the supervisor. –– Follow the regulations and be familiar with all the safety measures. –– Discuss with supervisors or principle investigators on the potential Dual Use elements of the project. (See Part 2 of this Chapter) –– If Dual Use elements are identified, be aware of and abide to the mitigation plan established. (See Part 2 of this Chapter)

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Responsibilities of funders –– Adopt policies that require all grant holders to assess and address risks related to the project. –– Review grant applications and research progress reports submitted by the researchers to detect any hazards and if the mitigation plans to minimise the risks are in place.

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PART 2: DUAL USE RESEARCH The purpose of research is to create knowledge that bring benefits to the society and we have already discussed that risks and dangers are inherent part of the research process. The next section will discuss another type of research that possess risk, which is called Dual Use research. Activity 3.3: Case study

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Purpose: This activity aims to introduce the concept of Dual Use research. Instructions:

Show the following statement to the participants: Prof. Lim is an environmental microbiologist. His current project is to isolate and identify bacteria in the rivers and streams in the Malaysian rainforests.

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Ask the participants to discuss, within their groups, the benefits of Prof. Lim’s research. Select a few participants to share their thoughts with the class.

3.

Then, show the statement below: Prof. Lim found a new bacterial strain in one of the streams. He was shocked to discover that this new bacterial strain was extremely contagious and, in some cases, caused rapid death in laboratory animals.

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1.

4.

Ask the participants to discuss the potential hazards and risks of Prof. Lim’s research findings. Select a few participants to share their thoughts with the class.

5.

Next, show the statement below: Prof. Lim was worried about the existence of this extremely contagious bacteria found in nature but he was also excited about the discovery of a new bacterial strain in an unusual habitat. This could help researchers better understand the evolution and survival of the bacteria in its natural environment. Prof. Lim published the research findings, which contained information about the location where he found the bacteria. His publication received a lot of attention and he also sent the strain to other researchers who requested for it.

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Responsibilities of research institutions –– Establish an oversight entity to provide training and advice on risk and hazard mitigation. –– Ensure appropriate reviewing and monitoring of research that is being carried out in the institution. –– When reviewing proposals for ethics/biosafety clearance, identify potential risks and ensure that proper procedures are in place to deal with the risks and hazards. –– Develop and implement institutional risk mitigation plans. –– Ensure institutional compliance to the relevant guidelines, regulations or policies.


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Ask the participants to discuss Prof. Lim’s actions including both the positive and negative aspects. Finally ask a few participants to share their thoughts with the class.

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Note to Instructor:

This activity sets the scene for participants to understand the concept of Dual Use research, which is described in the explanation below. You may raise some questions during the general discussion including:

Model answer(s):

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1. What if someone with bad intentions went to the site to isolate the virulent bacteria using the method described in the paper? 2. What if the virulent bacteria was accidentally released into the environment or infected the lab personnel involved in the study? 3. What if someone obtained illegal access into the laboratory to steal the virulent bacteria?

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Question: What are the benefits of Prof. Lim’s research? Answer: The research can reveal the functions of the microorganism in nature. It allows the scientific community to study factors that contribute to its ability to infect (pathogenicity), and the mechanism of action. These information are important in designing drugs that can counter these factors. Question: What are the potential risks of these findings? What kind of harm would this research bring? Answer: The bacteria might infect laboratory personnel. It might also be unintentionally released which would then cause health concerns. The bacteria might also fall in the wrong hands and be used as a bioweapon for destructive purposes.

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Question: What do you think about Prof. Lim’s actions? Answer: Although it is important to share research findings with the public, information on the exact location of this extremely dangerous bacteria would allow people with bad intentions to obtain this dangerous bacteria and use for nefarious purposes such as to cause a disease outbreak or as a bio-weapon. Prof. Lim was careless in sharing the strain freely with researchers who asked for it. He should have followed the proper procedure of reporting the transport of bacteria to the relevant regulatory bodies. He should have ensured that the researchers with whom he shared the strain with had appropriate knowledge and laboratory facilities to store, maintain and study the bacterial strain safely so that the strain was not released into the environment; which would then cause harm to other people.

The case study above describes another form of risks and hazards associated with research; the potential misuse of research discoveries for malevolent or harmful purposes. This type of research is called Dual Use research or research with Dual Use potential.

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Activity 3.4: Video Analysis Purpose:

Instructions: 1.

Access the video titled “Dual Use Research: A Dialogue”, which was produced by the National Institutes of Health. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yS1ur24j40)

2.

Before you play the video, ask the participants to pay attention to the keywords that

4. 5.

6.

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7.

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3.

are mentioned in the video and write these keywords on a piece of paper. After the video has been shown, ask the respective groups to share their thoughts on what they understand about DUR. Proceed to provide a clear explanation of what DUR is before moving to step 5. Distribute Handout 3.3 and explain the activity to them. In the first column, participants will find a list of research disciplines – biology, physics, chemistry, computer science, and electrical engineering. Ask the participants to think about ONE research example in each of the research disciplines that will generate information, products, knowledge, or technology that could be used for both benevolent AND harmful purposes. When they are ready, ask the participants to share their lists with the person next to them.

Note to instructor:

• Handout 3.3 contains a list of different scientific disciplines. The participants will most likely focus on research within their area of expertise. Encourage the participants to think about research in other science disciplines.

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• You may also ask the participants whom should they report to if they discovered that their research has DUR elements and whether their institutions have such guidelines to deal with DUR. These questions create awareness on the importance of regulatory frameworks.

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This activity aims to strengthen the understanding of the concept of Dual Use research.


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Model answer(s):

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Examples DUR: Research Examples

How can this research How can this research be used for benevolent be misused for purposes? harmful purposes?

Biology

Research on viruses

Understand how to prevent viral infections

Viruses can be misused to infect people intentionally.

Physics

Nuclear energy research

Develop new ways to produce energy

Nuclear sources can be misused to create weapons that can cause harm.

Chemistry

Pesticides

Kill weeds that affect the growth of crops

Pesticides can be used to poison people.

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Discipline

Software research

Software can be used to solve complex problems using computers

Malicious software can be created to cause damage.

Electrical engineering

Drones research

Drones can be used to survey an unreachable target

Drones can be outfitted with weapons to cause intentional harm.

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Computer science/IT

The case study in Activity 3.3 and the video (Activity 3.4) shed light on the concepts of DUR. DUR is defined as research that “despite its value and benefits, certain types of research conducted for legitimate purposes can be utilized for both benevolent and harmful purposes” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS], 2014). DUR includes research that was carried out with well-intentioned purposes but could be misused for harmful purposes. DUR could yield new technologies, information, knowledge, or tools that are beneficial yet at the same time can be misused or misapplied for malevolent applications. These malevolent applications could include damage or harm to public health and safety, the ecosystem and environment and even national security. Although the term DUR is commonly associated with life science research, it should be noted that all research areas, including chemistry, physics, engineering, social studies to name a few, can also have Dual Use elements.

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Dual Use Research of Concern Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC) is a subtopic of DUR. The information and activities provided below are more suitable if the participants are all from the life science field, especially microbiology. You may skip this section on DURC if the participants are researchers from various disciplines and proceed to Part 3.

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What is Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC)? We have discussed DUR in the previous section, which is a concept that can be broadly applied to all research disciplines. DURC, on the other hand, is a very specific terminology coined by the United States Government to regulate certain life science-related research that are conducted in the United States. Officially, DURC is defined as “Life sciences research that, based on current understanding, can be reasonably anticipated to provide knowledge, information, products, or technologies that could be directly misapplied to pose a significant threat with broad potential consequences to public health and safety, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment, material or national security” (HHS, 2014). The keyword that should be stressed is the word “misapplied”. This term denotes malicious intentions to take what is good and use it for harmful purposes. The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) was established as a result of this policy and the role of NSABB is to provide guidance and advise to the U.S. government on all issues related to Dual Use research.

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Historical examples of research with Dual Use potential: –– The discovery of nuclear fission brought substantial benefits to the medical field as well as in energy production. However, the same technology was used to develop weapons. –– In 2005, a group of researchers created the Spanish Flu virus using a “synthetic” method. (Tumpey, et al., 2005). The research was designed to help the development of drugs and vaccines against a potential Spanish Flu virus outbreak in the future. However, the techniques reported and the “synthetically”-created virus could fall into the wrong hands and be used to create bioweapons. –– Ammonium nitrate was designed to be used as an agriculture fertiliser. However, it could also be misused as a component in explosive devices. –– 3D printing technology was designed to create new and interesting tools. However, people could use this technology to manufacture weapons.


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The U.S. government policy on DURC identifies 15 infectious agents that are subjected to DURC oversight by NSABB. These infectious agents are (HHS, 2014):

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4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Avian influenza virus (highly pathogenic) Bacillus anthracis Botulinum neurotoxin (For purposes of the U.S policy, there are no exempt quantities of botulinum neurotoxin. Research involving any quantity of botulinum neurotoxin should be evaluated for DURC potential.) Burkholderia mallei Burkholderia pseudomallei Ebola virus Foot-and-mouth disease virus Francisella tularensis Marburg virus Reconstructed 1918 Influenza virus Rinderpest virus Toxin-producing strains of Clostridium botulinum Variola major virus Variola minor virus Yersinia pestis

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The U.S. government further specifically named these seven categories of experiments involving any of the above 15 infectious agents that were also subjected to oversight (HHS, 2014):

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“1) Enhances the harmful consequences of the agent or toxin; 2) Disrupts the immunity or effectiveness of an immunization against the agent or toxin, without clinical and/or agricultural justification; 3) Confers to the agent or toxin resistance to clinically and/or agriculturally useful prophylactic or therapeutic interventions against that agent or toxin or facilitates their ability to evade detection methodologies; 4) Increases the stability, transmissibility or the ability to disseminate the agent or toxin; 5) Alters the host range or tropism of the agent or toxin; 6) Enhances the susceptibility of a host population to the agent or toxin; 7) Generates or reconstitutes an eradicated or extinct agent or toxin listed above.” Below are some well-known examples of DUR: Case 1: The Australian mousepox experiment A group of Australian researchers genetically modified the mousepox virus to express the gene for interleukin-4 (IL-4). The goal of the experiment was to create a virus that would cause sterilisation in mice for pest control purposes. However, the experiment created a strain of mousepox that killed mice that were naturally resistant to the virus and mice that were vaccinated against ordinary smallpox. The researchers later published this work in the Journal of Virology in 2001 (Jackson et al., 2001). This experiment raised fears that similar modifications to the closely related smallpox virus would render smallpox vaccination in humans ineffective.

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Case 3: SPICE technique A group of researchers described a technique that allowed them to molecularly engineer a smallpox virus protein. The study revealed that SPICE was a potent virulence factor of the smallpox virus (Rosengard, 2002). The purpose of this study was to use this new knowledge to develop new therapeutics for smallpox. The concern with this study was the potential misuse of the techniques, by people with malicious intent, to develop new and dangerous infectious agents.

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PART 3: ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF RESEARCHERS IN MITIGATING THE RISKS OF DUAL USE RESEARCH Issues concerning DUR are not easy to resolve. Researchers are faced with the dilemma of handling and managing DUR. On one hand, it is important to support research that can bring advancements to human living standards, but just like a coin that has two sides, the research can also generate knowledge and technology that can be misused for malevolent purposes, especially if the findings fell into the wrong hands. Therefore, stakeholders play an important role in managing and mitigating the risks of DUR. Activity 3.5: Role play

Purpose:

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This activity aims to create an awareness that various hazards are present in the research environment and it is important to identify these potential hazards and devise plans to reduce these risks. Instructions: 1.

2. 3.

Divide the class into 5 groups and assign each group to one of the following characters: i) Researchers ii) Editors iii) Representatives from the National Science Advisory Board of Biosecurity (NSABB) iv) Representatives from the Office of Science and Technology Policy v) Representatives from the public Distribute Handout 3.4 to the participants according to their assigned character. Ask the participants to read and understand the scenarios and the character they are assigned to. Next, ask them to discuss the tasks assigned to their characters.

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Case 2: The artificially synthesised poliovirus Researchers from the State University of New York at Stony Brook artificially synthesised the poliovirus in the laboratory. This artificial virus displayed biochemical and pathogenic characteristics of poliovirus found in nature. The researchers published the work in the journal Science in 2002 (Cello et al., 2002). This caused fear that the same technique could be applied to synthesise more contagious viruses, such as the Ebola virus.


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After the participants have discussed their task within the group, ask the group that plays the character of the “representatives from the Office of Science and Technology Policy” to initiate the discussion

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4.

Note to instructor:

The case described is based on a true story. Model answer(s): See the section below.

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This H5N1 story is a classic example of research with DUR elements. The National Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), an entity established under the U.S. Government’s DURC policy (HHS, 2014), reviewed both H5N1 manuscripts written by Kawaoka’s and Fouchier’s groups (Imai, 2012 and Herfst, 2012). In December 2011, NSABB recommended that the “general conclusions highlighting the novel outcome be published, but that the manuscripts exclude the methodological and other details that could enable replication of the experiments by those who would seek to do harm” (National Institutes of Health, 2011). NSABB was concerned that information in these papers could be misused for harmful purposes. Shortly after NSABB released its recommendation, a group of leading influenza researchers self-imposed a moratorium on influenza research. (Fouchier et al., 2012).

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In February 2012, the World Health Organization convened a meeting that included the researchers, editors of Science and Nature, and public health experts to further deliberate on this issue. The participants of this meeting came to a consensus that “delayed publication of the entire manuscripts would have more public health benefits than urgently partially publishing” (World Health Organization, 2012).

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Following another meeting in March 2012, NSABB provided a new recommendation that “strongly supports the unrestricted communication of research information unless that information could be directly misused to pose a significant and near-term risk to public health and safety or if the risks associated with misuse of the information are so significant that no amount of potential benefits can justify the risks” (National Institutes of Health, 2012). This H5N1 case demonstrated the complexity of dealing with DUR, especially DURC. The U.S. government has put in place a policy to oversee DURC. Procedures have been developed and many stakeholders have been involved and consulted with before proper actions were taken. The case illustrated the necessity for researchers to be diligent when conducting DUR or DURC. The general role of researchers and other stakeholders in ensuring the safety and security of research was discussed in Part 1. Everyone involved in a research should think about the risks and hazards associated with their research. It is also important to consider the Dual-Use potential of their research. Regulators, such as research institution regulators or government regulators play an important role in managing these risks. Finally, even funders and journal editors should play a role in managing risks. All these stakeholders have the responsibility to ensure that research is carried out in a safe manner not just for the researchers but the general public and the environment.

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N LY

Major institutes, regulatory boards, professional bodies and scientific societies around the world such as the Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation have provided detailed guidelines on safety issues. Guidelines and policies to ensure safety in biological research have also been established. Biosafety and biosecurity are two major principles applied to ensure the safety of researchers and also the public. Biosafety describes “the containment principles, technologies and practices that are implemented to prevent the unintentional exposure to pathogens and toxins, or their accidental release” (World Health Organization [WHO], 2006) while biosecurity is the “protection, control and accountability for valuable biological materials within laboratories in order to prevent their unauthorised access, loss, theft, misuse, diversion or intentional release” (WHO, 2006). Therefore, to ensure biosafety, researchers working in biological laboratories are required to put on gloves while handling biological materials, to use biosafety cabinets while transferring liquids containing biohazard materials, to dispose biohazard materials in biohazard bags, etc. For biosecurity: biohazard materials are kept in locked containers where only registered personnels are allowed to access the materials and the laboratory in which they are stored; etc.

O

As illustrated in the H5N1 case study, publishers, editors and journal reviewers also play an important role in dealing with Dual Use Research, especially research involving infectious biological specimens. It is essential that publishers, editors and reviewers be more vigilant in detecting potential Dual Use elements in research papers submitted for publication. If they are unsure of what do to, it is advisable to consult the relevant regulatory bodies or scientific societies.

AD

In Malaysia, safety issues related to research, including chemical and biological safety, are monitored and governed by multiple governmental agencies. Stated below are regulations and acts related to research safety in Malaysia: o The Biosafety Act 2007 (Act 678)

RE

The Biosafety Act 2007 (Act 678) was enacted to establish the National Safety Board, which is chaired by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The purpose of this Act is to “regulate the release, importation, exportation and contained use of living modified organisms, and the release of products of such organisms, with the objectives of protecting human, plant and animal health, the environment and biological diversity, and where there are threats of irreversible damage, lack of full scientific evidence may not be used as a reason not to take action to prevent such damage; and to provide for matters connected therewith.”

o

The Poisons Act 1952 (Revised 1989) (Act 366) The purpose of the Poisons Act 1952 was to “regulate the importation, possession, manufacture, compounding, storage, transport, sale and use of poisons.”

o

The Malaysia Laboratory Biosafety and Biosecurity Policy and Guideline (Ministry of Health Malaysia, 2015) This document consists of the “basic concepts and approaches in the form of policy and guidelines that govern all activities involving the handling, manipulation working, using, storing and disposing of infectious and potentially infectious agents/ materials and microbial toxins in all forms and sizes of laboratories in Malaysia.”

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CHAPTER 3: Culture of Safety and Dual Use Research

CONCLUSIONS

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N LY

Safety and security issues should be one of the foremost concerns of researchers. Good safety and security measures not only protect the research personnel, it also protects the public and the environment from unintended or intended harm. It is important for researchers to realise that it is their responsibility to ensure the safety of all research personnel by providing a safe environment and promoting a safe culture in research. It is also the responsibility of researchers to ensure that the public and the environment are protected. Although Dual Use elements in research are often unavoidable, researchers have the responsibility to assess the potential Dual Use elements in their research in order to take appropriate measures to minimise the risks of their research findings being misused for malicious purposes. As such, all stakeholders play a role in identifying potential Dual Use elements in research and strategise ways to mitigate the risks of Dual Use research.

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LIST OF REFERENCES

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Biosafety Act 2007 (Act 678) (Malaysia). Retrieved from http://www.utar.edu.my/osh/file/ Biosafety%20Act%202007%20-%20Act%20678.pdf Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. (2011). Hazard and risk. Retrieved from https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/hsprograms/hazard_risk.html Cello, J., Paul, A.V., and Wimmer, E. (2002). Chemical synthesis of poliovirus cDNA: generation of infectious virus in the absence of natural template. Science, 297(5583), 1016-1018.

O

Health and Safety Executive. (2014). The health and safety toolbox: how to control risk at work. Retrieved from http://www.hse.gov.uk/pUbns/priced/hsg268.pdf

Herfst, S., Schrauwen, E.J., Linster, M., Chutinimitkul, S., de Wit, E., Munster, V.J., et al. (2012). Airborne transmission of influenza A/H5N1 virus between ferrets. Science, 336(6088), 1534-1541.

AD

Imai, M., Watanabe, T., Hatta, M., Das, S.C., Ozawa, M., Shinya, K., et al. (2012). Experimental adaptation of an influenza H5 HA confers respiratory droplet transmission to a reassortant H5 HA/ H1N1 virus in ferrets. Nature, 486(7403), 420-428. Jackson, R.J., Ramsay, A.J., Christensen, C.D., et al. (2001). Expression of mouse interleukin-4 by a recombinant ectromelia virus suppresses cytolytic lymphocyte responses and overcomes genetic resistance to Mousepox. Journal of Virology, 75, 1205-1210. Kaplan, S. and Garrick, B.J. (1981). On the quantitative definition of risk. Risk Analysis, 1,1.

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Ministry of Health Malaysia (2015). Malaysia laboratory biosafety and biosecurity policy and guideline. Retrieved from http://mkak.moh.gov.my/download/Biosafety_Policy_and_ Guideline_2015.pdf National Institutes of Health. (2011). Press statement on the NSABB review of H5N1 research. Retrieved from https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/press-statement-nsabb-reviewh5n1-research National Institutes of Health. (2012). National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity: Findings and recommendations. Retrieved from https://www.nih.gov/sites/default/files/about-nih/ nih-director/statements/collins/03302012_NSABB_Recommendations.pdf National Science Council. (2017). The Malaysian code of responsible conduct in research. Cyberjaya, Selangor: Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology. Poisons Act 1952 (Revised 1989) (Malaysia). Retrieved from https://www.pharmacy.gov.my/v2/ sites/default/files/document-upload/poisons-act-1952-act-366.pdf

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Fouchier, R.A.M., García-Sastre, A., Kawaoka, Y., Barclay, W.S., Bouvier, N.M., Brown, I.H. et al. (2012). Pause on avian flu transmission research. Science, 335(6067), 400-401.


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Rosengard, A.M., Liu, Y., Nie, Z., and Jimenez, R. (2002). Variola virus immune evasion design: Expression of a highly efficient inhibitor of human complement. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States America (PNAS), 99(13), 8808-8813. Tumpey, T.M., Basler, C.F., Aguilar, P.V., Zeng, H., Solórzano, A., Swayne, D.E., Cox, N.J., et al. (2005). Characterization of the reconstructed 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic virus. Science, 310(5745), 77-80. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]. (2014). United States Government policy for institutional oversight of life sciences dual use research of concern. Retrieved from https://www. phe.gov/s3/dualuse/Documents/durc-policy.pdf World Health Organization. (2006). Biorisk management: laboratory biosecurity guidance. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/biosafety/WHO_CDS_EPR_2006_6.pdf

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World Health Organization. (2012). Public health, influenza experts agree H5N1 research critical, but extend delay. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2012/h5n1_ research_20120217/en/

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FURTHER READING

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Johannes, R., Ischi, M., Perkins, D. (2014). Evolution of different dual-use concepts in international and national law and its implications on research ethics and governance. Science and Engineering Ethics, 20, 769-790. Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) Malaysia. (2008). The Biosafety Act of Malaysia: Dispelling the Myth. Retrieved from http://www.nre.gov.my/ms-my/PustakaMedia/Penerbitan/ Dispelling%20the%20Myths.pdf

O

World Health Organization. (2017). Responsible life sciences research for global health security: a guidance document. Retrieved from http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/70507/1/WHO_ HSE_GAR_BDP_2010.2_eng.pdf

For further reading on the H5N1 case: Johannes, R., Ischi, M., Perkins, D. (2014). Evolution of different dual-use concepts in international and national law and its implications on research ethics and governance. Science and Engineering Ethics, 20, 769-790.

AD

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) Malaysia. (2008). The Biosafety Act of Malaysia: Dispelling the Myth. Retrieved from http://www.nre.gov.my/ms-my/PustakaMedia/Penerbitan/ Dispelling%20the%20Myths.pdf The National Academics of Sciences, Engineering and Medicines. (2017). Dual use research of concern in the life sciences: current issues and controversies. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

RE

World Health Organization. (2017). Responsible life sciences research for global health security: a guidance document. Retrieved from http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/70507/1/WHO_ HSE_GAR_BDP_2010.2_eng.pdf

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The National Academics of Sciences, Engineering and Medicines. (2017). Dual use research of concern in the life sciences: current issues and controversies. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.


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HANDOUT 3.1

O AD

Description of research activity

Hazards

RE

Associated risk

Likelihood Consequences

Risk Score

Mitigation plan

N LY

Risk assessment of safety in research: Identification of hazards and risks in research

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HANDOUT 3.2

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AD

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Role playing activity: 1) If your role is Dr. Sarah, Dr. Ali, Mr. Lee or Mr. Raj, your task is to identify the potential hazards and associated risks that you may face. Then assess the overall risk. Next, design a strategy to minimise or mitigate the risks of these hazards. Think about the risks that the researchers, the villagers and the ecosystem/environment are facing. You will be presenting your strategies to Dr. Ibrahim who will review your plan before approving your investigation. 2) If your role is Dr. Ibrahim, identify the potential hazards and risks that the researchers may face and assess the overall risk. Also take into consideration the risks on the environment and the villagers. You have convened a meeting with Dr. Sarah, Dr. Ali and their students. Prepare a set of questions for each of them and, by the end of the meeting, decide whether they have planned sufficiently to ensure the safety and security of their research.

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There is a disease outbreak in an Orang Asli village deep in the jungles of Pahang. Dr. Sarah has been tasked to travel with her postgraduate student, Mr. Lee, to the village and perform some research to understand the trend and transmission pattern of the disease that is spread by mosquitoes. Dr. Sarah and Mr. Lee will spend a prolonged time collecting samples from the environment, people and animals. Dr. Sarah will also travel with her collaborator, Dr. Ali, an anthropologist who has extensive experience working with the villagers. Dr. Ali plans to bring his own postgraduate student, Mr. Raj. As a team, they will interview the villagers as part of the investigation. Dr. Ibrahim, the Director of Research Management from Dr. Sarah’s university, has convened a meeting with Dr. Sarah, Dr. Ali and their students to discuss the safety issues pertaining to their research.


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Others

Social Sciences/ Humanities

Electrical engineering

Computer science/IT

Chemistry

Physics

e.g. Research on viruses

Biology

O

Understand how to prevent viral infections

How can this research be used for benevolent purposes?

AD

RE

Research Examples

Discipline

N LY

Viruses can be misused to infect people intentionally.

How can this research be misused for harmful purposes?

CHAPTER 3: Culture of Safety and Dual Use Research

HANDOUT 3.3


CHAPTER 3: Culture of Safety and Dual Use Research

HANDOUT 3.4

An avian influenza A (H5N1) outbreak in humans occurred in Hong Kong in 1997. H5N1 is highly lethal; 18 individuals were infected in Hong Kong and 6 of them died. Researchers traced the source of the virus to poultry and humans who were infected when they came in contact with infected poultry. Although human-to-human transmission of the H5N1 virus has been reported in the past, the virus does not efficiently spread between people. However, researchers feared that H5N1 may undergo mutation, and become highly efficient in human-to-human transmission, which raised the fear of a possible H5N1 pandemic.

AD

O

Dr. Kawaoka and his team were studying the H5N1 virus in his lab. He created a hybrid H5N1 virus using genetic engineering methods and showed that this hybrid virus was able to transmit effectively between ferrets, a type of mammal that is commonly used to study virus transmissions, even though the ferrets were in separate cages. In a different laboratory, Dr. Fouchier and his team were also studying the H5N1 virus. His team mutated the H5N1 virus and, after some additional experiments, showed that the H5N1 virus they created was also able to spread between ferrets kept in different cages. These studies showed that the wild strains of H5N1 had the potential to evolve and become extremely transmissible between mammals. These studies created heated debates on the benefits of such research versus the danger of this knowledge being misused for malicious purposes once the studies were published.

These two studies came to the attention of the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), which is an independent government advisory board established to advise the U.S. government on issues related to Dual Use Research. NSABB reviewed the papers and was concerned about the Dual Use potential of the research.

RE

Scenario: The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), which is a department in the U.S. government that advises the U.S. President on science and technology issues, is conducting a town hall meeting with a group of people to discuss whether these two studies should be published. They have invited the researchers involved in the H5N1 research, representatives from NSABB, editors of the journals and representatives from the public. As researchers, your role is to create new knowledge and share this knowledge for the benefit of the public. Discuss the benefits of your H5N1 research as well as the Dual Use potential of your research. Regarding the publication of your studies, you hold the position that your papers should be allowed to be published. Prepare what you will say at the meeting, which will take place at OSTP.

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Character: Researchers of the H5N1 virus

N LY

Role Play


CHAPTER 3: Culture of Safety and Dual Use Research

HANDOUT 3.4

N LY

Role Play Character: Journal Editors

An avian influenza A (H5N1) outbreak in humans occurred in Hong Kong in 1997. H5N1 is highly lethal; 18 individuals were infected in Hong Kong and 6 of them died. Researchers traced the source of the virus to poultry and humans who were infected when they came in contact with infected poultry. Although human-to-human transmission of the H5N1 virus has been reported in the past, the virus does not efficiently spread between people. However, researchers feared that H5N1 may undergo mutation, and become highly efficient in human-to-human transmission, which raised the fear of a possible H5N1 pandemic.

AD

O

Dr. Kawaoka and his team were studying the H5N1 virus in his lab. He created a hybrid H5N1 virus using genetic engineering methods and showed that this hybrid virus was able to transmit effectively between ferrets, a type of mammal that is commonly used to study virus transmissions, even though the ferrets were in separate cages. In a different laboratory, Dr. Fouchier and his team were also studying the H5N1 virus. His team mutated the H5N1 virus and, after some additional experiments, showed that the H5N1 virus they created was also able to spread between ferrets kept in different cages. These studies showed that the wild strains of H5N1 had the potential to evolve and become extremely transmissible between mammals. These studies created heated debates on the benefits of such research versus the danger of this knowledge being misused for malicious purposes once the studies were published.

These two studies came to the attention of the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), which is an independent government advisory board established to advise the U.S. government on issues related to Dual Use Research. NSABB reviewed the papers and was concerned about the Dual Use potential of the research.

RE

Scenario: The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), which is a department in the U.S. government that advises the U.S. President on science and technology issues, is conducting a town hall meeting with a group of people to discuss whether these two studies should be published. They have invited the researchers involved in the H5N1 research, representatives from NSABB, editors of the journals and representatives from the public. As journal editors, your role is to determine the merits of the manuscripts submitted to your journal for publication. You have a role in making sure that research findings are shared to facilitate scientific progress. Research findings that are published in your journal should bring benefits to the society rather than harm. Discuss the benefits of the H5N1 research as well as the Dual Use potential of the research. Also discuss what would you recommend to OSTP regarding the publication of these studies.

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HANDOUT 3.4

N LY

Role Play

An avian influenza A (H5N1) outbreak in humans occurred in Hong Kong in 1997. H5N1 is highly lethal; 18 individuals were infected in Hong Kong and 6 of them died. Researchers traced the source of the virus to poultry and humans who were infected when they came in contact with infected poultry. Although human-to-human transmission of the H5N1 virus has been reported in the past, the virus does not efficiently spread between people. However, researchers feared that H5N1 may undergo mutation, and become highly efficient in human-to-human transmission, which raised the fear of a possible H5N1 pandemic.

AD

O

Dr. Kawaoka and his team were studying the H5N1 virus in his lab. He created a hybrid H5N1 virus using genetic engineering methods and showed that this hybrid virus was able to transmit effectively between ferrets, a type of mammal that is commonly used to study virus transmissions, even though the ferrets were in separate cages. In a different laboratory, Dr. Fouchier and his team were also studying the H5N1 virus. His team mutated the H5N1 virus and, after some additional experiments, showed that the H5N1 virus they created was also able to spread between ferrets kept in different cages. These studies showed that the wild strains of H5N1 had the potential to evolve and become extremely transmissible between mammals. These studies created heated debates on the benefits of such research versus the danger of this knowledge being misused for malicious purposes once the studies were published.

These two studies came to the attention of the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), which is an independent government advisory board established to advise the U.S. government on issues related to Dual Use Research. NSABB reviewed the papers and was concerned about the Dual Use potential of the research.

RE

Scenario: The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), which is a department in the U.S. government that advises the U.S. President on science and technology issues, is conducting a town hall meeting with a group of people to discuss whether these two studies should be published. They have invited the researchers involved in the H5N1 research, representatives from NSABB, editors of the journals and representatives from the public. As representatives from the National Science Advisory Board of Biosecurity (NSABB), your role is to review research with Dual Use potential and advise the U.S. government on what actions to take. After reviewing the papers, you realise that these studies have major Dual Use risks if detailed methods such as the information on how to “create” the Avian Influenza virus that is transmissible from human to human are published and shared openly. Discuss the benefits and Dual Use potential of these studies. Also discuss what would you recommend to OSTP regarding the publication of these studies.

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Character: Representatives from the National Science Advisory Board of Biosecurity (NSABB)


CHAPTER 3: Culture of Safety and Dual Use Research

HANDOUT 3.4

N LY

Role Play Character: Representatives from the Office of Science and Technology Policy representatives

An avian influenza A (H5N1) outbreak in humans occurred in Hong Kong in 1997. H5N1 is highly lethal; 18 individuals were infected in Hong Kong and 6 of them died. Researchers traced the source of the virus to poultry and humans who were infected when they came in contact with infected poultry. Although human-to-human transmission of the H5N1 virus has been reported in the past, the virus does not efficiently spread between people. However, researchers feared that H5N1 may undergo mutation, and become highly efficient in human-to-human transmission, which raised the fear of a possible H5N1 pandemic.

AD

O

Dr. Kawaoka and his team were studying the H5N1 virus in his lab. He created a hybrid H5N1 virus using genetic engineering methods and showed that this hybrid virus was able to transmit effectively between ferrets, a type of mammal that is commonly used to study virus transmissions, even though the ferrets were in separate cages. In a different laboratory, Dr. Fouchier and his team were also studying the H5N1 virus. His team mutated the H5N1 virus and, after some additional experiments, showed that the H5N1 virus they created was also able to spread between ferrets kept in different cages. These studies showed that the wild strains of H5N1 had the potential to evolve and become extremely transmissible between mammals. These studies created heated debates on the benefits of such research versus the danger of this knowledge being misused for malicious purposes once the studies were published.

These two studies came to the attention of the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), which is an independent government advisory board established to advise the U.S. government on issues related to Dual Use Research. NSABB reviewed the papers and was concerned about the Dual Use potential of the research.

RE

Scenario: The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), which is a department in the U.S. government that advises the U.S. President on science and technology issues, is conducting a town hall meeting with a group of people to discuss whether these two studies should be published. They have invited the researchers involved in the H5N1 research, representatives from NSABB, editors of the journals and representatives from the public. As representatives of the OSTP, your position is quite neutral at the moment. You would like to get a solution that does not sacrifice the freedom in research and scientific progress but also one that ensures the safety of the general public. Discuss the benefits and Dual Use potential of these studies. Discuss how you would like to proceed with the data generated from these studies. You may also list a few questions that you would like to pose to the researchers, journal editors, NSABB representatives and the public. You will be chairing the meeting and, at the end of the meeting, you need to make a decision on how to proceed with the results of the research.

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HANDOUT 3.4

An avian influenza A (H5N1) outbreak in humans occurred in Hong Kong in 1997. H5N1 is highly lethal; 18 individuals were infected in Hong Kong and 6 of them died. Researchers traced the source of the virus to poultry and humans who were infected when they came in contact with infected poultry. Although human-to-human transmission of the H5N1 virus has been reported in the past, the virus does not efficiently spread between people. However, researchers feared that H5N1 may undergo mutation, and become highly efficient in human-to-human transmission, which raised the fear of a possible H5N1 pandemic.

AD

O

Dr. Kawaoka and his team were studying the H5N1 virus in his lab. He created a hybrid H5N1 virus using genetic engineering methods and showed that this hybrid virus was able to transmit effectively between ferrets, a type of mammal that is commonly used to study virus transmissions, even though the ferrets were in separate cages. In a different laboratory, Dr. Fouchier and his team were also studying the H5N1 virus. His team mutated the H5N1 virus and, after some additional experiments, showed that the H5N1 virus they created was also able to spread between ferrets kept in different cages. These studies showed that the wild strains of H5N1 had the potential to evolve and become extremely transmissible between mammals. These studies created heated debates on the benefits of such research versus the danger of this knowledge being misused for malicious purposes once the studies were published.

These two studies came to the attention of the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), which is an independent government advisory board established to advise the U.S. government on issues related to Dual Use Research. NSABB reviewed the papers and was concerned about the Dual Use potential of the research.

RE

Scenario: The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), which is a department in the U.S. government that advises the U.S. President on science and technology issues, is conducting a town hall meeting with a group of people to discuss whether these two studies should be published. They have invited the researchers involved in the H5N1 research, representatives from NSABB, editors of the journals and representatives from the public. As representatives from the public, you are troubled by the knowledge that researchers can create “diseases” in a laboratory although you have limited scientific knowledge regarding the research. At the same time, you see the potential benefits of these research. Discuss the benefits and Dual Use potential of the H5N1 research. Your role is to represent the public and voice your concerns. Prepare a list of questions you would like to ask the various parties who will be present at the meeting.

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Character: Representatives from the Public

N LY

Role Play


RE

AD

O

N LY

CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

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AD

O CHAPTER 4 Conflict of Interest

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Chapter 1

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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers


CHAPTER 4: Conflict of Interest

CHAPTER 4

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Conflict of Interest

SYNOPSIS

KEY MESSAGES

O

Since researchers play multiple roles and have multiple responsibilities beyond the traditional borders of merely conducting research, conflict of interest (COI) is bound to occur. This chapter aims to introduce the importance of identifying situations where COI may exist and propose strategies to manage COI effectively. This chapter consists of 4 Parts. Part 1 focuses on the definition of COI. Part 2 introduces the many facets of COI by explaining the different examples of COI while Part 3 analyses the consequences of not managing COI properly. Finally, Part 4 presents strategies of managing COI.

AD

1. COI refers to a situation where the researcher has two or more interests that could interfere with his or her professional ability to stay impartial or objective. 2. COI is often inevitable and it is not inherently wrong but COI needs to be managed properly. 3. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify situations in which COI exists. Once identified, the researcher should promptly declare and manage the identified COI. 4. It is irresponsible not to declare COI that may exist. A researcher is irresponsible if he or she allows COI to compromise his or her objectivity and fairness. 5. Failure to manage COI may compromise research integrity.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

RE

At the end of the chapter, participants should be able to: 4.1 describe the basic principles of COI. 4.2 identify different examples of COI. 4.3 assess the effects of COI on research integrity. 4.4 describe strategies to foster responsible management of COI.

ACTIVITY LIST

This chapter contains 5 activities: Activity 4.1

Polling: This activity aims to gauge the participants’ understanding on the concept of COI. (LO 4.1)

Activity 4.2

Brainstorming: This activity aims to provide the participants with an understanding of the different examples of COI. (LO 4.2)

Activity 4.3

Brainstorming: This activity aims to guide the participants in assessing the negative effects of COI on research integrity. (LO 4.3)

Activity 4.4

Role play: This activity aims to highlight the importance of managing COI. (LO 4.3)

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Case study: This activity aims to discuss strategies to manage COI. (LO 4.2, 4.3, 4.4)

N LY

MATERIALS Materials

Quantity

1 copy per participant based on character assignment

Handout 4.1 Handout 4.2

1 copy per participant

Participant-response tool

1 set per participant

CONTENT

RE

AD

O

Conflict of Interest (COI) refers to a situation where the researcher has financial, personal or other interest(s) that could interfere with his/her professional judgement and ability to stay objective in decision-making. Researchers today have multiple roles that require them to serve various interests. For example, a researcher could be a grant or manuscript reviewer, an industry consultant, a member of a company’s board of advisors, an administrator of a university or an institute, a principal investigator in a research group, a supervisor to a student, etc. In addition, researchers also serve the interest of society, community and other bodies, organisations or institutes. Researchers playing multiple roles are not uncommon in most Malaysian institutions. It is indeed encouraged as it advances knowledge, translates discoveries to impact society, advances a researcher’s network and in many occasions, it also brings personal gain to the researcher. However, having these multiple roles may give rise to conflicting interests, where the researcher finds themselves in a difficult position when deciding to prioritise one interest over the other.

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Activity 4.5


CHAPTER 4: Conflict of Interest

PART 1: DEFINITION OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST

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Activity 4.1: Polling Purpose:

This activity aims to gauge the participants’ understanding of the concept of COI. Instructions:

Show the participants the following four scenarios, one at a time, and ask the participants to decide whether each scenario describes a conflict of interest by voting “yes”, “no”, or “not sure”.

O

Scenario 1: Dr. Bong accepted an appointment to review his good friend’s grant proposal because he felt confident that he could execute the task without any bias.

Scenario 2: Mutiara Sdn. Bhd. appointed Dr. Sheila to serve as their company’s science advisor since Dr. Sheila is a well-known expert in the field and is an academic staff at a world-renowned university. Dr. Sheila accepted the appointment but refused to accept any consultant fees from Mutiara Sdn. Bhd. because she wanted to remain unbiased.

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Scenario 3: Dr. Ahmad and his wife Dr. Siti work in the same faculty. However, they work in different departments. Dr. Ahmad recruited a post-graduate student and asked Dr. Siti to be the cosupervisor of the student. Scenario 4: Dr. Lingam was asked to review a research proposal submitted by a researcher that he did not know. Upon reading the proposal, he realises that the outcome of the proposed research could potentially undermine his own research.

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Note to instructor:

Do not reveal the answer as you go through these scenarios. Explain the definition of COI first, see the “explanation” section below, then go through these scenarios and explain the answers.

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Model answer(s):

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Scenario 1: Although Dr. Bong felt that he could execute the task without being biased or having his integrity compromised, this does not mean that there is no conflict of interest in this scenario. At some point, he may have to choose between protecting the interest of his good friend and protecting his integrity to be a fair and unbiased reviewer. This conflict becomes more pronounced especially if his friend knows that Dr. Bong is reviewing his proposal.

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Scenario 2: Just because Dr. Sheila chose not to receive any honorarium or consultation fees from Mutiara Sdn. Bhd., it does not mean that there is no conflict of interest. Conflict of interest can still exist because Dr. Sheila will have to protect her integrity as a fair and unbiased researcher while serving the interest of Mutiara Sdn. Bhd. While she does not receive any financial gains, there will be some advantages that Dr. Sheila will gain by being a consultant to a private organisation (e.g. access to future research funds, enhancement of her reputation and visibility)

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Scenario 3: Although Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Siti are in different departments, asking a spouse to become the postgraduate student’s co-supervisor will give rise to COI. In the event, that a conflict arises between the postgraduate student and one of the supervisors, the other supervisor will be in conflict on whether to protect the interest of the mentor-mentee relationship or their spousal relationship. Scenario 4: This scenario is slightly different from Scenario 1. In this scenario, Dr. Lingam does not know the identity of the author. Anyhow, he finds himself in a situation where COI exists. On one hand, he has an obligation to protect the integrity of the peer review process but on the other hand, he has to consider protecting the interest of his own research agenda.

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As described, COI refers to a situation where the researcher has financial, personal or other interest(s) (including other professional interests) that could interfere with their professional judgement and ability to stay objective (Fischbach and Plaza, 2004; National Science Council, 2017). It is important to note that COIs are often inevitable and are not inherently wrong. It is often a misconception that COI exists only when the judgement, objectivity or integrity of the researcher has been compromised. COI “exists (or does not exist) regardless of whether it is operative; that is, whether it is in fact influencing an individual’s judgement or actions.” (Harvard University, 2010). Even if it does not influence the individual’s judgement or actions, COI may impact other people’s perception of an individual’s judgement or actions. Therefore, all the scenarios depict a situation where COI can exist even if the researchers remain unbiased or make decisions objectively, without compromising integrity.

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PART 2: TYPES OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST

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Activity 4.2: Brainstorming Purpose

This activity aims to provide the participants with an understanding of the different examples of COI. Instructions:

Note to instructor:

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1. Ask each group to provide different scenarios for each of the following forms of COI: a. Financial COI b. Personal Relationship COI c. Scientific COI d. Personal belief/ideology COI

Tell the participants that they can use the internet to source for information to understand the various forms of COI Model answer(s):

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See the section below. There are generally 4 forms of COI: Financial: due to tangible or non-tangible monetary rewards Scientific: due to competing or bias in scientific interest Personal Relationship: due to a close relationship between the parties involved Personal Belief or Ideology: due to competing interest with personal ideology

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These forms of COI are not mutually exclusive and may exist together in a particular scenario. 1. Financial Conflict of Interest Researchers are encouraged to provide services or consultancy especially to entities outside academia, such as the industry or even the community. These professional services provide a platform for researchers to translate the outcomes of their research or knowledge to products or services that may benefit the society. Researchers sometimes receive financial rewards for their service and consultancy. Personal financial gains are permitted as long as it is done under stipulated rules and regulations in a transparent manner. Financial rewards include tangible or intangible rewards. Financial rewards may include fees, royalties, gifts, stocks, equities, or in-kind (favours, goods, commodities, services or anything else, instead of money). Financial COI exists because these financial rewards, tangible or intangible, may affect the judgement or objectivity of the researcher. It may influence the researcher’s integrity in carrying out their professional responsibilities. A researcher who receives these financial rewards is faced with the conflict of serving two interests. On one hand, the researcher needs to ensure that the 97 Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research


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Examples of situations that create a financial conflict of interest are: - A researcher who is paid fees or payment in kind to provide consultation or advice. - A researcher who serves on a Scientific Advisory Board or Board of Directors related to the researcher’s project. - A researcher who is sponsored (cash or in-kind) to participate in meetings or conferences. - A researcher who owns equities or shares in a company or companies related to his or her own research. - A researcher who receives royalties for licensing-out patent(s) or other forms of intellectual properties. - A researcher who receives personal gifts from the private sector. - A researcher who receives grants, fee or in-kind support from the private sector to conduct research (i.e., research materials, equipment etc.). - A researcher who buys research-related materials from companies that are associated with his or her family members or close acquaintances. A note on COI and peer review process: Financial COI in the peer review process occurs when a peer reviewer may have direct or indirect financial gain if the manuscript is accepted for publication or a proposal is reviewed favourably/funded. Such COI must be managed accordingly (See Part 4).

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2. Scientific Conflict of Interest

Scientific COI is another form of COI that could affect the integrity of a researcher. The most common area of research where scientific COI can exist is in the peer review process. This process includes grant proposal reviews or manuscript reviews, and even professional assessment reviews. Reviewers are chosen for their expertise in the same field. However, scientific COI may exist when the reviewer wants to protect his or her own research interests while serving his or her professional duty as an objective and unbiased reviewer. There are two situations where scientific COI may arise. The first example relates to a researcher (i.e., reviewer) who faces a situation whereby the content of the article contains information that may challenge the reviewer’s own scientific viewpoint, or even to some extent, threaten the reviewer’s reputation/standing in the scientific community. At the same time, as a reviewer, he or she has a duty to act fairly and objectively. An irresponsible reviewer may unfairly reject a grant proposal or manuscript submission without considering the true scientific merits of the grant proposal or manuscript.

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research is being carried out with integrity. On the other hand, the researcher also wants to protect his/her financial interest as well as the interest of the financial sponsors. As mentioned above, COI is inevitable since researchers are encouraged to provide services or advice to private industries. In addition, COI is also not inherently wrong. Nevertheless, even if a researcher is able to remain uncompromised, COI may affect the perception of others about the researcher. It is interesting to note that COI still exists even if a researcher does not gain financial rewards personally, or remains objective in providing his consultations or services. Furthermore, COI is also present even if the financial rewards are not direct, e.g., distributed to the researcher’s family members, close associates, laboratory members, or if the financial reward is given to support a research project.


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Meanwhile, the second example is exactly the opposite, where the researcher (i.e., reviewer) provides positive recommendation (potentially undeservingly due to personal bias). In this case, scientific COI compromises the integrity of the scientific process when a reviewer provides favourable reviews and comments to support a grant proposal or manuscript in order to advance his/her own scientific agenda. Similar to the first example, a researcher may blatantly ignore pitfalls, loopholes or flaws of the work under review. In such cases, the integrity of the reviewer is compromised and the decision-making process of the reviewer is biased because the judgement is made to serve personal scientific interest.

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Examples of other situations that may create scientific COI include: - A researcher who reviews the manuscript of his competitor in the same field. - A researcher who approves a grant solely because it will be using a technology he/she invented. - A Chair of a Scientific Society that openly supports/endorses one scientific method over the other for personal gain. 3. Personal Relationship Conflict of Interest

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Personal relationship COI in research arises when a researcher is faced with the choice of protecting the interest of his or her personal relationship with another individual, while maintaining his or her research integrity. The existence of personal relationship COI may influence a researcher to act in a non-objective or biased manner. A researcher may find him/herself in a personal relationship COI when his or her professional decisions are potentially influenced by the following relationships: - Family members and relatives (including spouse, domestic partners, persons related by blood, adoption or marriage) - Close colleagues or close friends - Partners in an intimate relationship - Research collaborators or business partners, former supervisors/mentors and students/ mentees

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Often personal relationship COI influences the researcher to act in a bias manner to support the interest of the personal relationship. However, there can also be instances where a personal relationship that has gone sour may result in a COI, where the researcher may act in a biased manner that negatively impacts a particular individual (e.g. ex-collaborator, ex-spouse, ex-partner etc.). Situations where personal relationship COI may arise include: • Researchers with personal relationship COI serving on the same committees such as a supervisory or ethics committee. • Researchers who procure research materials, equipment or service from individuals or companies with personal relationship COI. This also overlaps with financial COI. • Researchers who hire research personnel with relationship COI.

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A note on personal relationship COI and peer review: A reviewer may have a personal relationship COI if he or she has one of the relationships described above with the author of the manuscript or proposal (see chapter 6 on Peer Review). Additional guidelines are provided by the National Institute of Health (2015), UK Medical Research Council (2017), and UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (2018). Please refer to their respective URLs provided in the List of References at the end of the chapter.

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Personal belief or ideology COI is in some ways similar to scientific COI. Personal beliefs or ideologies include a person’s views on religion, politics, race, gender, social status or other worldviews. This type of COI exists when a researcher is faced with the choice of protecting his or her own personal beliefs or ideology while upholding his or her research integrity, which is to be objective, unbiased, and fair. Researchers commonly face this type of COI during the peer review process such as reviewing a manuscript or grant proposal.

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Some examples of research that result in a COI due to a researcher’s personal beliefs or ideology include: 1. Political analysis 2. Genetics or stem cell research 3. Animal or human subject research 4. Abortion-related studies 5. Sexuality-related studies 6. Gender-related analysis 7. Religion-related research 8. Race-related studies 9. Studies on human evolution 10. Research on war or weapons 11. Environmental research (e.g. climate change) In addition, an individual’s personal beliefs/perception of a certain race, religion, age-group, gender or even countries or political establishments can create personal belief and ideology COI. For example, a researcher may discriminate against other researchers based on their prejudice against certain races, political ideology or social class. In addition, the peer review process can also be compromised if a particular reviewer has a negative perception about the research competency in low- or middle-income countries or less-reputable institutions. Thus, manuscripts and grants from these places may be judged unfairly despite their scientific merit. While we have discussed about potential COI at an individual researcher level, COI can also exist at an institutional level. Institutional COI can arise in the event the research, education or other core activities of the institution are influenced by the interests (usually financial) of the institution or an official of authority that acts on behalf of the institution. For the purpose of the module, we will be focusing primarily on the COI at the individual researcher level.

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Conflict of Commitment

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In addition to COI, researchers may also face Conflict of Commitment (COC); where a researcher’s external commitments or responsibilities are in conflict with his or her primary responsibilities at a university or research institute that is his or her primary employer. As mentioned in the beginning, researchers today are encouraged to take on many roles and responsibilities for professional development and social contribution, which may or may not be directly related to the researcher’s primary work or responsibility towards his or her employer. These external roles and responsibilities require time and resource commitment from the researcher and may distract the researcher from giving his or her full commitment towards his or her primary duty; in other words, the researcher faces a COC. Researchers with many roles and responsibilities may compromise on the amount of time they dedicate towards their primary roles. For example, a university researcher who provides consultation to a private company. The researcher needs to balance his or her time and effort committed towards his or her primary role as a university researcher as well as his or her role as a consultant in a private company. This results in a COC. If financial interest is involved, the COC is intertwined with financial COI.

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PART 3: NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES OF COI ON RESEARCH INTEGRITY Researchers are encouraged to collaborate with many parties as these collaborative relationships can benefit many; including the researchers themselves as well as the society. However, researchers must be able to understand and be aware when COI may arise from such relationships. Activity 4.3: Brainstorming

Purpose:

This activity aims to guide the participants in assessing the negative consequences of COI on research integrity. Instructions:

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1. Ask each group to discuss the negative impact of COI if it results in a biased decision. 2. Ask each group to discuss the negative impact of COI even it does not result in a biased decision. 3. Ask the participants to write their answers on the Mahjong paper and, when they are ready, share their answers with the class.

Note to instructor:

You may ask the participants to think about the specific negative impact relating to each of the 4 different COI or the general negative impact of COI.

Model answer(s): See the section below.

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Scientific, personal belief or ideology COI can also affect the integrity of a researcher. As mentioned above, such as COI usually exist during the peer review process. A manuscript or grant proposal that is unfairly dismissed due to such COI would cause a researcher to lose an opportunity to receive funding or publish a paper. This would not only affect the career of the researcher; it also prevents a sound scientific idea from being explored or advanced because of reviewer-bias. Also, a biased reviewer who gave positive reviews for self-beneficial scientific interest may allow manuscripts or grant proposals with flaws to pass through the review process. This would harm the research ecosystem as resources are wasted and the safety of the people may be compromised.

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Just like the effects of COI described previously, personal relationship COI can also cloud or distort the judgement of the researcher. Emotional attachments, positive (e.g., love, respect, etc.) or negative (e.g., hate, retribution, etc.) will influence the reviewer’s decisions, eventually reducing the weight of factual considerations in making that decision. Severe consequences could be brought upon different people depending on the scenarios where the COI occurs.

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As a note of caution, COI does not only appear when the decisions are biased. COI will still exist even if the researcher is able to maintain research integrity. Just because a researcher is uncompromised, objective and fair, it does not mean that the COI does not exist. COI that is not properly managed will also bring negative consequences to the researcher. For example, the integrity of the researcher will be in doubt, the work or research outputs will be questioned and the reputation of the researcher, people associated with the researcher and the institution affiliated to the researcher will be questioned. Other stakeholders including the general public, funders, publishers and policy-makers may also lose confidence in the researcher, or even the research ecosystem that failed to manage COI. Furthermore, as mentioned previously, improperly managed COI can be the precursor of further irresponsible actions; the COI that is left unmanaged may be serious enough to cloud one’s judgment into making decisions and actions that can go against the law. Thus, it is imperative that institutions and research develop strategies to limit COI and if unavoidable, to manage COI effectively.

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Each type of COI affects the integrity of the researcher in different ways. As mentioned previously, COI can threaten the integrity and reputation of the researcher if it is not managed well. COI puts a researcher in a situation whereby his or her judgement may no longer be fair, objective or unbiased. A researcher may commit research misconduct such as falsification or fabrication of data to protect his or her secondary interest, such as a financial interest. A researcher may also find short cuts or make unsound research conclusion to satisfy his or her financial stakeholders such as research sponsors. COI may also cause a researcher to commit financial fraud. It is imperative that COI is managed properly. Left unchecked, the COI can be the precursors of various other irresponsible actions, which may lead to severe offences against the law.


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PART 4: MANAGEMENT OF COI

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Activity 4.4: Role Play Purpose:

This activity aims to highlight the importance of managing COI. Instructions:

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1. Divide the class into three groups and assign each group with a role – Dr. Singh (a researcher at a public university); Mrs. Chang (a university research finance administrator) or Dr. David (the Director of Research Management). 2. Distribute Handout 4.1 to the participants according to their assigned character. 3. Ask each group to assume their roles and carry out the task as described in the handout. 4. After you have sensed that the role play has sufficiently teased out the important points, you may stop the role play. 5. Ask the participants to discuss and shout out what forms of COI exist and how it has impacted Dr. Singh and his research in general. 6. Inform them that after thorough investigation; the decision is that while COI (both financial and personal relationship COI) exists, Dr. Singh’s judgement and action was not compromised. However, the COI were poorly managed. 7. Ask the participants to discuss and shout out what Dr. David’s next steps should be. Note to instructor: None

Model answer(s):

There are two forms of COI involved in this case: financial and personal relationship COI.

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Dr. Singh’s actions and judgement were not compromised by these COI. However, he failed to declare these COI (partly because of a lack of institutional guidelines). If Dr. Singh declared the COI when making the purchase, then there would not have been any doubt regarding his integrity; and his research would not have been affected by the delay in the purchase of the equipment.

In this case, since his decision or action was not compromised by COI, Dr. David should: Recommend Mrs. Chang to assess if the prices is truly fair and if it so, to process the requisition order and facilitate the purchase of the equipment from Dr. Singh’s brother inlaw’s company; • Advice Dr. Singh to declare any future COI; • Develop institutional guidelines that can guide the management of future COI. •

The Malaysian Code of Responsible Conduct in Research states that: “It (COI) should be identified, disclosed and appropriately managed, preferably early and soonest” (National Science Council, 2017).

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Industry-Sponsored Research: A Dilemma in COI

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Recently the New York Times ran an article that questioned the financial COI of Malaysian researchers (Fuller et al., 2017). This was based on an industry-sponsored research project that subsequently resulted in a peer-reviewed publication (Jan Mohamad, 2015). The research paper was regarding the effect of malted drink consumption among primary school children in Malaysia. The research found that malted drink consumption was associated with higher micronutrient intakes and higher levels of physical activity. Critics were concerned that the industry-sponsored research was potentially biased and that the commercial interests of the sponsor may have influenced the outcome of the research (Fuller et al., 2017). In the competing interests section of the paper, the authors disclosed that the work presented in the paper was sponsored by a multinational corporation that produce malted drinks. However, some of the authors of this paper were also from this multinational corporation; thus raising questions regarding the independence of the research conducted and reported. Some researchers questioned the validity and relevance of the results. However, there were other researchers who came out in support of the study. In recognising, the potential financial COI in research in general, a senior author of the paper questioned if concerns pertaining to potential COI outweighed the benefits of industry-sponsored research (Fuller et al., 2017). In a separate interview, the senior author explained the various safeguards that were in place to manage financial COI; in the context of industry collaboration (Yeo, 2018). This case put the spotlight on COI and why it was important to train researchers to assess their own research for the existence of COI. In addition, COI should be avoidable but if it was unavoidable, it has to be managed effectively.


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Activity 4.5: Case Studies Purpose:

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This activity aims to discuss strategies to manage COI. Instructions:

1. Distribute Handout 4.2 to each participant. 2. Ask the participants to discuss the questions in the case study. Note to instructor:

Four case studies are provided. Depending on the time available, you may choose 1 or more case studies for discussion.

Case study 1

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Model answer(s):

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1. Prof. Chew licensed his product to his son-in-law’s company and subsequently lobbied the Department of Agriculture to use his product. Both financial COI and personal relationship COI existed in this case. 2. It can be argued that perhaps Prof. Chew rushed the experiments in order to commercialise the product as quickly as possible. As a result, there was a possibility that the experiment was conducted poorly and the efficacy and safety of the pesticide could be questionable. This could cause harm to the public of a product of limited benefit. Since Prof. Chew did not declare the COI, his reputation could be severely damaged if found out. He would face significant backlash because of this COI. 3. It was Prof. Chew’s responsibility to declare the COI to the university and to the National Pesticide committee in the first place. The university and the National Pesticide Committee, have the obligation to conduct due diligence in assessing for any potential COIs. For example, they could have raised the question about COI during their meetings with Prof. Chew. 4. If I am Prof. Chew, I would have declared the COI to the University Research Management Office and allowed them to make an informed decision. Assuming that the Director had given his approval, I should have also declared the COI during the National Pesticide committee meeting and recuse myself from making any further decisions regarding the use of the pesticide. I would have also ensured that the robust research was conducted to prove the efficacy and safety of my product.

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Case study 2

Case study 3

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1. This is a trick question. There is no COI in this case. Dr. Chaudury dismissed Dr. Chong’s manuscript simply because he was not familiar with the new method and did not attempt to make an effort to assess it. 2. He was being an irresponsible and closed-minded reviewer. 3. Dr. Chaudury’s actions caused the delay in publication of Dr. Chong’s research. This might impact Dr. Chong’s career progression as well as the development of the particular research field. He also wasted the resources (time and effort) of others such as the publishers, editors and other reviewers. 4. I would try to learn more about the statistical analysis and see the merits of the new method or inform the editor that I would not be able to review the manuscript because I was not familiar with the method. Case study 4

1. Personal relationship COI. 2. Her actions were unethical. Dr. May has allowed her relationship with Dr. Omar to affect her objectivity. Instead of considering the merits of Dr. Omar’s proposal, Dr. May used her influence to persuade others to reject Dr. Omar’s proposal. 3. Dr. May denied Dr. Omar’s proposal a fair review and thus prevented Dr. Omar from receiving a grant, had it been reviewed in a fair and objective manner. Thus, her actions may have inhibited the progress of very important research as well as Dr. Omar’s professional career. 4. I would have declared my COI to the committee and asked to be recused from reviewing the grant.

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1. Personal relationship and scientific COIs. Since Prof. Didi’s son is her own MSc student, this is a personal relationship COI. She asked Dr. Amin to be the examiner and this was also a personal relationship COI. Dr. Raj acted in a biased way because of scientific COI. 2. Since Prof. Didi was his Head of Department, Dr. Amin could have felt pressured to pass Prof Didi’s son’s thesis. Dr. Amin could have also thought that by providing a favour (i.e., making the viva easier), he could remain on the good side of Prof. Didi. By doing so, he would sacrifice his integrity of being a fair and unbiased examiner. As a biased examiner, he might have overlooked errors in the thesis in order to pass Prof. Didi’s son. Even if Dr. Amin has acted without bias, others might still question his reputation and integrity. 3. Dr. Amin should have declined the appointment politely and explained his reasons to Prof. Didi; citing COI. 4. Dr. Raj’s research integrity was compromised due to scientific COI. He failed the thesis because some of the data in the thesis contradicted his own work. Dr. Raj’s action has unnecessarily delayed the graduation of the student; thus impacting his career. His actions also resulted in a waste of resources (time and money) and if his results were actually wrong, his actions would negatively impacted the body of knowledge in the field. 5. If I am Dr. Raj, upon detecting the conflicting results, I would have informed Prof. Didi that I had a scientific COI with the thesis and asked to be removed from the examination panel.


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Researchers are always encouraged to foster relationships with other government agencies, private industries and companies as these relationships can be beneficial to many including the society and the researchers. However, researchers must understand and realise when COI are potentially present in these relationships. Hence the identification, disclosure and action(s) from all parties involved are very important so that these COI can be properly managed or avoided to maintain scientific integrity. All disclosures should be analysed properly so that appropriate actions can be taken. Nevertheless disclosure of COI might not be enough to reduce the risk of bias and manage perceptions. Hence, steps must be taken by the decision makers to identify COI that may arise and avoid them if possible. If at all possible, researchers should avoid getting him or herself in a situation where COI may arise. If a COI situation is unavoidable, a researcher should always consider the following:

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1. The type of COI. 2. To what extent will it influence the decision-making process and the final decision? 3. Has the COI been sufficiently disclosed to all the relevant parties? 4. Has the appropriate permission(s) been granted? 5. What would the other people perceive the COI and how can these perceptions be managed?

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Once the abovementioned have been considered, these are some of the actions that can be taken: 1. Be honest and transparent. Declare the conflict of interest to the relevant stakeholders, and provide clear information regarding the COI (i.e., what type of COI, why it is a COI, etc.). 2. Allow the stakeholders to decide whether the researcher should take part in the scenario that may create the COI. The researcher in question should wait patiently. 3. If a reviewer feels that he or she cannot remain unbiased due to various forms of COI, the reviewer should consider removing him or herself from the peer review process. 4. Publishers require authors to disclose any financial COI, no matter how small the financial reward is or whether the financial reward is tangible or intangible. 5. Some funders also require reviewers to declare COI, especially if personal relationship COI exists. 6. Researchers should become familiar with their institution’s guidelines and policies on COI. 7. Researchers should always remember that their primary duty to research is to carry out their research responsibly with uncompromised integrity.

CONCLUSIONS

To conclude, it is important to understand and identify COI as it may not only harm the particular researcher or study, but could affect the integrity of science and reduce the trust and perception of people towards the researcher. While it is best to completely avoid all COI situations, it is not possible due to various other issues. The best solution is for all the parties to declare, identify or inquire about COI, i.e., editors and funding bodies should inquire or identify any conflicts of interest, while researchers should identify and declare any COI that they might have. Various institutions including funding bodies and publishers have different methods of reporting and dealing with COI instances. Researchers should familiarise themselves with these guidelines and policies. Ultimately, responsible researchers should prioritise on conducting research without compromising their integrity. A responsible researcher who abides by the established rules and regulations would gain public trust, protect the researcher’s and institutions’ reputation, and protect the public, environment, research ecosystem as well as the research subjects.

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LIST OF REFERENCES

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Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. (2018). BBSRC guidance notes for reviewers using the Je-S system. Retrieved from https://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/funding/reviewers/ Fischbach, R., and Plaza, J. (2004). RCR conflicts of interest. Retrieved from http://ccnmtl.columbia. edu/projects/rcr/rcr_conflicts/

Fuller, T., O’Connor, A., and Richtel, M. (2017). In Asia’s fattest country, nutritionists take money from food giants. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/23/health/obesity-malaysia-nestle. html

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Jan Mohamad, H.J., Loy, S.L., Mohd Taib, M.N., Karim, N.A., Tan, S.Y., Appukutty, M. et al. (2015). Characteristics associated with the consumption of malted drinks among Malaysian primary school children: findings from the MyBreakfast study. BMC Public Health, 15(1322).

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Medical Research Council. (2017). Guidance for peer reviewers: a detailed guide for reviewers of MRC proposals, including assessment criteria and scoring systems. Retrieved from https://www. mrc.ac.uk/documents/pdf/reviewers-handbook/ National Institute of Health. (2015). NIH conflict of interest rules: information for reviewers of NIH applications and R&D contract proposals. Retrieved from https://grants.nih.gov/grants/peer/NIH_ Conflict_of_Interest_Rules.pdf National Science Council. (2017). An initiative of science to action: Malaysian code of responsible conduct in research. Cyberjaya, Selangor: Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology.

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Yeo, P. (2018). Tackling nutrition issues in Malaysia. Retrieved from https://www.star2.com/health/ nutrition/2018/01/17/tackling-nutrition-issues-in-malaysia/

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Harvard University. (2010). Harvard University policy on individual financial conflicts of interest for persons holding faculty and teaching appointments. Retrieved from http://files.vpr.harvard.edu/ files/vpr-documents/files/harvard_university_fcoi_policy_4_0.pdf


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FURTHER READING

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IAP-the Global Network of Science Academies. (2016). Doing global science: a guide to responsible conduct in the global research enterprise. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Macrina, F.L. (2014). Scientific integrity: text and cases in responsible conduct of research. Washington, DC: American Society for Microbiology Press. National Academy of Sciences. (2009). On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research (Third Edition). Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

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Steneck, N. H. (2007). ORI Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.

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HANDOUT 4.1

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Character: Dr. Singh You are a university lecturer and you are currently developing a prototype to detect radiation in the soil. You have a brother-in-law who has a company that sells research equipment. You have purchased equipment from his company in the past. You now need to buy an expensive research equipment using money from an approved grant. This equipment costs around RM10,000. Since your brother-in-law’s company sells this equipment, you asked him to give you a quotation. You also asked two unrelated companies to submit their quotations. As it turned out, your brotherin-law’s company gave the cheapest quotation. You then submitted the Requisition Order to the university through the Research Management Office.

You are not happy with the situation so you called Dr. David, who is the Director of the Research Management Office and told him that you need to buy that equipment as soon as possible since the money has been approved by the funder and that your account is closing soon. Dr. David has asked you to meet him and Mrs. Chang in his office.

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Task:

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Your task is to prepare for the meeting. Clarify to them that you have followed proper procedures in obtaining the required 3 quotations and it is a coincidence that your brother-in-law’s company offered the cheapest price. You may also tell them that you have purchased other equipment from his company in the past without any problems. His company has demonstrated good customer service all this time. Dr. David and Mrs. Chang will most likely raise the issue about COI. Prepare to tell them that you did not see the need to inform them and the reason for that.

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One day, you received a phone call from Mrs. Chang, an officer of the accounts department in your university’s Research Management Office. She told you that your Requisition Order is on hold because she wants to investigate a potential COI.


CHAPTER 4: Conflict of Interest

HANDOUT 4.1

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Character: Mrs. Chang

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You are an officer at the accounts department in a university’s Research Management Office. You received a Requisition Order submitted by Dr. Singh to purchase a research equipment that costs RM 10,000. Two additional quotations were also submitted. You checked his grant approval documents and learned that there are funds allocated for the purchase of this particular equipment. You also checked the background of all three companies that provided the quotations. One day, you received an anonymous phone call from someone. The informant told you that Dr. Singh has been purchasing equipment from this company several times in the past. The informant added that the company always provides Dr. Singh with the lowest price as compared to the competitors. The informant further revealed that this company belongs to Dr. Singh’s brother-in-law. This information has caught your attention and you have decided to look into it. You called Dr. Singh to inform him that his Requisition Order has been put on hold while you investigate this situation. Soon after, you received a call from Dr. David who wants to know why Dr. Singh’s Requisition Order is on hold. You told Dr. David that there might be an issue with COI and that you prefer to explain the situation in person. Therefore, Dr. David asked you to meet him and Dr. Singh in his office to discuss this issue.

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Task:

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Your task is to prepare for the meeting with Dr. David and Dr. Singh. You may briefly explain the situation that led you to investigate Dr. Singh’s order. You may also tell them what steps you are taking to ensure that the order is done according to proper procedure. At the meeting tomorrow, you should mention why Dr. Singh should have declared his COI and the failure to do so has compromised his reputation and potentially the decision making process. You should interrogate Dr. Singh if he conspired with his brother-in-law to ensure that his brother in-law’s company always provides the lowest prices.

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HANDOUT 4.1

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Character: Dr. David

Task:

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Dr. Singh and Mrs. Chang did not provide you with details of the situation. Your task is to prepare a list of questions for both parties in order to clarify the situation. You may want to first ask Dr. Singh why the purchase of the equipment was essential to the project. You may also ask Dr. Singh whether he has followed all the proper procedures involved in obtaining the quotations. You may then ask Mrs. Chang to explain the situation that has led her to investigate for potential COI.

RE

AD

Your task is to facilitate the meeting to ensure that both parties are allowed to voice their position/ concerns/argument.

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You are the Director of a university’s Research Management Office. You received an angry phone call from Dr. Singh who informed you that he needs to buy an equipment using his grant. Although the purchase of this equipment was allocated in the grant, Mrs. Chang, an officer in the account’s department of your office has delayed his Requisition Order. Dr. Singh did not provide any further information but he requested to see you. You called Mrs. Chang next to ask for an explanation. Mrs. Chang told you that there might be a COI and that she preferred to explain the details in person. Therefore, you have invited Mrs. Chang and Dr. Singh to the meeting.


CHAPTER 4: Conflict of Interest

HANDOUT 4.2 Case Studies

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Case study 1

Prof. Chew is a renowned entomologist in University Prestasi. His lab has developed a new pesticide. The Director of the Research Management Office asked him to patent it quickly so that the product could be commercialised immediately. Prof. Chew patented the pesticide formulation and licensed it to a private company owned by his son-in-law. As the chair of the National Pesticide committee under the Department of Agriculture, he influenced his committee members to approve the use of his pesticide nationwide. The issue of conflict of interest was never brought up in any meeting. Discussion questions:

Case study 2

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1. Describe the COI that exist(s) in this case. 2. What are the negative consequences of this case? 3. Whose responsibility was it to ensure that COI situations were properly managed? 4. If you are Prof. Chew, what would you have done differently to mitigate the negative consequences that could have occurred in this case?

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Prof. Didi is the Head of the Department of Humanities. Her son happens to be her MSc student. Prof. Didi appointed Dr. Amin, a rising star in the department, to become the examiner of her son’s thesis. He examined the thesis and passed it. Separately, Dr. Raj was appointed as the external examiner of the thesis. He found out that some of the findings in the thesis were in contrast with the research he is working on. Dr. Raj then failed the thesis without proper evaluation. Discussion questions:

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1. Describe the COI that exist(s) in this case. 2. How would a COI affect Dr. Amin’s integrity? What are the consequences of Dr. Amin’s actions? 3. If you are Dr. Amin, how would you handle the situation? 4. What do you think of Dr. Raj’s actions? What are the consequences of his actions? 5. If you are Dr. Raj, what would you have done instead? Case study 3

Dr. Chong submitted a manuscript that modelled the consumer behaviour of secondary school students. In this study, he used a new but extremely complicated statistical analysis. Researchers in the same field are only beginning to recognise this new method of analysis. Dr. Chaudury, who is also an economist, is a reviewer of the manuscript but he is not familiar with this new statistical analysis. He doubts Dr. Chong’s analysis and therefore rejected Dr. Chong’s manuscript.

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Discussion questions:

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1. Describe the COI that exist(s) in this case. 2. What do you think of Dr. Chaudury’s action? 3. What are the potential consequences of Dr. Chaudury’s action? 4. If you are Dr. Chaudury, what should you have done instead? Case study 4

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1. Describe the COI that exist(s) in this case. 2. What do you think of Dr. May’s actions? 3. What are the consequences of Dr. May’s actions? 4. If you are Dr. May, what would you have done instead?

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Discussion questions:

O

Dr. Omar is a Professor in the Food Science Department. He submitted a grant to apply for large funding to develop a biosensor that could detect microbes in food. His application was rejected and no proper reasons were given. Through a friend, Dr. Omar found out that the Chair of the review panel was his ex-wife, Dr. May and Dr. May used her position to influence the review panel to reject the application.


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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

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O CHAPTER 5 Authorship and Publications

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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers


CHAPTER 5: Authorship and Publications

CHAPTER 5

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Authorship and Publications

SYNOPSIS

KEY MESSAGES

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Once a research project is completed, a researcher’s next task is to disseminate the findings to others and one of the main avenues for the dissemination of research findings is through publications. Authors have the responsibility to ensure that research is conducted responsibly and authorship is assigned appropriately, as authorship identifies those who have provided significant intellectual contribution to the study or research. This chapter, which consists of 5 parts, addresses ethical issues in publications and authorship. Part 1 of this chapter describes the purpose of publication in research and what it means to researchers. Part 2 details the roles and responsibilities of authors. Part 3 examines unethical authorship practices and the negative consequences of such practices while Part 4 discusses ethical issues in publications and the negative consequences of unethical publication practices. Finally, Part 5 provides strategies to mitigate ethical issues concerning authorship.

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1. Authorship should only be given to those who have provided significant intellectual contribution to the research. 2. Authors are responsible and accountable for the published work. 3. Coercive authorship, honorary/gift/guest authorship and ghost authorship are unethical practices. 4. Researchers should avoid salami-slicing publications because it distorts the perception of the actual research. 5. Duplicate submissions/publications are unethical because they infringe on copyright issues and could mislead other researchers about the novelty of the research. They are also a waste of resources. 6. Unethical practices in publication and authorship could bring many negative consequences to the researchers and the research ecosystem. It tarnishes the researchers’ reputation, erodes public trust in the research ecosystem and diminishes public support for academic research. Ultimately, these will eventually impede the progress in science. 7. Researchers should be aware of and avoid bad practices in publication and authorship. It is advisable to openly discuss, plan and agree on how to handle publication and authorship issues throughout the research process. This is particularly important in collaborative research that involves more than one researcher.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES At the end of the chapter, participants should be able to: 5.1 explain the purpose and importance of academic publication. 5.2 describe the criteria for authorship. 5.3 list the responsibilities of a corresponding author and co-author. 5.4 identify unethical authorship and publication practices.

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5.5 describe the consequences of unethical authorship and publication practices. 5.6 identify strategies to mitigate ethical issues concerning authorship and publication.

ACTIVITY LIST This chapter contains 8 activities:

Activity 5.3

Brainstorming: This activity aims to guide the participants in understanding the responsibilities of "authors and the criteria for authorship; and come to a consensus on the criteria for authorship. (LO 5.2 and 5.3) Sticky notes: This activity aims to guide participants to realise that the corresponding author plays an important role in publications and has extra responsibilities as compared to the co-authors. (LO 5.3)

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Activity 5.4

Test-learn-test: This activity aims to assess the participants’ perception and knowledge on the criteria of authorship before and after the learning session. This activity will also prompt the participants to reconsider the criteria for authorship. (LO 5.2)

Activity 5.5

Sticky notes: This activity aims to improve the participants’ understanding on common unethical authorship practices. (LO 5.4)

Activity 5.6

Case study: This activity aims to guide the participants in identifying the negative consequences of unethical authorship practices. (LO 5.2 and 5.4) Shout-out and Brainstorming: This activity aims to guide the participants in identifying unethical publication practices and the negative consequences of these unethical practices. (LO 5.4 and 5.5)

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Activity 5.7

Activity 5.8

Role play: This activity aims to show the participants that authorship issues can be very complicated and difficult to resolve particularly in collaborative research. Therefore, researchers need to strategise and plan to promote responsible authorship and publications. (LO 5.6)

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Activity 5.2

Think-pair-share and sticky notes: This activity aims to stimulate the participants to think about the importance of publications and the purpose of naming authors in publications. (LO 5.1)

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Activity 5.1


CHAPTER 5: Authorship and Publications

MATERIALS Quantity

Handout 5.1

1 copy per participant according to their assigned character

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Materials

Participant response tool

1 set per participant

Coloured marker pens

1 set per participant

Sticky notes A4 papers

CONTENT

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PART 1: THE PURPOSE OF PUBLICATION IN RESEARCH The sharing and dissemination of research findings is part and parcel of the research enterprise. New ideas, techniques, and findings are shared to increase each other’s knowledge and understanding. Researchers have long relied on publications as the main tool to share and disseminate their research findings. These publications are read by other researchers and sometimes, the general public or policy-makers who, in turn, apply this knowledge to address other problems, correct misconceptions or solve societal issues. It is an avenue for scientists and researchers to share data that they have collected and analysed. Publications can take many forms such as scientific journals, reports, proceedings, books, and monographs. An excellent scholarly publication is a yardstick for scientific achievements and a sign of academic accomplishment for both the individual researcher and the affiliated institute. Researchers also rely on good publications to add to their credentials as experts in a particular field. An author is someone whose name is associated with the publication. It is the person who is readily identified by readers as the person who has made significant contributions to the work that eventually led to the publication. Most publications have more than one author which signifies the collaborative nature of the research. Each author plays a unique and significant role in the successful completion of the research. As “the scientific enterprise is built on a foundation of trust” (National Academy of Sciences, 2009), the research community generally place trust on other researchers to conduct research in an ethical manner and they are transparent, honest, accurate and truthful in reporting their research findings.

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Activity 5.1:Think-pair-share and sticky notes Purpose:

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This activity aims to stimulate the participants to think about the importance of publications and the purpose of naming authors in publication. Instructions:

4. 5.

AD

Note to instructor: Before you begin your instruction, designate three areas on the wall and label them with “What is the importance of publishing our research findings?” and “What is the purpose of naming authors in publication?” Model answer(s):

See the section below.

RE

The purpose of publishing The purpose of publishing is to disseminate new findings, ideas and methods so that the ideas can be further explored or utilised for other purposes such as finding solutions for a research problem or solving societal problems. Without publications, there will be no growth of new knowledge and new discoveries that are publicly available. Publications are also a seal of approval for the quality of the research and lends credence to the authors of the publication. Publications usually undergo a rigorous peer review process to determine the quality of the research before being published. Authors rely on publications to build a track record that establishes the authors as experts in the field. For example, funders take into consideration the previous publications of an author to determine whether funding should be given to the author to further carry out his research studies. Institutes also rely on publications to determine the qualification of a researcher for a job. Researchers also depend on publications to identify new potential collaborators.

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2. 3.

Ask the participants to think about the following questions on their own and write their thoughts on a piece of paper: • What is the importance of publishing research findings? • What is the purpose of naming authors in publications? Next, ask participants to share their thoughts with the person sitting next to them. As a pair, ask the participants to write their responses to the above questions on sticky notes and paste the notes at the designated space. Each response should be written on individual of sticky notes. Ask participants to review the sticky notes wall and arrange the sticky notes into clusters based on similar or related responses. After this, you may go through and read out the sticky notes on the wall and make a conclusion.

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1.


CHAPTER 5: Authorship and Publications

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The purpose of naming author(s) in publications An author list contains the names of people who have contributed significantly to the publication, an issue that will be discussed in the next section. In brief, authorship is necessary for the research community to identify the people whose work is behind the publication. It is also a means to identify researchers who are responsible and accountable for the published work. Authorship is a way to recognise and give credit to researchers who worked hard and contributed significantly to the research achievement. PART 2: ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF AUTHORS Now that the purpose of publishing research results and naming authors in publications are clarified, the next section will explore the roles and responsibilities of authors. Activity 5.2: Test-learn-test Purpose:

Instructions:

Show the participants the following scenarios one at a time and ask participants to select their answers with a participant-response tool. They may answer “Yes”, “No” or “I don’t know” a) A researcher who merely allowed you to use his equipment that was bought with government funding to run your experiment but did not give you any scientific input on your project. Would you include this researcher as a co-author? b) A junior researcher included the name of a senior researcher in the author list, with the hope of increasing the chances of her paper being published, even though this senior researcher did not contribute to the research. Do you agree with the action of the junior researcher? c) The Head of an institute obtained a large fund and disseminated this fund to members of the institute to carry out their research. The Head did not contribute intellectually to any of the research after the fund was distributed. However, the Head requested to be named as the corresponding author in all the subsequent publications generated from the research that used the fund. Would you include this Head of institute as a co-author? d) Your colleague gave you some research specimens to conduct your study. This colleague did not provide any intellectual contribution to the study but asked to be named as a co-author. Would you agree to include him as a co-author? e) A postgraduate student appointed a co-supervisor as part of his supervisory committee but the co-supervisor did not contribute at all throughout his research. The postgraduate student finished his study and wrote a manuscript. Should this co-supervisor be named as a co-author? Discuss the subsequent section on the criteria for authorship. Return to this activity and ask the participants to answer these questions again.

RE

AD

1.

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This activity aims to assess the participants’ perception and knowledge on the criteria of authorship before and after the learning session. This activity will also prompt the participants to reconsider the criteria for authorship.

2. 3.

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Note to instructor:

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You may record and compare the polling results before and after the lessons on the criteria for authorship is delivered. Model answer(s):

The correct answer to these scenarios should be. a) No b) No c) No d) No e) No

Purpose:

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Activity 5.3: Brainstorming

Instructions:

In their respective groups, ask the participants to discuss and answer the question “What is the criteria for authorship?” without referring to any sources. Next, ask the participants to refer to online resources that describe the criteria for authorship or the policy of authorship. Then, ask each group to compare their criteria with the criteria they found on the internet. Ask them to write the criteria for authorship on a piece of Mahjong paper. Next, ask each group to present their answers to the class. Finally, ask the participants to brainstorm the answers to the question “What are the responsibilities of an author?” Ask a representative from each group to share his/her answers.

AD

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

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6.

Note to instructor:

If the internet connection is not available, the instructor may print a few online resources that describe the criteria for authorship. Distribute these documents to each group after they have first discussed the criteria for authorship without any references. The main purpose of showing them these online references is to demonstrate that there is a generally accepted list of standards and guidelines for authorship in the academic community.

Model answer(s): See the section below.

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Chapter 5

This activity aims to guide the participants in understanding the responsibilities of authors and the criteria for authorship; and come to a consensus on the criteria for authorship.


CHAPTER 5: Authorship and Publications

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In general, an author is someone who has made a significant intellectual contributions to the research. Authors of a manuscript have the joint responsibility to ensure that the research is conducted with integrity. They share the responsibility to ensure that the design and conduct of the experiment are carried out according to ethical guidelines. Authors should not commit any research misconduct – falsification, fabrication or plagiarism during the conduct of the research and writing of the manuscript. Authors are also responsible and accountable for all, if not parts, of the research and authors have the responsibility of reviewing the manuscript before submission. In short, authorship should be given to “those who deserve credit and can take responsibility for the work” (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors [ICMJE], 2018).

O

Various organisations or scientific bodies have different definitions for authorship. One of the most commonly used definitions is the one by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (2018), which is shared by The Malaysian Code of Responsible Conduct in Research (National Science Council [NSC], 2017). ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:

AD

–– Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND –– Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND –– Final approval of the version to be published; AND –– Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. ICMJE (2018) further elaborates, “all those designated as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors.”

RE

The following are some examples of other definitions of authorship: 1. Royal Society of Chemistry “The award of authorship should balance intellectual contributions to the conception, design, analysis and writing of the study against the collection of data and other routine work.” (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2018) 2. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) IEEE (2018) considers individuals who meet all of the following criteria to be authors: “ I) Made a significant intellectual contribution to the theoretical development, system or experimental design, prototype development, and/or the analysis and interpretation of data associated with the work contained in the article; II) Contributed to drafting the article or reviewing and/or revising it for intellectual content; III) Approved the final version of the article as accepted for publication, including references.” 3. National Institute of Health (USA) “For each individual, the privilege of authorship should be based on a significant contribution to the conceptualisation, design, execution, or interpretation of the research, as well as to the drafting or substantively reviewing or revising the research article” (National Institute of Health Office of the Director, 2016).

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4. American Psychological Association “Principal authorship and other publication credits accurately reflect the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their relative status” (American Psychological Association, 2018).

5. UK Research Integrity Office “Authorship should be restricted to those contributors and collaborators who have made a significant intellectual or practical contribution to the work” (UK Research Integrity Office, 2018). 6. Council of Science Editors “Authors are individuals identified by the research group to have made substantial contributions to the reported work and agree to be accountable for these contributions” (Council of Science Editors, 2012).

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8. Tropical Life Sciences Research (USM Press) “Authors must: (1) have contributed substantially to one or more of the following aspects of the work: conception, planning, execution, writing, interpretation, and statistical analysis; and (2) be willing to assume public responsibility for the validity of the work.” (Tropical Life Sciences Research, 2015).

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9. Journal of Development Economics “Authors are expected to consider carefully the list and order of authors before submitting their manuscript and provide the definitive list of authors at the time of the original submission. Any addition, deletion or rearrangement of author names in the authorship list should be made only before the manuscript has been accepted and only if approved by the journal Editor. To request such a change, the Editor must receive the following from the corresponding author: (a) the reason for the change in author list and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed” (Journal of Development Economics, 2018). People who have contributed to the research or the preparation of the manuscript that should not be listed as co-authors, but may be listed in the acknowledgements, include those that have: –– Provided work space or administrative support. –– Provided research specimens, materials, reagents but had little or no intellectual contributions. –– An institutional position, such as the department chair, group or unit leader. –– Been named the co-supervisor of a postgraduate student but provided little or no intellectual contribution to the study. Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research 124

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7. Malaysian Journal of Education (UKM) “Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors.” (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 2009).


CHAPTER 5: Authorship and Publications

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–– Provided proofreading or language editing for a manuscript. –– Carried out routine technical work or data analysis without intellectual contribution –– Acquired funding for the research. The Malaysian Code of Responsible Conduct in Research emphasises that “Authorship is not dependent on administrative positions or whether the contribution is paid for or not. Providing materials, performing routine measurement or providing routine technical support including the use of equipment does not in itself justify authorship” (NSC, 2017).

AD

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Order of authorship: The order of authors should be a collective decision among all the co-authors. The order of authorship can vary depending on the scientific expertise and types of publication. First authorship is one of the most prestigious positions since it is the name that is immediately identifiable in citations and references. Therefore, it is common practice that the first author is someone who has conducted most of the research in the project and this person is often the post-doctoral fellow or the postgraduate student. In some situations, two or more researchers have contributed equally in conducting the experiment. These authors may be identified as the co-first author with an accompanying by-line in the authorship list. The last author is also a prestigious position in the authorship list because this person is identified as the principal investigator of the project. The person who occupies the position of the last author is also usually the corresponding author, whose role and responsibilities will be discussed in the next section. As for the order of the other coauthors, it has been suggested that the co-authors are listed in a descending order of contribution. Alternatively, co-authors can be listed in an alphabetical order (Tscharntke, 2007). It should also be noted that some research disciplines have different ways of ordering authorship according to that field’s commonly accepted guidelines and practices. “Collaborating researchers should agree on authorship and the line-up of authorship earlier in their collaboration which can be reviewed from time to time” (NSC, 2017).

RE

Corresponding authors play a unique role as an author. The next section explores the responsibilities of the corresponding author. Activity 5.4: Sticky notes

Purpose:

This activity aims to guide the participants to realise that the corresponding author plays an important role in publications and has extra responsibilities has compared to the co-authors.

Instructions: 1. 2. 3.

Ask the participants to write the responsibilities of the corresponding author on stickynotes. Ask them to write one responsibility per sticky note and stick it at the designated area. Once they have completed this task, read the sticky notes out-loud to the class.

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Model answer(s):

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See the section below.

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In some cases, co-corresponding authorship is given when more than one main principal investigator contributed equally. This can especially be seen in multi-disciplinary research. PART 3: UNETHICAL AUTHORSHIP PRACTICES AND THE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES OF THESE PRACTICES There are three major irresponsible authorship practices, which are coercive authorship, honorary/ guest/gift authorship and ghost authorship. Activity 5.5: Sticky notes

Purpose:

RE

This activity aims to improve the participants’ understanding on the common unethical authorship practices.

Instructions: 1. 2. 3.

4.

Prepare a label titled “unethical authorship practices” and place the label at a designated place. Ask the participants to write examples of unethical practices of authorship on the sticky notes and paste the notes under this label. When all the participants have completed this task, stick a new set of labels at another designated space nearby. These labels are: • “coercive/forced authorship” • “honorary/guest/gift/ authorship” • “ghost authorship” • “others” Ask the participants to rearrange the sticky notes under these labels.

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Based on international practices, the corresponding author is usually the principal investigator. The corresponding author plays a major role before, during, and after the publication process. The responsibilities of the corresponding author are to: –– Decide the final author list with a consensus among the co-authors. –– Decide names to be listed in the acknowledgements section. –– Facilitate communication among co-authors throughout the process of publication. –– Communicate with the journal throughout the whole publication process including responding to peer review comments. –– Ensure that all the journal’s publication requirements and guidelines are followed. –– Provide details of authorship (“contributorship disclosure”), ethics approval and other necessary information as required by the journal. –– Gather and submit conflict of interest forms and statements. –– Coordinate and oversee corrections, amendments and revisions that are requested. –– Respond to queries by other researchers after the manuscript is published.


CHAPTER 5: Authorship and Publications

Note to instructor:

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Prepare the labels before the class begins. Model answer(s): See the section below.

AD

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1. Coercive authorship – Describes a situation where a researcher, usually someone with a senior or supervisory position, forces a junior researcher, through direct or indirect means, to change the author list. –– A senior colleague/researcher coerces a junior researcher to include his or her name or someone else’s name even though there was no intellectual contribution. –– A researcher in a higher position forces the subordinates to remove or exclude the name of someone who deserves an authorship from the author list. –– The head of the institute threatens to dismiss possible promotions or support unless included as an author. –– A researcher refuses access to facilities or equipment unless included as an author even though no other scientific contribution was provided. –– A co-supervisor who did not provide sufficient intellectual input refuses to pass a thesis examination unless given authorship in a manuscript.

2. Honorary/guest/gift authorship –– Authorship is bestowed out of respect or gratitude to an individual even though that individual did not contribute to the research in a significant way –– Authorship is given to increase the apparent quality of a paper by adding a well-known name. –– Researchers, normally friends, close associates or family members, add each other’s name to the authorship list to boost mutual publication numbers.

RE

3. The name of someone who contributed significantly was omitted –– The name of someone who contributed significantly was omitted. 4. Other examples of irresponsible authorship –– Senior/corresponding authors who alter the agreed authorship list without conferring with the other authors. –– An author’s name is included in the authorship list without permission or consent from that author.

The Malaysian Code of Responsible Conduct in Research states that “Persons who do not qualify for authorship should not be offered or recognised as authors; guest authors and ghost authors are not acceptable” (NSC, 2017).

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Activity 5.6: Case study Purpose:

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1. This activity aims to lead the participants in identifying the negative consequences of unethical authorship practices Instructions:

For those who are unable to access this article, they can modify this activity by asking the participants to brainstorm with their group members and list the negative consequences of unethical authorship practices on a piece of Mahjong paper.

AD

Model answer(s):

See the section below.

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Negative consequences of irresponsible authorship: 1. The morale of the researcher who was coerced or the researcher whose name was unethically removed will be affected 2. Irresponsible authorship behaviour sets a bad example to other researchers to follow. 3. Authors whose names were listed without contributing significantly deceive others about his or her actual contribution. 4. Honorary/gift/guest authorship creates a false perception of the contribution and achievements of the honorary/gifted author. 5. The reputation of the irresponsible author is affected. 6. Irresponsible authorship also creates mistrust or loss of confidence. PART 4: UNETHICAL PUBLICATION PRACTICES AND THE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES OF THESE PRACTICES As described in the Content section and in Activity 5.1, the main purpose of publishing is to disseminate research findings that can benefit the research community and society. Publications can take many forms such as: 1. Scientific Journals/Magazines –– Journals/magazines publish original research, review articles, case studies, opinions or short communications.

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Note to instructor:

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1. Access the article titled "Authorship: Why not just toss a coin?" by author Kevin Strange (American Journal of Physiology Cell Physilogy, 295: C567-C575, 2008). 2. Print the section under the subheading "The Consequences of Authorship Abuse". 3. Distribute this handout to the participants and ask them to read the passage carefully. 4. Ask the participants to discuss within their groups and list the unethical authorship practices and the negatice consequences described in the article. 5. Ask the participants to write their answers on the Mahjong paper and present it to the class.


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2. Books –– These include references, textbooks, or laboratory protocols. Books are written by experts in a field to provide a compilation of knowledge in a particular subject area (Elsevier 2018).

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3. Conference Proceedings –– There are various definitions for conference proceedings. IEEE (2011) defined conference proceedings as a “collection of documents, paper or electronics, which corresponds to the technical presentations given at the conference”. Articles published as proceedings may include abstracts, extended abstracts, or full papers.

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“Good practice in publication should be adopted – complete, timely, honest, accurate, responsible, respecting confidentiality, integrity and ensuring protection of intellectual property right, due acknowledgment to partner institutions and sponsors” (NSC, 2017). Irresponsible publication practices negatively impact the scientific ecosystem. The following section focuses mainly on ethical issues concerning publications in scientific journals. Activity 5.7: Shout-out and brainstorming Purpose:

This activity aims to guide lead the participants in identifying unethical publication practices and the negative consequences of these unethical practices.

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Instructions: 1. 2.

First, ask the participants to shout-out examples of unethical publication practices. Write their responses on a flipchart or whiteboard. Ask the participants to discuss the negative consequences of these unethical publication practices within their groups. Ask them to provide specific negative consequences associated to each of the unethical practices listed above.

Note to instructor:

The participants may shout-out unethical publication practices that are not shown in the section below. Include these practices when they discuss the negative consequences. Get a consensus on the list of unethical publication practices from the participants before they proceed to discuss the negative consequences.

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1. 2.

Model answer(s):

See the section below.

1. Duplicate submissions A duplicate submission is the case where the same manuscript by the same author is submitted to multiple journals simultaneously for peer review. Researchers do this as a way to speed up the process of publication. The researcher might publish the article with whichever journal that accepts it first or choose which journal to publish the article in, if it is accepted by multiple journals. In some graver circumstances, researchers might choose to publish in multiple journals to increase citations and impact.

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Negative Consequences: This constitutes academic misbehaviour because the peer review process is not respected and to a certain extent, perpetrators are skewing the publication and citation system to their advantage. At a subtler level, this is not acceptable because it wastes the resources of both the journals’ editorial team and the peer reviewers; as peer review processes can take a substantial amount of time and effort. If caught, the perpetrators can risk losing the trust of all stakeholders as well as their career. Researchers should, therefore, only submit a manuscript to one journal at a time for peer review. It is only when the manuscript is rejected by the journal or when the researchers withdraw the manuscript from the peer review process, could the manuscript be submitted to another journal.

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Negative Consequences: Duplicating publications constitutes as research misconduct as it involves plagiarism and infringement of a journal’s copyright. In addition, it also constitutes as academic misbehaviour because the perpetrators are skewing the publication and citation system to their advantage. If caught, the perpetrators can risk losing the trust of all stakeholders as well as their career and face the possibility of legal action from the journal in which their manuscript was first published. Researchers are not allowed to use or recycle identical data in different manuscripts for publication; nor are they allowed to self-plagiarise where a section of text written and published by the authors themselves is copied verbatim or with very little rephrasing for publication. A journal that publishes an article owns the copyright to that article and therefore researchers are not allowed to submit the same manuscript or a manuscript with significant overlapping of content to another journal. A researcher who wishes to translate the article to a different language for resubmission must obtain the approval from the journal that published the article prior.

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3. Salami slicing Salami slicing is a term used to describe “the practice of fragmenting single coherent bodies of research into as many publications as possible” (The Cost of Salami Slicing, 2005). In other words, the findings of a research are broken into “least publishable units” and submitted for publication. The findings in these salami slices are derived from a single study with the same hypothesis and methods. Data from the single study is split into “least publishable units”. Researchers carry out this practice to increase their number of publications. Examples of salami slicing: –– A researcher conducted an experiment with a group of men and a group of women. The results for the men and the women were separated and submitted to two different journals. –– A researcher tested the effects of a drug simultaneously on three different cell types but produced three manuscripts for publication, each describing the effects of the drug on one cell type. Negative Consequences: Salami slicing is unethical because it gives a false perception and deceives the research community on the publication output of a researcher resulting in the researcher receiving undeserved recognition. Salami slicing also distorts the reality of the actual Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research 130

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2. Duplicate publications A duplicate publication describes a situation where the same manuscript or a different manuscript but with significant overlapping of content, including data and text, is submitted to another journal for peer review or publication after its acceptance and publication elsewhere. Another form of duplicate publication is to publish the same or a similar manuscript in a different language. Other cases include researchers who re-publish a portion of an article in other media such as newspapers, magazines, or reports, in which case the researchers should use proper citations.


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study. It is better to interpret the findings of a research when they are analysed as a whole. By breaking the findings into salami slices, researchers, including peer reviewers, are unable to form a complete picture of the findings and hence, risk arriving at to the wrong conclusion or interpretation. The practice of salami slicing also contributes to a waste of resources such as time for the journal, peer reviewer and reader. In short, salami slicing causes a misrepresentation of the researcher’s true effort and could mislead the readers about the study. The consequences of this would involve the loss of trust in the researcher.

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A note on publishing in predatory journals Predatory journals are journals that publish papers either without peer review or with a sloppy peer review process. The main goal of such journals is to make quick profit by charging publication fees to the researchers but without going through a thorough peer reviewing process of the paper. This is of grave concern because there is minimum quality check on the articles published by such journals, ranging from their accuracy, scientific methodology, content and claims. Under minor circumstances, publication of such articles by predatory journals would result in the retraction of articles. But under more serious circumstances, it can jeopardise the safety, security and well-being of the public (a case akin to the vaccination scare). It is the responsibility of researchers to identify predatory journals and refrain from publishing in such journals. Instead, researchers should only publish in journals that are accepted by the research community as legitimate and of high quality.

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PART 5: STRATEGIES TO MITIGATE ETHICAL ISSUES CONCERNING PUBLICATIONS AND AUTHORSHIP Activity 5.8: Role play

Purpose:

RE

This activity aims to show the participants that authorship issues can be very complicated and difficult to resolve particularly in collaborative research. Therefore, researchers need to strategise and plan before the dilemma happens. Instructions: 1.

Divide the participants into five groups and assign each group to one of the following roles: i) Prof. Ahmad ii) Prof. Lam iii) Mina iv) Dr. Kaur v) Siva

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3. 4. 5.

Distribute the role play Handout 5.1 to the participants according to their assigned character. Ask the participants to read the scenario and carry out the task as described. Discuss their talking points within the group to support and defend their interest. Initiate the role play by asking Prof. Ahmad to chair the meeting. After the role play has ended, ask the participants to suggest what Prof. Ahmad could have done from the beginning of the research to prevent this situation from happening.

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2.

Note to instructor:

See the section below.

RE

AD

Strategies to mitigate authorship issues –– Researchers are encouraged to discuss authorship early in the research process. –– The authorship list should be routinely reviewed throughout the research process to assess the intellectual contribution of each individual researcher. –– As new members are involved in the research or added to the research group, the expectation for authorship, based on contribution, should be re-discussed. –– Create a culture of responsible authorship whereby researchers are aware of the criteria for authorship and these criteria are followed. –– Authors should declare any conflicts of interest when submitting the manuscript. Issues concerning conflicts of interest are described in Chapter 4. –– Authors should come to a final agreement of the authorship list before the manuscript is submitted for review. –– Some journals require a “contributor-ship disclosure form” to identify the exact contribution of each co-author. –– Every manuscript that is submitted for publication should receive consent from all the authors. This is the responsibility of the corresponding author, which is discussed above. –– Data shared by collaborators should not be published without the approval of the respective collaborators.

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Model answer(s):

O

This role play activity requires careful explanation and guidance. Encourage the participants to fully embody their roles. As they are preparing their talking points, move between groups to ensure that they are on the right track of the discussion.


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CONCLUSIONS

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O

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Publications are a vital component of the research process and represents the culmination of the research effort. The purpose of publication is for researchers to share their research findings with the world. These findings may identify areas of concern that need to be addressed through more research that may provide solutions to the fundamental understanding of a research question at hand or even pertinent societal issues. Authors who contribute significantly to the research are listed in the publications so that others worldwide may identify contributors or experts in the area. Authorship is also a form of giving credit to those who contributed significantly. This chapter has provided an in-depth insight into the ethical considerations of authorship as well as publications. Researchers should practice responsible authorship and ethical publications in order to safeguard the integrity of the research enterprise.

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LIST OF REFERENCES

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American Psychological Association. (2018). Tips for determining authorship credits. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/science/leadership/students/authorship-paper.aspx Elsevier. (2018). Book Authors and Book Editors. Retrieved from https://www.elsevier.com/authors/ book-authors

Council of Science Editors. (2012). White paper on publication ethics. Retrieved from https://www. councilscienceeditors.org/resource-library/editorial-policies/white-paper-on-publication-ethics/ Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). (2011). IEEE conference proceedings defined. Retrieved from https://www.ieee.org/documents/confprocdefined.pdf

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IEEE. (2018). Defining Authorship. Retrieved from http://ieeeauthorcenter.ieee.org/publish-withieee/publishing-ethics/definition-of-authorship/

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Journal of Development Economics. (2018). Guide for authors. Retrieved from https://www. elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/505546?generatepdf=true National Academy of Sciences. (2009). On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research: Third Edition. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. National Institute of Health Office of the Director. (2016). Guidelines and policies for the conduct of research in the intramural research programme at NIH (5th edition). Retrieved from https://oir. nih.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/sourcebook/documents/ethical_conduct/guidelines-conduct_ research.pdf

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Royal Society for Chemistry. (2018). Author responsibilities: Ethical guidelines and code of conduct for authors. Retrieved from http://www.rsc.org/journals-books-databases/journal-authorsreviewers/author-responsibilities/#authorship Strange, K. (2008). Authorship: Why not just toss a coin? American Journal of Physiology Cell Physiology, 295(3), C567–C575 The Cost of Salami Slicing. (2005). Nature Materials 4, 1. Tropical Life Sciences Research. (2015). Journal policies instructions for authors. Penang: USM Press. Retrieved from http://www.tlsr.usm.my/tlsrGFA_nov2015.pdf Tscharntke, T., Hochberg, M. E., Rand, T. A., Resh, V. H. and Krauss, J. (2007). Author sequence and credit for contributions in multi-authored publications. PLoS Biology, 5(1), e18. UK Research Integrity Office. (2018). Publication and authorship. Retrieved from http://ukrio.org/ Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research 134

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International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. (2018). Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors. Retrieved from http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-andresponsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html


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publications/code-of-practice-for-research/3-0-standards-for-organisations-and-researchers/3-15publication-and-authorship/

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Universiti Kebangasaan Malaysia. (2009). Guide for authors. Retrieved from http://www.ukm.my/ jurfpend/guide%20for%20authors.html

FURTHER READING

Albert T., and Wager L. (2003). How to handle authorship disputes: a guide for new researchers. Retrieved from https://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines-new/how-handle-authorshipdisputesa-guide-new-researchers

Brodrick, M. (2013). Six Tips for Avoiding Authorship Conflicts: How to avoid disputes, seek resolution. Retrieved from https://hms.harvard.edu/news/six-tips-avoiding-authorship-conflicts-1-7-13

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Eisner, R., Vasgird, D., and Hyman-Browne, E. (2004). Responsible Authorship and Peer Review. Retrieved from http://ccnmtl.columbia.edu/projects/rcr/rcr_authorship/ IAP-the Global Network of Science Academies. (2016). Doing global science : a guide to responsible conduct in the global research enterprise. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

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Macrina, F.L. (2014). Scientific integrity: text and cases in responsible conduct of research. Washington, DC: American Society for Microbiology Press.

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Shamseer, L., Moher, D., Maduekwe, O., Turner, L., Barbour, V., Burch, R., Clark, J., e t al. (2016). Potential predatory and legitimate biomedical journals: can you tell the difference? A crosssectional comparison. BMC Medicine,15:28.

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HANDOUT 5.1

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Character: Prof. Ahmad You are a well-known microbiologist at University Bestari. You came up with the idea of using microbes to generate electricity but you needed an electrical engineer as a collaborator in this research project. You contacted Prof. Lam, an electrical engineer from the same university, and formed a collaboration. The goal of your multi-disciplinary project was to create a microbial fuel cell, an energy-generating device that used microbes to generate electricity.

RE

AD

Your task: Prepare your talking points on why Mina should be the first author and why you should be the last and corresponding author. Decide whether Siva should be listed as a coauthor and provide the explanations for this decision. You are also responsible for chairing the meeting and coming up with a resolution at the end of the meeting.

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You recruited a PhD student, Mina, to work on this project. Prof. Lam assigned his post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Kaur, to teach Mina how to build the fuel cell and to conduct electrical analysis. You also employed Siva, a microbiology student who recently graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree, to work with Mina. Siva was given specific tasks to grow the microbes, conduct electrical and chemical measurements and maintain the laboratory equipment. After the project was completed, Mina and Dr. Kaur drafted the manuscript together and showed it to you and Prof. Lam. You noticed that Dr. Kaur listed her name as the first author and Prof. Lam as the last and corresponding author. Siva was not listed on the author list. You felt that Mina should be the first author and you yourself should be the last and corresponding author. You scheduled a meeting with Prof. Lam, Mina, Dr. Kaur and Siva to resolve the issue of authorship.


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HANDOUT 5.1

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Character: Prof. Lam You are an electrical engineer at University Bestari. Prof. Ahmad, a prominent microbiologist from the same university contacted you to collaborate with him. The goal of Prof. Ahmad’s project was to create a microbial fuel cell, an energy-generating device that used microorganisms to generate electricity.

O

Prof. Ahmad recruited a PhD student, Mina, to work on this project and you assigned your postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Kaur, to teach Mina how to build the fuel cell and to conduct the electrical analysis. Prof. Ahmad also employed Siva, a microbiology student who recently graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree, to work with Mina. Siva was given specific tasks to prepare the microorganism growth culture, conduct electrical and chemical measurements and maintain the laboratory equipment. After the project was completed, Mina and Dr. Kaur drafted the manuscript together and showed it to you and Prof. Ahmad. You noticed that Dr. Kaur listed her name as the first author and your name as the last and corresponding author. You also noticed that Siva was not listed as an author. You received an email from Prof. Ahmad stating that he would prefer to list Mina as the first author and himself as the last and corresponding author. Prof. Ahmad has scheduled a meeting with you, Mina, Dr. Kaur and Siva to resolve the issue of authorship.

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Your task: Prepare your talking points on why Dr. Kaur should be the first author and why you should be the last and corresponding author. Discuss whether Siva should be listed as a coauthor and provide your explanations.

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HANDOUT 5.1

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Character: Mina You are a PhD student of Prof. Ahmad, who is a prominent microbiologist. You have been recruited by him to create a microbial fuel cell, an energy-generating device that used microorganisms to generate electricity. Prof. Ahmad has a collaborator named Prof. Lam who is an expert in electrical engineering. Since you are a microbiologist and not an electrical engineer, Prof. Lam assigned his postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Kaur, to teach you how to construct the fuel cell and to conduct the electrical analysis.

O

Prof. Ahmad also employed Siva, a microbiology student who recently graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree, to work with you. Siva was given specific tasks to prepare the microorganism growth culture, conduct electrical and chemical measurements and maintain the laboratory equipment. After the project was completed, you and Dr. Kaur drafted the manuscript together and handed it to Prof. Ahmad and Prof. Lam for review. Dr. Kaur named herself as the first author and you as the second author in the manuscript. You are not happy with Dr. Kaur’s decision because you felt that you should be the first author. Siva was not listed as a co-author although you felt that he should be.

RE

AD

Your task: Prepare your talking points on why you should be the first author. You feel that Siva should be included in the authors list because he has helped you a lot in this project and he has contributed significantly to the success of this study. Prepare your talking points to support Siva.

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Prof. Ahmad has scheduled a meeting with you, Prof. Lam, Dr. Kaur and Siva to resolve the issue of authorship.


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HANDOUT 5.1

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Character:Dr. Kaur You are a postdoctoral fellow of Prof. Lam who is an expert in electrical engineering. Prof. Lam has a collaborator named Prof. Ahmad, who is a prominent microbiologist from the same university. The goal of Prof. Ahmad and Prof. Lam’s project is to create a microbial fuel cell, an energy-generating device that used microorganisms to generate electricity. Prof. Ahmad has a PhD student, Mina, who is a microbiologist therefore Prof. Lam asked you to teach her how to construct the fuel cell and to conduct the electrical analysis. Prof. Ahmad also employed Siva, a microbiology student who recently graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree, to work with Mina. Siva was given specific tasks to prepare the microorganism growth culture, conduct electrical and chemical measurements and maintain the laboratory equipment.

O

After the project was completed, you and Mina drafted the manuscript together. While writing the authorship list, you insisted, against Mina’s wishes, to list yourself as the first author, Mina as the second author, Prof. Ahmad as the co-author and Prof. Lam as the last and corresponding author. You left Siva’s name out from the author list. The manuscript was handed to Prof. Ahmad and Prof. Lam for review. Prof. Ahmad has scheduled a meeting with you, Prof. Lam, Mina and Siva to resolve the issue of authorship.

RE

AD

Your task: Prepare your talking points on why you should be the first author. You feel that Siva did not contribute sufficiently to the study and he should not be included as a co-author. Prepare your talking points to support this viewpoint.

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HANDOUT 5.1

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Character: Siva You recently graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree and was hired by Prof. Ahmad to work with Mina, Prof. Ahmad’s PhD student. You plan to use this opportunity to increase your research experience for the possibility of applying for postgraduate studies. Prof. Ahmad is a prominent microbiologist and he has a collaborator, Prof. Lam, who is an electrical engineer. The goal of their project was to create a microbial fuel cell, an energy-generating device that used microorganisms to generate electricity. Prof. Lam assigned his post doctoral fellow, Dr. Kaur, to teach Mina how to construct the fuel cell and to conduct electrical analysis. You were given specific tasks to prepare the microorganism growth culture, conduct electrical and chemical measurements and maintain the laboratory equipment.

O

One day, you saw a manuscript of the project on Mina’s workbench. To your surprise, your name was not listed as an author and you were not happy about it. You asked Prof. Ahmad for an appointment to discuss this issue. Prof. Ahmad therefore scheduled a meeting with you, Prof. Lam, Mina and Dr. Kaur to resolve the issue of authorship.

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Your task: Prepare your talking points on why you should be included as a co-author. Describe your contributions to the research project.


RE

AD

O

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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

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O CHAPTER 6 Peer Review

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Chapter 1

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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers


CHAPTER 6: Peer Review

CHAPTER 6

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Peer Review

SYNOPSIS

KEY MESSAGES

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Peer review is a common process used to evaluate manuscripts, grant applications, animal or human subject ethics clearance and even job promotions. The peer review process provides quality control in ensuring the validity, novelty, soundness and merits of a work being reviewed. This chapter consists of 4 parts. Part 1 focuses on the peer review process. Part 2 explains the benefits of a good peer review process while Part 3 discusses the good characteristics of responsible reviewers. Finally, Part 4 presents the negative consequences of irresponsible peer review and ways to mitigate these negative consequences.

AD

1. Peer review is an integral part of the research process and reviewers should only review articles in their own fields of expertise. 2. It is very important that reviewers remain unbiased when reviewing manuscripts or proposals. 3. If reviewers feel that they are not suitable for the task due to various concerns such as competency, conflicts of interest or schedule conflicts, the reviewers should not accept the task or declare the conflict of interest (COI) to the funding agency or editor. 4. An irresponsible peer reviewing process can harm the integrity of the research process. It may also affect research progress, introduce false or harmful information to the public, waste research funding and may even jeopardise a researcher’s career.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

RE

At the end of the chapter, participants should be able to: 6.1 identify articles that require peer review. 6.2 describe the peer review process. 6.3 identify the purposes and benefits of the peer review process. 6.4 identify the good characteristics of responsible reviewers. 6.5 comprehend the negative consequences of irresponsible peer review. 6.6 describe ways to mitigate the negative consequences of irresponsible peer review.

ACTIVITY LIST

This chapter contains 4 activities: Activity 6.1

Activity 6.2

Shout-out and drawing for understanding: This activity aims to guide the participants in identifying documents that require peer review. It also aims to guide the participants in understanding the peer review process (LO 6.1 and 6.2) Brainstorming: This activity aims provide the participants opportunities to assess the purposes and benefits of the peer review process. (LO 6.3)

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Sticky notes: This activity aims to guide the participants towards thinking about the characteristics of responsible reviewers. (LO 6.4)

Activity 6.4

Case study: This activity aims to facilitate the participants’ ability to recognise the negative consequences of irresponsible peer review and to strategise ways to mitigate these negative consequences. (LO 6.5 and LO 6.6)

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Activity 6.3

MATERIALS Materials

Quantity

Mahjong paper Coloured marker pens

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The peer review process is a vital component of the research ecosystem. Unlike general reviews, peer review in research is carried out by experts who have the necessary knowledge and experience within a particular or broader discipline. The two main research documents that often undergo peer review are articles for publication (manuscripts) and grant applications (proposals). Funding agencies and publishers often engage peer reviewers to review manuscripts or proposals that are submitted to them. The role of the peer reviewers is to analyse the manuscripts or proposals critically, provide clear feedback and comments as well as advise the funding agencies or publishers on the next course of action.

RE

The peer review process is necessary to ensure the quality, validity, novelty and merits of the manuscripts or proposals. It also provides checks and balances to other aspects of the manuscripts or proposals such as safety, ethics, and conflict of interest issues. A fair and just review also allows the author to improve the content of the manuscript or proposal through robust scholarly discussions, where rebuttal and corrections often take place. Furthermore, peer review also provides credibility and trustworthiness to the manuscripts or proposals that have undergone robust, rigorous and critical review. The peer review process benefits not only individual researchers, but also the research community and the public and therefore good peer review ensures that quality research is being conducted and quality data is disseminated for the advancement of the society. There are many challenges and pitfalls in the peer review process. Irresponsible peer reviewers as well as problems, such as loopholes, in the peer review process have, in recent years, affected the integrity of this research process. Hence, it is important for peer reviewers to understand their roles and responsibilities and to apply ethical and best practices in the peer review process.

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CONTENT

At least two different colours for each group

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Sticky notes


CHAPTER 6: Peer Review

PART 1: THE PEER REVIEW PROCESS

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Activity 6.1: Shout-out and drawing for understanding Purpose:

This activity aims to guide the participants in identifying documents that require peer review. It also aims to guide the participants in understanding the peer review process. Instructions:

2. 3.

Ask the participants to shout-out the answers to the question “In research, what documents typically require peer review?” Next, ask the participants to draw two flow charts, on the Mahjong paper, to depict the peer review process for manuscripts and grant applications. Then ask the participants to describe their flow charts with the class.

Note to instructor:

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1.

The flow charts can differ based on the participants’ experience since different journals or funders have variations in the actual process. Model answer(s):

AD

Publication of manuscript

Authors Submit manuscripts to journals

Journal Editors Assess the manuscripts for quality and fit with the scope of the journal Send manuscripts to reviewers for peer review

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Peer Reviewers Assess the manuscripts for matters such as validity, novelty, and originality Submit review reports to the journal editors Journal Editors Consider the reviewer’s report Decide to accept or reject the manuscript; ask for comments or resubmit Authors Respond to comments or suggestions Journal Editors Make final decision to accept or reject

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Grant Application

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Authors Submit grant applications to funders

University-level Peer Review Funders Assess the grant applications to determine eligibility Send grant applications to reviewers for peer review Peer Reviewers Assess the grant applications for matters such as validity, novelty, originality, track record, research design. Submit review reports to the funders

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Funders Consider the reviewer’s report Decide to accept or reject the proposal; ask for comments or resubmit Authors Respond to comments or suggestions

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The peer review process starts with the author submitting a manuscript or proposal to the funding agency or publisher. The funding agency or publisher will first determine whether the grant application or manuscript is suitable for further consideration. Next, they will identify and send the documents to experts in the field for peer review. Peer reviewers are usually given ample time to review the manuscript or proposal. The peer reviewers will then send their comments and feedback, based on the criteria given, to the funding agency or editors. The number of reviewers may vary depending on the policies of the particular funding agency or publisher. The editors or funders will then make a decision based on the reviewer’s comments. They can either reject the document or accept it without further changes. If revision is needed, the manuscript or proposal will be returned to the corresponding author with comments and suggestions from the reviewers. The authors will then revise the documents accordingly or provide response to the reviewers’ comments. If necessary, further experiments will be carried out according to the reviewers’ suggestions. These experiments should strengthen the validity of science in the manuscript. The improved manuscript or proposal will be resubmitted to the funding agency or publisher for further consideration. Further decisions on whether to accept or reject the manuscript or proposal will be made by the funding agency or publisher.

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Funders Make final decision to accept or reject


CHAPTER 6: Peer Review

There are different types of peer review (Elsevier, 2018): Cons The reviewers may become biased, for a variety of reasons, after knowing the identity of the authors.

In grant applications, anonymity prevents the reviewers from gauging the qualification of the authors in receiving the grant.

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Double-blind: The reviewers do not know the identity of the authors and the authors also do not know the identity of the reviewers

Pros The anonymity of the reviewers allows the reviewers to give impartial comments and honest opinions without the fear of backlash from the authors. The anonymity of the authors will prevent or reduce the chances of the reviewers from acting in a biased manner.

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Types of Peer Review Single-blind: The reviewers know the identity of the authors but the authors do not know the identity of the reviewers

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Open review: The reviewers Transparency prevents or It prevents the reviewers from and authors know each other’s reduces the incidents of being completely honest for fear of identity research misconduct e.g. backlash from the authors. plagiarism or irresponsible peer review behaviour such as being biased. It requires the reviewers to be more responsible and accountable for his or her work. Although the peer-review process is double-blinded, the anonymity of the reviewers or authors is not guaranteed. This is because, more often than not, the scientific community is very small and there are only very few experts that would be sufficiently qualified to review in a very specific area of research.

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PART 2: PURPOSES AND BENEFITS OF THE PEER REVIEW PROCESS Activity 6.2: Brainstorming

Purpose:

This activity aims to provide the participants opportunities to assess the purposes and benefits of the peer review process.

Instructions: 1. 2. 3.

Within their groups, ask the participants to identify what are the key areas or questions a peer reviewer should give attention to when reviewing a proposal versus a manuscript. Ask them to write their answers on a Mahjong paper and share their answers with the class. Next, ask them to discuss the overall benefits of the peer review process.

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Note to instructor:

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The first discussion question focuses on the differences between the peer reviewing proposal an manuscript, while the second draws out the general benefits of the peer review process regardless of wheter it is peer reviewing of proposals or manuscipts. Model answer(s): See the section below.

Manuscript and grant proposal reviews focus on different areas as shown in the table below:

1. 2. 3.

Manuscript What is the research question? Is it in the scope of the journal? Did the authors use the appropriate research methods? Are the results presented in the best possible manner? What are the conclusions? Is it a novel piece of work? Are there any ethical issues?

4. 5.

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The most important benefit of the peer review process is to ensure that the quality of the proposal or manuscript is maintained (Steneck, 2007; Ware, 2008; Research Information Network, 2010). The peer review process also: –– Provides advice and guidance to the editors and funders. –– Ensures that the proposal or manuscript is of high quality and qualifies for publication or funding. –– Identifies potential errors that require corrections or amendments. –– Provides feedback to the authors so that they can enhance their documents. –– Enables the authors to apply feedback from the current peer review experience when writing proposals or manuscripts in the future. –– Enhances the confidence of the readers of the manuscripts. PART 3: CHARACTERISTICS OF RESPONSIBLE REVIEWERS Reviewers should have certain characteristics to safeguard the peer review process and to ensure the integrity of the research process.

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Proposal The peer reviewers should consider the following: 1. What are the research questions and objectives? 2. Do they meet the funding body’s criteria? 3. Has the work been done before? How novel is the idea? 4. Do the authors and collaborators have the expertise to successfully carry out the work? 5. Is the proposed work feasible with the suggested time and budget? 6. Are there any ethical issues?


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This activity aims to guide the participants towards thinking about the characteristics of responsible reviewers. Instructions:

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3.

Ask the participants to write one of the characteristics of a responsible reviewer (e.g. Honest) on a single sticky note. Participants may write as many characteristics as they want but each characteristic should be in a single sticky note. Next, ask the participants to use a sticky note of a different colour than the one that was used in step 1 to elaborate the importance or consequences of each characteristic mentioned in step 1. Ask the participants to put these notes at the designated area in the class.

Note to instructor:

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Remind the participants that each responsible characteristic should be written on individual sticky notes and the corresponding importance/consequence should also be written on different sticky notes, preferably of varying colours as stated above. These two notes should be placed side by side at the designated area.

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Model answer(s):

See the section below.

A responsible reviewer should carry out their responsibilities ethically, professionally and with integrity (European Science Foundation, 2011). The following are exemplary characteristics of a responsible reviewer:

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A) Responsive and timely A responsible reviewer should be responsive to communications with the publishers or the funding agencies. Timely communication between the funding agency or editor and the peer reviewer is vital. A responsible peer reviewer should respond to communications from the particular funding agency or editor promptly and adhere to the deadline given. Very often, funding agencies or editors have a strict deadline to abide by. Therefore, peer reviewers must ensure that the review is completed before or by the deadline. If the peer reviewer is unable to complete the given task, the peer reviewer should inform the funding agency or editor immediately. The funding agency or the editor will either provide an extension of the deadline or assign the task to another peer reviewer. B) Unbiased Peer reviewers are selected by funding agencies or editors to provide critical comments that are fair and unbiased. A responsible peer reviewer should be objective and is able to review a manuscript or proposal solely based on the merits of the document. Bias is present when the peer reviewer holds certain views that cause him or her to act in a partial manner. Bias may arise because of conflicts of interest (COI) such as financial, personal and scientific COI (detailed discussions on COI can be found in Chapter 4). Bias clouds the fair judgement of the peer reviewer and sometimes

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causes the peer reviewer to judge a manuscript or proposal based on personal reasons instead of its scientific merits and soundness. Reviewers should be open to new ideas, innovative methods, novel techniques, or even fresh conclusions. This can include ideas that challenge the norm or results that can disprove previous theories. “Proper consideration be given to researchers which question and change the current paradigm” (National Science Council [NSC], 2017).

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C) Competent It is vitally important that the peer reviewer is competent. In other words, the peer reviewer should be knowledgeable in the field and is able to provide an expert opinion to the funding agencies or journal editors. Journal editors or funding agencies should select peer reviewers who have the expertise, knowledge and experience to review the work. It is also the responsibility of the peer reviewer to decide whether he or she has the required knowledge to review the manuscript or proposal. A responsible peer reviewer should recognise and be aware of the enormous responsibility he or she is carrying to uphold the integrity of the research and to ensure that the research findings in a manuscript, or the proposed methods in a proposal are accurate, relevant, valid and of good quality. Therefore, the peer reviewer should not accept the task if he or she does not have the expertise and knowledge to review the article.

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D) Maintains confidentiality Any material under review is confidential and should be treated as privileged information. Research proposals and manuscripts should be viewed as the intellectual property of the researchers. Therefore, these documents should be handled “with care, confidentiality and sensitivity” (NSC, 2017). Reviewers should not share or discuss the content, such as ideas, experimental design or author list with other people. No one, except the reviewer, is allowed to have access to the article and therefore it is the responsibility of the reviewer to protect the contents of the article during the review process. Reviewers should never contact the authors. If there is any need to contact the authors, the reviewers should first ask the editor or the funding agency for guidance. In some cases, the reviewers can request for approval to make direct contact with the authors but this is highly unnecessary. In most instances, the funding agency or journal editor will act as the intermediary in any communication. G) Gives constructive criticism It is highly recommended for peer reviewers to provide constructive criticism to assist the editor or the funding agency to make fair decisions and also to allow the authors to further improve their submissions based on these comments. Reviewers should give comments that are “considered, measured and constructive, avoiding derogatory comments or personal attacks” (NSC, 2017). Suggestions that are given should be accompanied by proper reasons and justifications, making the authors understand clearly the merits of such suggestions. Authors should be transparent in providing information or explanations in their responses to the reviewers.

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In addition, the peer reviewer must read the article or proposal carefully and pay great attention to details during the review process. A vigilant peer reviewer should review the manuscript or proposal very carefully to determine the soundness of the experimental design and data interpretation. A peer reviewer should not overlook glaring errors in the manuscript that could either be honest mistakes, hints of poor scientific understanding or signs of research misconduct.


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Conflict of interest (COI) in peer review COI refers to a situation where the researcher has financial, personal or other interest(s) that could interfere with his or her professional judgement and ability to stay objective in decision-making. It is the responsibility of the peer reviewer to recognise the presence of COI between him/herself with either the authors, the content of the document, or the institutes associated with the authors. The peer reviewer should also be aware of COI between the authors or the authors’ institutes with the funding agencies or journals. “If reviewers have any interest that might interfere with an objective review, they should either decline to review or disclose the potential conflict of interest to the editors or funding agencies” (NSC, 2017). Refer to Chapter 4 for further explanations on COI.

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In conclusion, peer reviewers should act professionally during the peer review process. It is the duty of peer reviewers to conduct peer reviews with uncompromised integrity. “Rejecting a proposal without giving it adequate thought or sabotaging someone’s proposal are practices incongruent with research ethics” (NSC, 2017). Responsible reviewers should give their full commitment and carry out their tasks responsibly. Application of these best practices and values will make peer review a worthwhile academic exercise. Both parties may learn and appreciate the subject matter even more during the course, allowing the manuscript or proposal to have an improved output after peer review.

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PART 4: NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES OF IRRESPONSIBLE PEER REVIEW AND WAYS TO MITIGATE THESE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES Activity 6.4: Case study

Purpose:

This activity aims to facilitate the participants’ ability to recognise the negative consequences of irresponsible peer review and to strategise ways to mitigate these negative consequences.

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Instructions:

Distribute Handout 6.1 to the participants to discuss the case study.

Note to instructor:

You may select one or more case studies to discuss.

Model answer(s):

Case study 1 Answer 1: Dr. Chua acted unprofessionally. She breached the confidentiality policy of the funding agency. She should not have showed the grant application to Avi under any circumstances. She also allowed COI to cloud her judgement. She was biased because Dr. Zainal was her friend and collaborator.

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Answer 2: Depending on the seriousness of the experimental design flaw, it could either mean a waste of resources, such as time and money or it could be harmful to the researchers themselves or people around them, including the general public. Such experimental flaws might also prevent the research from yielding meaningful data or results. This might motivate the researchers to commit research misconduct to circumvent possible problems arising from the poor experimental design. This dishonesty will bring greater harm to the research community. Since the proposal was awarded to Dr. Zainal, this meant a better and more deserving proposal was deprived of the funds. The career of the author of the deserving proposal could be affected because of his/her inability to secure funding.

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Since Dr. Chua did not declare her COI and if this was discovered later, she could be reprimanded or even banned by the Ministry from reviewing other proposals. Her reputation will also be damaged due to her bias.

If I were Avi, I would have politely told Dr. Chua that I should not look at the proposal because of the confidentiality policy. This is a hard position for Avi to take. Dr. Chua should never have put him in this position.

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Case study 2 Answer 1: Dr. Ooi accepted the task of reviewing the manuscript although he was not familiar with certain parts of the manuscript. However, in reality a reviewer may not necessarily be familiar with all parts of a manuscript (especially in interdisciplinary research). Usually the journal will choose a review panel (consisting of a few individuals). Collectively, the review panel should be able to provide a comprehensive assessment. Nevertheless, Dr. Ooi should have declared this to the journal. Dr. Ooi also acted irresponsibly by delaying the review process. In the end, he recommended that the manuscript be accepted for publication without reviewing it properly. Answer 2: Since Dr. Ooi was not an expert in the field, he was unable to give the manuscript a thorough and critical review. Since he delayed the review process, he wasted the time of the author and prevented the manuscript from being published in a timely manner. Since he did not review the manuscript properly, he could have missed certain errors in the manuscript. This could result in the publication of incorrect information.

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Answer 3: If I were Dr. Chua, I would not give the proposal to my postgraduate students. Since I am aware that the proposal was written by my friend, I would declare the COI to the Ministry and offer to exclude myself from being appointed as a reviewer. If the Ministry deemed that it was appropriate for me to be a reviewer of this proposal despite my declaration of COI, I would have done my job professionally.


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Answer 3: Dr. Ooi should have informed the editor that he had insufficient knowledge to review certain parts of the manuscript. Assuming he was allowed to proceed with the peer review, he should have reviewed the manuscript critically, thoroughly and in a timely manner. Case study 3 Answer 1: Dr. Ahmad committed plagiarism by appropriating his competitor’s idea. Dr. Ahmad was biased and acted unprofessionally because the proposal belonged to his competitor. Answer 2: Dr. Ahmad tarnished his own scientific integrity by introducing bias into the review process. He acted unfairly and prevented his competitor from receiving a grant.

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Since Dr. Ahmad stole his competitor’s idea, he would be punished if his actions were discovered. His unethical actions prevented his competitor from receiving a grant that he or she may have deserved.

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Answer 3: Dr. Ahmad should have told the funding agency that the grant was written by a competitor and that he had a COI. If the funding agency deemed Dr. Ahmad was fit to review the proposal, he should have reviewed the proposal professionally without any bias. If Dr. Ahmad felt that he was unable to remain unbiased, then he should have refused to be a reviewer. He should have never plagiarised the idea in the proposal. Case study 4 Answer 1: Prof. Anu acted in a biased manner due to scientific COI. She rejected the proposal because she refused to accept Dr. Hacharan’s challenge against her idea. Answer 2: Prof. Anu’s action prevented potentially important research from receiving funds. She denied Dr. Hacharan the opportunity to establish himself as a researcher in the field. Her reputation would be tarnished if her bias as a reviewer was discovered.

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Answer 3: Prof. Anu should have been an objective reviewer. The acceptance or rejection of a proposal should be primarily based on the scientific merits of the proposal and scope of funding (although safety/security considerations should also be made). If she felt that she was unable to remain neutral, she should have informed the funder and offered to reject the appointment as a reviewer.

In summary, the negative consequences include: 1. Untimeliness that will delay the peer review process and thus will affect the progress of disseminating or exploring new research. 2. An irresponsible peer reviewer is viewed as being unprofessional and lacking integrity. This will create mistrust amongst researchers. It will also reflect badly on the institute that the reviewer is affiliated to. 3. Unethical or irresponsible behaviour on the part of the reviewer could jeopardise the career of the reviewer or researchers involved.

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Irresponsible peer reviewer attributes, such as bias and close-mindedness, would cost a deserving manuscript or proposal to be rejected unfairly. 5. The reputation of a peer reviewer will be tarnished if an undeclared COI is exposed. The perception that the peer reviewer has acted in a biased manner will always linger if the COI is not declared. This will continue to cast doubts in the minds of all parties involved whether the peer reviewer has acted fairly and with integrity. 6. Irresponsible peer review could lead to the publication of manuscripts or funding of proposals that are poorly designed, contain safety and ethical issues, or contain inaccurate, misleading or harmful information. This would lead to a further waste of resources such as time and money or it may bring harm to the people carrying out the research, the society and environment. 7. Irresponsible peer review may allow manuscripts or proposals that contain elements of research misconduct such as falsification, fabrication or plagiarism to be published or funded. 8. An irresponsible peer reviewer who uses privileged information without the permission or knowledge of the author may risk committing idea plagiarism, which is a form of research misconduct. 9. Peer reviewers who provide unclear feedback or vague comments are unable to guide the editors or funding agencies in making the right decision. They would also fail to provide the authors with constructive feedback for improving their manuscripts or proposals. 10. Loss of opportunities for others, who may be far more deserving of the funding. Irresponsible peer review will take away opportunities from authors who were truly deserving, and might instead, allow undeserving authors to obtain the funding/publish their work.

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The negative consequences of irresponsible peer review can be mitigated in several ways. For example, a responsible peer reviewer should not accept the task of reviewing an article if the content of the article is outside his or her field of expertise. A responsible peer reviewer should also be sensitive about potential conflicts of interest and be quick in declaring it to relevant parties. If a reviewer is unable to review the article in a timely manner or for other reasons, he or she should inform the funders or editors so that the funders or editors can take quick actions. Reviewers should be made aware of ethical guidelines and professional norms through awareness training and education.

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CONCLUSIONS

Peer review is an essential process that safeguards the quality of research. Since it is a shared obligation by the scientific community, most researchers will be involved in the peer review process. One should understand that the only way to continue safe guarding one’s work is to properly carry out the peer review process so that it meets the high standards of science, ethics and integrity. To do that, researchers need to be aware of problems such as ethical issues, potential biases and the presence of COI. Researchers should also be equipped with strategies to mitigate these problems. If ever in doubt, a peer reviewer should always consult the editor, funding body or institution. In addition, journals and funders should also perform their due diligence when appointing reviewers and monitoring the whole review process to ensure that research integrity is not compromised by COI and other irresponsible peer review practices.

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LIST OF REFERENCES

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Elsevier. (2018). What is peer review? Retrieved from https://www.elsevier.com/reviewers/what-ispeer-review European Science Foundation. (2011). European peer review guide: integrating policies and practices into coherent procedures. Strasbourg: European Science Foundation.

National Science Council. (2017). The Malaysian code of responsible conduct in research. Cyberjaya, Selangor: Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology. Research Information Network. (2010). Peer review: a guide for researchers. London: Research Information Network.

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Steneck, N. H. (2007). ORI Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.

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Ware, M. (2008). Peer review: benefits, perceptions and alternatives. London: Publishing Research Consortium.

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FURTHER READING

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Association of American University Presses. (2016). AAUP handbook: best practices for peer review. New York, NY: Association of American University Presses. Macrina, F.L. (2014). Scientific integrity: text and cases in responsible conduct of research. Wanshington, DC: American Society for Microbiology Press. National Academy of Sciences. (2009). On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research: Third Edition. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

Shamoo, A.E., and Resnik, D.B. (2015). Responsible Conduct of Research. Third Edition. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

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The BMJ. (2018). Guidance for peer reviewers. Retrieved from http://www.bmj.com/about-bmj/ resources-reviewers/guidance-peer-reviewers The BMJ. (2018). Training materials. Retrieved from http://www.bmj.com/about-bmj/resourcesreviewers/training-materials

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Vintzileos, A.M. and Ananth, C.V. (2010). The art of peer-reviewing an original research paper: important tips and guidelines. Journal of Ultrasound Medicine, 29, 513-518.


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HANDOUT 6.1

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Case study 1: Dr. Chua was asked by the Ministry of Higher Education to review a grant proposal. The proposal was written by her close friend and collaborator, Dr. Zainal. Dr. Chua was very busy so she asked one of her post-graduate students, Avi, to review the proposal on her behalf. She thought this would be a good opportunity for Avi to learn how to write grant proposals. Avi read the proposal and commented that the proposal may have some experimental design flaws. Since Dr. Chua knew Dr. Zainal was a good scientist and Avi could be wrong due to his inexperience, Dr. Chua gave the proposal a favourable recommendation to the Ministry of Higher Education without reading the proposal herself.

Case study 2:

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Question 1: In what way did Dr. Chua act irresponsibly? Question 2: Assuming the proposal was approved by the Ministry without revision because of Dr. Chua’s favourable review, what are the possible consequences of this decision? Question 3: If you are Dr. Chua or Avi, what would you have done instead?

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Dr. Ooi was asked to review a manuscript. At first glance, he realised that a portion of the manuscript was not within his field of expertise but he accepted the responsibility because it would look good on his CV to be a reviewer. At the same time, Dr. Ooi was involved in many projects inside and outside of his university and he did not have the time to review the manuscript. A month later, the editor of the journal contacted Dr. Ooi to ask for an update. Dr. Ooi asked for a deadline extension by telling the editor that he needed extra time to review the manuscript thoroughly. Despite the deadline extension, Dr. Ooi procrastinated and was unable to review the manuscript. By the end of the second month, the editor once again contacted Dr. Ooi for his review. Instead of reviewing the manuscript properly, Dr. Ooi submitted a brief cursory report to the editor and recommended that the manuscript be accepted for publication.

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Question 1: In what way did Dr. Ooi act irresponsibly? Question 2: What are the consequences of Dr. Ooi’s actions? Question 3: What do you think Dr. Ooi should have done in the first place? Case study 3:

Dr. Ahmad was asked by a funding agency to review a proposal. The author of the proposal was Dr. Ahmad’s research competitor. After reviewing the proposal, Dr. Ahmad wrote a bad review that was based on his own personal bias instead of the scientific merits of the proposal. Subsequently, Dr. Ahmad wrote a similar proposal based on a significant amount of information from the same competitor’s proposal that he unfavourably reviewed. He sent the proposal to another funding agency and was successful in securing the grant. Question 1: In what way did Dr. Ahmad act irresponsibly? Question 2: What are the consequences of Dr. Ahmad’s actions? Question 3: What do you think Dr. Ahmad should have done in the first place?

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Case study 4:

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Prof. Anu is a top scientist in her research area and she is a leading figure in using Theory X as a fundamental working principle for a series of important scientific observations. Recently she was invited to review a research proposal by a junior faculty member, Dr. Hacharan. In his proposal, Dr. Hacharan presented a new hypothesis that challenges the validity of Theory X. If proven correct, Dr. Hacharan’s new idea could revolutionise the entire research area. To protect her own interest, Prof. Anu dismissed the idea and rejected the proposal.

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Question 1: In what way did Prof. Anu act irresponsibly? Question 2: What are the negative impacts of Prof. Anu’s decision? Question 3: What should Prof. Anu have done instead in the first place?


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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

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Research Data Management

SYNOPSIS

KEY MESSAGES

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Research data is information that is recorded and documented during the research process. Good data management is necessary to ensure the integrity of data as well as the quality of research. In addition, good data management is important to mitigate issues concerning data ownership disputes. This chapter contains 4 parts. Part 1 defines research data and Part 2 identifies the key areas of research data management and discusses the best practices. Part 3 highlights the importance and benefits of good research data management practices and, finally, Part 4 discusses the consequences of irresponsible research data management and ways to mitigate these consequences.

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1. The four key areas of research data management are data collection, storage, sharing and ownership. 2. Good research data management is important to ensure the integrity of the research data and the quality of the research conducted. 3. Researchers and their respective collaborators as well as research assistants, officers or students should strategise on how to manage research data before, during and after the research is conducted. 4. Researchers are responsible for ensuring that they are aware of and understand the policies on research data management as delineated by the funders and respective organisations.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

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At the end of the chapter, participants should be able to: 7.1 identify what is considered as research data. 7.2 describe the key areas in research data management. 7.3 describe the best practices in research data management. 7.4 appreciate the benefits and importance of good research data management. 7.5 assess the negative consequences of irresponsible research data management and develop strategies to mitigate these negative consequences.

ACTIVITY LIST

This chapter contains 6 activities: Activity 7.1

Test-Learn-Test: This activity aims to ensure participants understand what constitutes as research data. (LO 7.1)

Activity 7.2

Think-Share: The activity aims to engage the participants to reflect on their own research and the process of research data collection. (LO 7.2)

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Brainstorming: This activity aims to address the best practices in research data management. (LO 7.3)

Activity 7.4

Sticky notes: The activity aims to guide the participants in identifying the benefits of good research data management. (LO 7.3)

Activity 7.5

Role play: This activity aims to give the participants an opportunity to apply the best practices in research data management. (LO 7.3, 7.4. 7.5)

Activity 7.6

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Activity 7.3

Case study: This activity aims to encourage the participants to assess the negative consequences of irresponsible data management and develop strategies to mitigate these consequences. (LO 7.3, 7.4. 7.5)

Materials Participant-response tool Mahjong paper Coloured marker pens

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MATERIALS

Quantity

1 set per participant

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Sticky notes

Handout 7.1

1 copy per participant according to their assigned character

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Research generates data that are then subsequently collected, processed, interpreted and finally put together in a coherent manner that can be disseminated. Researchers rely on data generated by other researchers to enhance their own research and ensure that the research field continues to progress. It is only through this incremental increase (piece-by-piece) of knowledge, can a whole body of knowledge form; not unlike the role of each single piece in a jigsaw puzzle. Each single jigsaw piece (research data) connects at least one piece to another; ultimately creating something beautiful and meaningful. As such, the value and utility of these research findings rely heavily on the quality of the research data and the quality of research data in turn, relies on the manner in which data is collected, stored, analysed and interpreted. Data lacking in quality will mislead the research community; resulting in a waste of resources and failure to achieve the noble cause of research. Failure to ensure the quality of data can also cause real harm to society. Therefore, all researchers have the duty to ensure good quality data is produced and shared. One way to ensure good quality data is to practice good data management, which is the focus of this chapter.

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PART 1. DEFINITION OF RESEARCH DATA

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Activity 7.1: Test-Learn-Test Purpose:

This activity aims to ensure participants understand what constitutes as research data. Instructions:

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1. Ask the participants to use a participants’ response tool to choose YES/NO if the items below constitute as research data (reveal each item one by one): –– Literature review –– Grant proposals –– Photos of food-servers at a canteen as part of a research project –– An image of a cell –– Infrared spectra –– DNA sequence of a bacteria –– The names of researchers who conducted the research –– Filled-questionnaires –– A voice-recording of an interview –– The maintenance record of an instrument –– The GPS location of an endangered animal in the forest –– The name of an agency that provided the research funding –– The financial expenditure sheets of a grant –– Purchase order (PO) sheets –– Peer review comments 2. For each item, select a participant to explain why they chose YES or NO. If theyhave differing opinions, allow for some discussion. Do not weigh into this discussion. 3. Once you have gone through the list, you should then give the various established definitions of research data as well as examples of research data. 4. Now repeat steps 1 and 2; but at the end of each round of discussion, reveal the model answer for that particular item. 5. Once you have gone through the list, reiterate the established definitions of research data.

Note to instructor:

Emphasise that the model answers are context-dependent. Some participants may consider certain items as research data because of the nature of the research and the context of the research. For example, while PO sheets are not generally considered as research data; if a researcher is working on a project where PO sheets are the object of research (e.g. studying PO process compliance), then for that particular research, POs are research data. Thus, the nature of research data can vary widely depending on the discipline.

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Model answer(s):

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–– Literature review (NO) –– Grant proposals (NO) (Answer is YES if the grant proposal contains original research data from preliminary work that supports the proposed work) –– Photos of food-servers at a canteen as part of a research project (YES) –– An image of a cell (YES) –– Infrared spectra (YES) –– DNA sequence of a bacteria (YES) –– The names of researchers who conducted the research (NO) –– Filled-questionnaires (YES) –– A voice-recording of an interview (YES) –– The maintenance record of an instrument (NO) –– The GPS location of an endangered animal in the forest (YES) –– The name of an agency that provided the research funding (NO) –– Financial expenditure sheets of a grant (NO) –– Purchase order sheets (NO) –– Peer review comments (NO) Research data can be defined in many ways:

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“The recorded information (regardless of the form of the media in which they may exist) necessary to support or validate a research project’s observation, findings or output”. (Oxford University, 2013)

“The evidence that underpins the answer to the research question, and can be used to validate findings regardless of its form (e.g. print, digital, or physical)”. (Research Councils UK, 2016)

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Research data can be collected from within or beyond the laboratory. There are many forms of research data including numbers, graphs, images, audio, and prints. Data collected from an original source before being processed is usually called raw data, whereas data that has been processed and is ready for further analyses or presentations is called processed data. Collected data must be recorded and documented in an appropriate media such as in lab notebooks, electronic files, or other formats acceptable in the respective fields of research.

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Activity 7.2: Think-Share Purpose:

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The activity aims to engage the participants to reflect on their own research and the process of research data collection. Instructions:

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1. Ask each participant to choose one research experiment that they have conducted in the past. 2. Next, ask them to draw a flowchart to depict a detailed step-by-step process of the chosen experiment. Ask them to identify all the personnel that were involved in conducting that experiment if it involved more than one person. 3. After they have drawn the flowchart, ask the participants to identify the step(s) in which research data was generated. 4. Once they have completed their flowcharts, ask the participants to share their flowchart with the person next to them. Encourage the participants to talk about their experiments using layman’s terms. Note to instructor:

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If the participants have never conducted any research before, ask them to imagine an experiment that they may want to conduct or have learnt about. Model answer(s):

For example: Experiment: Testing the effects of Drug A and Drug B on cell growth 1. Prepare novel Drug A and Drug B 2. Grow two sets of cells

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3. Add Drug A to one set of cells and add Drug B in another set of cells 4. Count the number of cells remaining every 4 hours 5. Calculate the cell growth rate

6. Compare the cell growth rate between cells treated with Drug A and Drug B 7. Make an inference on the effects of Drug A and B on cell growth

Research data was generated at: 1. Recipe of Drugs A and B preparation 2. Amount of cells seeded/grown 3. Concentration of Drugs A and B used 4. Number of cells remaining every 4 hours 5. Cell growth rate

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PART 2: KEY AREAS OF RESEARCH DATA MANAGEMENT AND BEST PRACTICES IN RESEARCH DATA MANAGEMENT Data collection, data storage, data sharing and data ownership There are four key areas in research data management, namely data collection, data storage, data ownership and data sharing (Steneck, 2007).

Data Sharing

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Data Storage

Data Collection Data collection is a systematic approach to gather information in research. Data can be collected from various sources within or beyond the laboratory; depending on the nature of research. For example, data can be generated by collecting samples from the research field, conducting experiments in the laboratory, performing & recording interviews, surveys, computer modelling, etc. Data Storage Data storage refers to the process of keeping the data in which it can be retrieved for further use. Data can be stored in many ways. Written data can be stored as hard copy in a notebook or as soft copy on a computer. Other forms of data such as specimens or questionnaires would have different means of storage.

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Data Ownership

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Data Sharing Data sharing is the process of disseminating data to relevant parties in a proper manner. Data can be shared in multiple ways such as through presentations at conferences, publication of proceedings, publication of manuscripts, or informal meetings. Data Ownership Ownership of research data is dependent on the nature and context of the research. One way of owning data is through publication of the research data. Authors of the publication are generally considered owners of the data. In some instances, the university or the funders are also part owners of the data. Filing of intellectual property or copyrights is another way of owning data. Activity 7.3 Brainstorming Purpose:

Instructions:

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This activity aims to address the best practices in research data management.

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1. Ask the participants to discuss these two questions within their groups: “How do I ensure that I collect high quality data?” and “How do I store my data properly?” 2. Ask them to reflect on their own research as depicted on the flow chart they drew earlier. 3. When they are ready, ask each group to share their collective thoughts with the class. 4. Next, ask the participants to discuss the question: “What should I consider when sharing data?” 5. You may ask leading questions such “How do I share data?” and “With whom can I share my data with?” 6. When they are ready, ask the groups to share their findings with the class. Note to instructor:

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The above instructions guide the participants to think about every aspect of research data management, one at a time. You may also post all the questions at once and ask the participants to discuss these questions. Model answer(s):

See the section below.

Best practices in research data management are important to ensure the overall quality and utility of the data. Best practices in data collection •

Appropriate methods should be used for data collection. Data that is collected using the right methods, approaches, tools, or equipment enhances the quality, traceability and reliability of the data. Principal investigators should have a clear definition of what constitutes as data in his or her research. This understanding must be communicated clearly to other research personnel who carry out the research.

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• •

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Research personnel must be properly trained to collect data correctly and accurately. This is especially important when the collection process requires special training or approval such as the handling of laboratory animals or human subjects. Laboratory tools and equipment must be properly maintained to ensure that the data is reliable. Once the data is collected, it should be recorded and documented properly. There are many ways to record data. One of the most common methods is to record data in a notebook or log book. It is also quite common these days to record data using an electronic or online system. Different research disciplines have their own acceptable ways of recording data. Regardless of the type of media that is used for data recording, each researcher has the duty to observe proper procedures when keeping a laboratory notebook. Regardless of the form of the laboratory notebook, poor laboratory notebook documentation could prove detrimental to the researcher’s interests. Laboratory notebooks can be critical in establishing the researcher’s rights to an invention or intellectual properties. All the entries should be recorded in a chronological order and each experiment should have a start and end date. Data should also be recorded in a comprehensible and understandable manner. Good data documentation practices should be followed. In a collaborative research, collaborators should discuss the standards for data collection and data documentation at the start of the research. A collaborative research depends on each team member to contribute to a larger body of data. Therefore, it is important that each team member plays his or her part in ensuring that the data is collected in a responsible, proper and reliable manner.

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Data should be stored properly to ensure the accessibility and security of the data. Researchers should have a plan to store data and this plan must be communicated to other personnel in the group. This plan should be put in place before data collection begins. During the study, all the researchers play a part in ensuring good data storage practices. In general, data should be stored in a safe manner to prevent damage by acts of nature, theft or hijacking by people with malicious intentions. If data is stored digitally, the computer files should be backed-up periodically and the backedup data should be stored in a secure place. Data that contains sensitive information should be treated with extra care. This sensitive information could include human subject information, information with potential intellectual property implications or information that has hazardous implications. Hardcopies of such data should be locked in an appropriate cabinet while softcopies of the data should be password-protected. Only authorised personnel should have access to stored research data whether it is regular research data or sensitive research data. Once the project is completed and the data has been reported, researchers should focus on the long-term storage of data according to institutional or scientific body guidelines. In general, data needs to be stored for at least 7 years. Sometimes data needs to be stored for a much longer duration depending on established guidelines or policies. Researchers must consult their discipline’s guidelines. In collaborative research, the proper method to store and secure data should be discussed in advance and good data storage principles should be followed.

• • • •

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Other forms of data such as questionnaires, consent forms, audio or video recordings should be stored properly for a period of time according to the standards of the respective fields of research.

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Best practices in data sharing

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Before any data is shared, researchers should first know who owns the data. Researchers should also consider all intellectual property implications before sharing the data. Researchers need to be extra careful in choosing how to share the data. Confidential information such as human subject personal data should not be shared without taking proper steps to protect the information (Ministry of Health Malaysia, 2011). Data containing potential hazardous information should not be shared unless the proper authority is consulted. In short, researchers must use their best judgment, with the advice of relevant stakeholders to ensure that data is shared according to proper guidelines and policies. Principal investigators have the duty to communicate the principles of appropriate data sharing with their research personnel. In collaborative research, researchers in the team should understand how data is to be shared and with whom the data should be shared. If the data is to be shared with members outside the team, the team should come to an agreement on the individual(s) who is responsible for sharing the data and to whom the data can be shared with.

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Best practices in data ownership • •

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In general, researchers who leave an institute for another institute cannot take the data with him or her (this is dependent on the funding agencies’ guidelines). Post-graduate students or other hired research personnel who conduct the research also cannot claim automatic ownership of the data. Philanthropic or private funders have different interests and therefore may have different policies on data ownership thus researchers must be aware of their obligations to these entities. Researchers should always seek the opinion and advice of all the research stakeholders who are involved in the research before entering into any research agreement that might have implications on data ownership. Sometimes in collaborative research, an advance data ownership agreement may be drawn between all the relevant stakeholders.

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Research Data Management and Research Misconduct Research misconduct is a serious offence in research, which is often associated with the handling of research data (Chapter 2). For example, the manipulation of research methodology or data to generate results that artificially fits the research hypothesis is a form of data fabrication/falsification. Misappropriation of proprietary data or privileged information such as those obtained during the peer review process is a form of plagiarism (Chapter 6). Therefore, researchers should collect and report these data honestly to avoid research misconduct.

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As discussed in the data-sharing section above, researchers have the ethical obligation to protect sensitive data such as private information obtained for medical research. Breach of confidentiality violates the privacy of individuals who gave their personal information voluntarily for research purposes.

PART 3: THE BENEFITS OF GOOD RESEARCH DATA MANAGEMENT Activity 7.4: Sticky notes

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The activity aims to guide the participants in identifying the benefits of good research data management.

1. Ask the participants to write the general benefits of good data management on stickynotes and paste the notes on the designated space. They should write one benefit on each sticky note. 2. Read out the sticky notes in class.

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Note to instructor:

Designate a space and label “Benefits of good data management” before the start of the class.

Model answer(s):

See the section below.

Benefits of good research data management: • Ensures the integrity of the data Good data management creates confidence in the accuracy, authenticity, reliability, and trustworthiness of the data • Meets the requirements of funding and regulatory agencies Most funding or regulatory agencies have data management requirements that need to be met by the researchers

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Replicability of the research Data that is properly documented and recorded allows the research to be replicated internally or externally. Easy access of data and preventing data loss Good data management such as storage allows data to be accessed rapidly and systematically Protection of intellectual property A clear framework for data ownership ensures that the intellectual property of the research or institute is protected. Protection of private, confidential or sensitive data Data that contains private, confidential or sensitive information should be stored properly to ensure the protection of the individuals or institutions. Improves collaboration Good data management gives the collaborators additional confidence to collaborate and share information. Good data sharing promotes the exchange of ideas, stimulates scientific discussions and promotes collaboration. Cost-saving Researchers often acquire the same data, which would not be necessary if data is publicly available. The extra funding saved can be used to fund meaningful and impactful research/experiments that may otherwise be not conducted due to cost constraints.

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Activity 7.5 Role play

Purpose:

This activity aims to give the participants an opportunity to apply the best practices in research data management. Note to instructor:

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1. You need 4 groups for this activity. 2. Assign each group to one of the following roles: a) Professor Belo from University Riang b) Professor Chan from University Puncak c) The Director of Research Management at University Riang, Professor Rashid d) Mr Ranjeet, Professor Belo’s newly recruited PhD student 3. Distribute Handout 7.1 to the participants according to their assigned character. 4. Ask the participants to read the scenario and embody the character that they have been assigned too. 5. Ask the participants to prepare for the role play by addressing the tasks detailed in the handout. 6. Start the role play. 7. After the role play has ended, inform the participants that they are no longer playing their “roles” from this point onwards. 8. Expose the participants to Scenario 1 that is a continuation of the case. 9. Ask the participants to discuss the questions associated with Scenario 1 within their group.

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10. Ask one representative from each group to share their answers. 11. Repeat steps 8 and 10 until completion of Scenario 3.

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Scenario 1 Professor Belo and Professor Chan are very excited about their proposed research collaboration and they start the research project even before having any preliminary mutual agreement on issues related to data ownership. Question: What do you think about their actions? What are the potential consequences of their actions?

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Scenario 2 Professor Belo and Professor Chan signed an agreement on intellectual property. Six months into the research, Professor Belo’s group had a meeting with Professor Chan’s group to discuss the research progress. During the meeting, Professor Chan needed to see the raw data for one experiment because he found the processed data very interesting. However, Ranjeet was unable to retrieve the raw data from his laboratory notebook or his records.

Scenario 3 Ranjeet found the raw data shortly afterwards; he had accidentally misplaced it. Professor Chan reviewed the data and his concern with the data was resolved. One year into the research, Professor Chan received an invitation to give a talk on this particular research project. The talk took place at a prestigious university in another country. Professor Chan accepted the invitation and gave the talk without informing Professor Belo.

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Question: What do you think about Professor Chan’s actions? What are the potential consequences of his actions?

Note to instructor:

When the participants are preparing for the role play, spend some time with each group. Guide their discussions if necessary and prompt them to think about some of these questions: 1. How do they plan to train their students to collect data? 2. Where and how would they store the data? 3. How would they share the data? 4. How would they manage the data if Ranjeet leaves the laboratory?

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Question: What do you think about Ranjeet’s situation? What are the potential consequences of this situation?


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Scenario 1: The two professors acted recklessly because they failed to consider intellectual property issues. Embarking on the research prior to any official agreement on data ownership and management could bring about possible disputes in the future as to who has the full ownership of the data, rights to publication and royalties (i.e. patents, licenses, etc. generated from the project). Usage of the data without an official agreement by both parties will also increase the risk of infringing on ethical boundaries as clear data ownership was not specified in advance.

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Scenario 2: Ranjeet’s failure to document and keep the requested raw data will only serve to discredit the particular scientific work that was carried out. As a result, publications and possible patent or licence application efforts related to the project may be compromised. In addition, as Ranjeet did not record and keep the requested raw data, the balance between data ownership and rights to publication and patent/license applications related to the specific section can be contested by Professor Chan. More over, as he was unable to find the raw data, this may raise suspicions that he did not conduct the experiment and fabricated the data, which is a form of research misconduct.

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Scenario 3: Professor Chan acted in bad faith by not discussing this invitation with Professor Belo. The data was generated as a group effort and Professor Belo should have been consulted before Professor Chan accepted the invitation. Professor Chan’s actions may cause intellectual property issues with regards to the product. He may also cause Professor Belo to lose trust in him.

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PART 4: CONSEQUENCES OF IRRESPONSIBLE DATA MANAGEMENT AND WAYS TO MITIGATE THESE CONSEQUENCES Activity 7.6: Case study

Purpose:

This activity aims to encourage the participants to assess the negative consequences of irresponsible data management and develop strategies to mitigate these consequences.

Instructions:

Distribute Handout 7.2 to the participants and ask them to discuss the questions in the case study.

Note to instructor: You may choose which case study to discuss.

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Model answer(s):

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Case study 1: 1. Jasmine was dishonest when she took the data without informing Dr. Anita. The data that she took did not belong to her but belonged to Dr. Anita and the university Dr. Anita works for. Jasmine has acted unethically. 2. Jasmine committed research misconduct – plagiarism - since the research idea originated from Dr. Anita. If this case escalates, Jasmine could be punished or blacklisted. If Jasmine’s actions went undetected, then Dr. Anita would have wasted time and resources conducting research that she had no idea was being conducted simultaneously by Jasmine who received funding for it. 3. I would have discussed how to manage the data with Jasmine while she was my research assistant. I would have also discussed issues pertaining to data ownership when Jasmine was completing her tenure in my laboratory. 4. I would have discussed the future directions of my research with Dr. Anita and would have suggested writing a grant proposal together so that I could continue my research at the new institute. I would not have taken the data without her consent.

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Case study 3: 1. Amril was being careless by sharing important information with a friend whom he knew worked in the same field. 2. Mariam acted unethically by using Amril’s work to develop her own method. This is a form of plagiarism. Although the end product was different, the initial idea came from Amril and his supervisor. 3. This case would result in an intellectual property dispute. Both Amril’s supervisor and Mariam’s supervisor would want to claim the rights to the invention of this new method. 4. I would find an opportunity to talk to Amril’s supervisor to discuss if there was any way of working together to develop this new technology. It was unethical to use the idea shared by Amril. I would also advise Mariam to be careful in the future when receiving or sharing such kind of information. 5. I would talk to Amril and tell him the importance of keeping the information regarding this patent strictly confidential. I would explain to him about the grave consequences that would occur if the content of the patent (before it was filed/granted) was revealed to other people.

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Case study 2: 1. She should not have disclosed this information to the public. Instead she should have discussed this with Dr. Baljeet. Sofia’s revelation could have damaged the reputation of the company that produced Maju and created unnecessary panic especially since her work was not validated. Her actions could have also damaged the reputation of Dr. Baljeet. 2. Dr. Baljeet should have discussed data sharing plans with Sofia at the early stages of the data collection and ensured that she understood the proper way of sharing data. 3. She should have given the data to Dr. Baljeet and allowed him to decide what to do next.


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Case study 4: 1. Dr. Raju revealed patients’ personal information to Rachel. He has breached the privacy/ patient confidentiality policy by sharing this information with someone who was not authorised to see the patients’ personal information. This patient information could be easily misused. 2. I would anonymise the table so that Rachel was only allowed to see what she was authorised to see, i.e. patient ID and blood pressure readings. I would remove the names, addresses and identification card numbers of the patients. I would also call Dr. Sam to make sure that Rachel was authorised to view the data. 3. I would inform Dr. Sam and ask Dr. Sam to kindly remind Dr. Raju that I was not authorised to view the patients’ private information.

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The case studies in Activity 7.6 demonstrate the importance of good data management practices. Every researcher has a duty to handle research data with care. Security, safety and confidentiality should be one of the utmost considerations by researchers while conducting research by “taking into account professional standards, legal requirements and contractual obligations.” (NSC, 2017). Institutions are also recommended to “have policies, standard operating procedures and resources to handle research data, their storage, retention and access”. (NSC, 2017) Researchers, especially new researchers, should receive proper training in data management in addition to other aspects of research conduct such as research methodology. (NSC, 2017)

CONCLUSIONS

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Research data management refers to the effective handling of information that is produced in a particular research. This chapter has provided some guidelines and practical advice on research data management. Good research data management is essential in the research process. It ensures the quality, reliability, traceability and security of the data and also protects the personnel involved in the research if research misconduct issues arise. All research projects should have good data management plans that are discussed and shared amongst all research personnel. All research personnel should be aware of the negative consequences of improper data management before starting on a particular research project.

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LIST OF REFERENCES

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IAP-the Global Network of Science Academies. (2016). Doing global science: a guide to responsible conduct in the global research enterprise. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Ministry of Health Malaysia. (2011). Malaysian guideline for good clinical practice (3rd edition). Petaling Jaya, Selangor: National Committee for Clinical Research.

National Institute of Health. (2003). NIH data sharing policy and implementation guidance. Retrieved from: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_guidance.htm National Science Council. (2017). The Malaysian code of responsible conduct in research. Cyberjaya, Selangor: Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology.

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Oxford University. (2013). University of Oxford policy on the management of research data and record. Retrieved from http://researchdata.ox.ac.uk/university-of-oxford-policy-on-themanagement-of-research-data-and-records/ Research Councils UK. (2016). Concordat on open research data. Retrieved from http://www.rcuk. ac.uk/documents/documents/concordat on open research data-pdf/

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Steneck, N. H. (2007). ORI introduction to the responsible conduct of research. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.

FURTHER READING

Columbia University. (2004). RCR: data acquisition and management. Retrieved from http://ccnmtl. columbia.edu/projects/rcr/rcr_data/

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Eynden, V. V. D., Corti, L., Woollard, M., Bishop, L. and Horton, L. (2011). Managing and sharing data: best practice for researchers. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Archive University of Essex. Retrieved from http://www.data-archive.ac.uk/media/2894/managing sharing.pdf National Academy of Sciences. (2009). On being a scientist: a guide to responsible conduct in research (Third Edition). Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

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Briney, K. (2015). Data management for researchers: organize, maintain and share your data for research success. Exeter, England: Pelagic Publishing Ltd.


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HANDOUT 7.1

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Your assigned character: Professor Belo You are a Principal Investigator at University Riang. Your expertise is in developing novel nanomaterials. You discovered a new material that has the potential to improve the cleaning efficacy of household cleaning products. You asked your long-time friend, Professor Chan from University Puncak who is a chemist, to be your collaborator. After some preliminary discussions, you and Professor Chan decided to collaborate. The two of you will write a proposal to apply for funding from University Riang. You have a PhD student in your laboratory, named Ranjeet who is looking for a new project and you plan to put him on this project. If successful, the nanomaterial may be patented and commercialised.

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Based on the scenario above, strategise ways of managing the research data in the context of data collection, storage, ownership and sharing from your perspective as the main Principal Investigator. The Director of the Research Management Centre of University Riang, Professor Rashid, is convening a meeting in two weeks to discuss your strategy. Professor Chan and Ranjeet will be present at the meeting as well. You are expected to look after your own interest.

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HANDOUT 7.1

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Your assigned character: Professor Chan You are a chemist at University Puncak. One day you received a phone call from your old friend, Professor Belo from University Riang. He is an expert in nanomaterials. He told you that he developed a new nanomaterial that has the potential of enhancing the cleaning effect of household cleaning products. After some preliminary discussions, you decided to collaborate with Professor Belo who will lead this project. The two of you will write a proposal and submit it to the Research Management Centre of University Riang for funding. Professor Belo plans to put his PhD student, Ranjeet, on this project and you plan to hire your own research assistant as well. If successful, the nanomaterial may be patented and commercialised.

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Based on the scenario above, strategise ways of managing the research data in the context of data collection, storage, ownership and sharing from your perspective as Professor Belo’s research collaborator. The Director of Research Management Centre of University Riang, Professor Rashid, is convening a meeting in two weeks to discuss your strategy. Professor Belo and Ranjeet will be at the meeting as well. You are expected to look after your own interest.


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HANDOUT 7.1

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Your assigned character: Professor Belo’s PhD Student, Ranjeet Professor Belo is from University Riang and he discovered a new nanomaterial that has the potential to improve the cleaning efficacy of household cleaning products. Professor Belo has a collaborator named Professor Chan from University Puncak who is a chemist. You are a PhD student at Professor Belo’s laboratory so Professor Belo plans to put you on this new project. Professor Chan plans to hire his own research assistant for the project. Professor Belo and Professor Chan are writing a proposal that will be submitted to the Research Management Centre of University Riang for funding. If successful, the nanomaterial may be patented and commercialised.

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Based on the scenario above, strategise ways of managing the research data in the context of data collection, storage, ownership and sharing from your perspective as Professor Belo’s student. The Director of Research Management Centre of University Riang, Professor Rashid, is convening a meeting in two weeks to discuss your strategy. Professor Belo and Professor Chan will be at the meeting as well. Professor Belo and Professor Chan will be asked to discuss their research data management strategy. Your opinion, from the perspective of a student, will be sought. You are expected to look after your own interest.

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HANDOUT 7.1

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Your assigned character: Professor Rashid, Director of Research Management at University Riang. You are the Director of Research Management at University Riang. Professor Belo, a faculty member from your university has discovered a new nanomaterial that has the potential to improve the cleaning efficacy of household cleaning products. He asked his long-time friend, Professor Chan from University Puncak who is a chemist, to be his collaborator. They are writing a proposal that will be submitted to your office to apply for funding. Professor Belo plans to put his PhD student, Ranjeet, on this project and Professor Chan plans to hire his own research assistant. If successful, the nanomaterial may be patented and commercialised.

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You are convening a meeting in two weeks with Professor Belo, Professor Chan and Ranjeet. The objective of this meeting is to hear how they plan to manage their research data. Prepare a set of questions for them such as those pertaining to data collection, storage, ownership and sharing. For example, you may ask them what are their strategies in storing and sharing data. You may also probe them on potential data ownership issues. The aim of this meeting is for each party to share and discuss their perspectives. They are expected to look after their own interests. Do not attempt to facilitate any agreement between the parties. Suggest that there will be another meeting convened to discuss this in further detail.


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HANDOUT 7.2

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Case study 1: Jasmine is a PhD student at Dr. Anita’s laboratory. Jasmine submitted her thesis and successfully defended it. While searching for an academic position, Dr. Anita asked Jasmine to conduct a preliminary study on a related project. Jasmine found an academic position at a different university a few months after collecting valuable preliminary data. Without informing Dr. Anita, Jasmine copied the data, left Dr. Anita’s laboratory and continued the research at the other university.

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A few months later, Dr. Anita was asked to review a grant application. She was shocked to find out that the application was written by Jasmine and it contained some preliminary data that was collected while Jasmine was working for her. Questions: 1. What do you think about Jasmine’s actions? 2. What are the consequences of Jasmine’s actions if the grant application was approved without Dr. Anita’s realisation? 3. If you are Dr. Anita, what should you have done to prevent this situation from happening? 4. If you are Jasmine, what should you have done differently?

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Case study 2: Dr. Baljeet is a food scientist who studies food hygiene issues. His student, Sofia, went to the supermarket and bought different brands of ice-cream to test for the existence of pathogens. One day, she found that a particular brand called Maju was contaminated with Salmonella. She announced this on social media and the news went viral. Questions: 1. What do you think about Sofia’s actions and what are the consequences? 2. If you are Dr. Baljeet, what should you have done to prevent this situation from happening? 3. If you are Sofia, what should you have done differently?

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Case study 3: Amril is a postgraduate student. He works in a group that recently developed a new method to diagnose colon cancer. While the patent on this new method was still being drafted, he shared the details of his research with his friend, Mariam, who is a post-doctoral fellow working in a similar field at another institute. Mariam shared Amril’s research with her supervisor. The supervisor gave Mariam some suggestions to make some modifications to Amril’s method. The work was successful. They filed a patent on this new technique to diagnose a different type of cancer. Questions: 1. What do you think about Amril’s actions? 2. What do you think about Mariam’s actions? 3. What are the consequences of this situation? 4. If you are Mariam’s supervisor, what should you have done differently? 5. If you are Amril’s supervisor, what should you have done to prevent this situation from happening?

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Case study 4: E-mail from Rachel:

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Dear Dr. Raju, I am Dr. Sam’s research assistant. Dr. Sam asked me to contact you to retrieve some patient data for our research. Can you please e-mail the blood pressure data for patients with the ID numbers 001 and 007? E-mail from Dr. Raju

Dear Rachel, attached is the data that you requested.

001

Aminah binti Ahmad

007

Lee Chiong Wei

Identification Address card number 720106-10-8414 No. 1, Jalan Permata 1, Taman Pinang, Kuala Lumpur

Blood pressure (mmHg)

771223-14-5389 287, Jalan Bersatu, Taman Hibiscus, Kuala Lumpur.

160/95

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119/70

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ID Number

015

Suleiman bin Nizar

620411-07-4191 57, Jalan 111/78 Gemilang 5, Taman Gemilang, Kuala Lumpur.

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Questions: 1. Assuming Rachel did not have any ethical clearance to view the patients’ confidential information, what do you think about Dr. Raju’s actions? 2. What are the consequences of Dr. Raju’s actions? 3. If you are Dr. Raju, what should you have done differently? 4. If you are Rachel, what would you do next?

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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

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Financial Responsibilities

SYNOPSIS

KEY MESSAGES

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This chapter aims to emphasise the importance of maintaining financial responsibility in research. This chapter contains 5 parts. Part 1 encourages participants to reflect on their own understanding of research fund management. Part 2 focuses on identifying the steps involved in the securing and management of research grants. Part 3 delineates the roles and responsibilities of the various players and of financially responsible practices. Part 4 focuses on getting the participants to analyse irresponsible practices and assess the consequences if these financially irresponsible practices are not mitigated. Finally in Part 5, participants are encouraged to formulate strategies that can foster a financially responsible R&D ecosystem.

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1. Research grants are not a privilege of the scientific community but an obligation that needs to be executed responsibly. 2. Financial responsibility is necessary towards fostering a sustainable culture of responsibility in any successful research ecosystem. 3. If left unmitigated, financial irresponsible practices can lead to severe repercussions. 4. There are individual and structural factors that lead to irresponsible financial practices. 5. The responsibility to ensure an effective and honest financial management of research belongs to all parties in the R&D ecosystem.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

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At the end of the chapter, participants should be able to: 8.1 identify research funding bodies/agencies 8.2 determine the steps and players involved in research grant applications and the management of research funds 8.3 state the roles and responsibilities of the various players involved in the financial management of research funds 8.4 characterise financially responsible practices in research 8.5 identify financially irresponsible practices in research 8.6 assess the consequences if financially irresponsible practices in research are left unmitigated 8.7 analyse the factors that drive irresponsible financial practices in research 8.8 formulate strategies to foster responsible financial practices in research

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ACTIVITY LIST This chapter contains 7 activities: Polling: This activity aims to probe the participants’ perspectives on research funding.

Activity 8.2

Brainstorming: This activity aims to aid participants in identifying potential sources of research funding. (LO 8.1)

Activity 8.4

Brainstorming: This activity aims to engage participants in appreciatinge the roles and responsibilities of the various players involved in the financial management of research and the characteristics that define financially responsible practices. (LO 8.3 and 8.4) Case study: This activity aims to facilitate the participants’ ability to identify financially irresponsible practices in research and assess the consequences if financially irresponsible practices in research are left unmitigated. (LO 8.5 and 8.6)

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Activity 8.5

Drawing for understanding: This activity aims to guide the participants in identifying the various steps involved in the securing and management of research grants. (LO 8.2)

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Activity 8.3

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Activity 8.1

Activity 8.6

Sticky notes: This activity aims to get the participants to analyse the factors that drive irresponsible practices in research. (LO 8.7)

Activity 8.7

Drawing for understanding: This activity aims to encourage the participants to formulate strategies to foster responsible financial practices in research. (LO 8.8)

Materials

Quantity

Handout 8.1

1 copy per participant

Handout 8.2

1 copy per participant

Mahjong paper A4 paper

Sticky notes

Coloured marker pens Participant-response tool

1 set per participant

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CONTENT

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Securing research funding is key in ensuring the sustainability of R&D ecosystems. In fact, highly developed R&D nations are often characterised by their ability to spend a significant portion of their Gross Domestic Product for research expenditure. Research funding is used to support the running of experiments, renting or purchasing of equipment and consumables, hiring of research and administrative support staff, protecting intellectual rights, publishing in journals and presenting of research output at conferences; essentially in every step of the research process.

O

The ability to secure research funding by an individual researcher is also one of the hallmarks of an independent and established principal investigator. Securing research funding is usually competitive and often requires significant effort in developing research proposals with clear outcomes. Planning the potential expenditure that will be incurred during the research activities involved in achieving the research outcomes is therefore critical. While there is a need to cater for contingencies and fluctuations in market prices, the over-inflation of research budgets in proposals can reduce the chances of a particular project being funded. If an over-budgeted project gets funded, this will result in potential unscrupulous spending that not only wastes resources but also reduces the availability of funding for other worthy projects.

RE

AD

Scientists often perceive research funding as a privilege that is accorded to them by virtue of being scientists. Especially in Malaysia, where the majority of research funding is from the government, scientists have to realise that research funding is not a privilege but an honour and obligation to the tax payers; an obligation to conduct the proposed research in not only a timely and diligent manner but also to ensure that the financial resources are used efficiently and honestly. Sustainable research funding in any ecosystem can only be achieved if research excellence is coupled with robust and prudent spending. Thus, everyone in the research process has to be aware that they are accountable for any financial discrepancies and have a significant role to maintain financial integrity.

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PART 1: REFLECTIONS ON RESEARCH FUND MANAGEMENT It is quite common that researchers have varied opinions on how best to manage their research funds. Very often, what one researcher feels is an acceptable method of managing their research funds may be in fact be a misuse of power and they can be held accountable for their actions. Activity 8.1: Polling Purpose:

This activity aims to probe the participants’ perspectives on research funding. Instructions:

O

1. Ask the participants to use a participants’ response tool to answer the questions listed below. 2. After each question, reveal the polling result. 3. Then, disclose the correct answer and provide the relevant explanation. Allow time for some discussion and clarification.

RE

2. Endowment represents money or other financial assets that are donated to universities/ colleges/organisations for investment purposes. A. Yes B. No C. Maybe D. I don’t know 3. Can a Principal Investigator (PI) influence his/her postgraduate students to use their scholarship stipend to purchase laboratory consumables? A. Yes B. No C. Maybe D. I don’t know 4. Can a PI set aside a certain amount of money from his/her research grant to aid his/her department’s/university’s teaching services? A. Yes B. No C. Maybe D. I don’t know

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Questions: 1. Can researchers use research funds to generate more research funds? (For example, use research funds to organise a fund-raising activity where the profits that are generated is used to fund more research activity.) A. Yes B. No C. Maybe D. I don’t know


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5. A client that appoints a researcher as a consultant has the right to make the final decision on the terms and conditions of the research consultation services he or she receives. A. Yes B. No C. Maybe D. I don’t know 6. Is it ethical to reallocate/revise the budget allocation (e.g. transfer of money that is dedicated for experimental work to support travel and attendance of a conference)? A. Yes B. No C. Maybe D. I don’t know

O

7. As a co-PI of a research fund, do you have direct access to manage and use the research funds? A. Yes B. No C. Maybe D. I don’t know

AD

8. Can researchers use their grant to buy certain items (also for research) but register the purchases as different items for official record-keeping purposes? A. Yes B. No C. Maybe D. I don’t know

RE

9. Is it compulsory to spend all the allocated research grant funds at the end of a research project? A. Yes B. No C. Maybe D. I don’t know 10. Would the PI have “ownership rights” over equipment that he/she bought using the research grant? A. Yes B. No C. Maybe D. I don’t know

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Note to instructor:

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This is just a reflection section to gauge the participants’ views on research funding as well as to raise some good discussion points. Model answer(s):

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AD

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Questions: 1. No. The intended purpose of research grants is to conduct the activities that are stipulated in the grant and not for any money-generating activities; with the exception of the intellectual property that may result from the research. 2. Yes. Returns of these investments can be used for any stipulated purposes (e.g. research). This is usually determined by the entity that endows the funds or the board of trustees that are entrusted to govern the endowment. 3. No. PIs should not influence students to use their scholarship stipend to purchase research consumables. While students themselves can decide without any party’s influence to use the money for purchases related to their research, it is not encouraged. The responsibility of purchasing research material lies with the PI. If the student can use the money to buy research materials instead of using it as his or her monthly stipend, he/she possibly does not deserve the scholarship. 4. No. This is against the intended purpose of the funder who provided the fund. 5. Yes. The client has the right to make the final decision on the terms and conditions of the research consultation services he or she receives. Equally, the researcher has the right to decide if he/she wants to accept these terms and conditions before signing the service agreement. As soon as an agreement is signed, the researcher needs to comply with the stipulated terms and conditions. Any changes to these terms and conditions have to be mutually agreed by both parties. 6. Maybe. Certain funders will not allow a reallocation/revision of the set budget. However, most funders will allow such practices but would require the researcher to either inform them or request permission from them to perform such reallocations/revisions (with sound justifications). This type of practice is usually allowed to ensure efficiency in utilising the research fund. 7. Maybe. From the perspective of most funders, they only expect the main PI of the grant to manage the research funds. In most instances, the research funds are managed at the institution, in which the PI belongs to. However, this may depend on whether there is a mutual agreement between the researchers to allow co-PIs to manage or utilise the funds; where some funds are transferred into a research account that is managed by the co-PI. 8. No. This type of practice is considered a breach of trust and is a form of misconduct; even if the intention is for successful completing the research project. Most funders understand that the pace in which technology changes may mean that a suggested research method in the original proposal is no longer relevant/optimum by the time the project is underway. In most instances, if the objectives or research milestones are not affected, researchers are allowed to tweak their method. Thus, there is no reason for this ‘covering up’ practice.


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9. No. It is not mandatory that researchers should finish all the money at the end of the research. However, often researchers tend to utilise as much as possible (even if not needed) just to ensure that all the money is spent, as any unused amount will be returned to the funders. This can be considered a irresponsible practice as the extra money could actually be channelled for more beneficial use by the funders. 10. Maybe. Unless it is stipulated in the research grant contract, all purchased research equipment belongs to the institution that the PI was employed in at the time of the grant award and not the individual PI. PIs are traditionally not considered the owners of the purchased research equipment but are considered as custodians that ensure that the equipment is maintained in good working condition and that its use is optimised as much as possible.

O

After the polling activity, participants would have had the opportunity to reflect on the different scenarios in research funding that they may have faced or will face at some point in their research journey. The general rule of thumb is for researchers to realise that research funding is an honour that is entrusted to them; and honour in which researchers should use it to serve humanity through research progress; rather than to serve themselves. As such, researchers are also expected to be aware of the financial regulations/processes set out by funders or the institution in which they operate. Ignorance is not an acceptable excuse.

RE

AD

A responsible scientific ecosystem is also one that is sustainable. Researchers, especially PIs are responsible to continuously secure research funding opportunities to ensure that their research ideas come to fruition through sustained research activities. Research funding is critical in ensuring the maintenance of equipment, purchase of material/equipment, protection of intellectual property, dissemination of findings and the hiring of research and administration personnel to sustain the research activities. It is only through sustainable research activities, will the desired outcome of research be ultimately achieved; where knowledge is advanced and/or applications are successfully developed to serve the intended purpose. Thus researchers should be aware of the various funding sources available (institutional, national, international etc.).

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Activity 8.2: Brainstorming Purpose:

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This activity aims to aid participants in identifying potential sources of research funding. Instructions:

1. Ask the participants in each group to list down all the potential funding bodies that they know on a piece of mahjong paper. 2. Then ask them to rank the funders that they have listed according to how common they are based on their own experience/organisation (Most common → least common). 3. Then ask them to stick the Mahjong paper on the wall and choose one representative from each group to present their findings.

O

Note to instructor:

The answer may vary depending on the demographics of the participants. This is an opportunity for the participants to reflect on the various sources of funding available. It will also allow them to appreciate that the potential (over) dependence on a single source of funding may be unsustainablein the long run.

AD

More importantly, this exercise is designed to enable the instructor to prepare for the following activities because the participants’ experiences with funding bodies shape their reflections and responses in the subsequent activities. Model answer(s):

Government (Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, and other ministries, University, Industry, NGOs and international bodies (WHO and UNESCO), Private funds (Bill Gates Foundation, consortiums, etc.), Public (crowd sourcing).

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In Malaysia, the biggest funding source is usually the Government.


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PART 2: STEPS INVOLVED IN THE SECURING AND MANAGEMENT OF RESEARCH GRANTS It is necessary for institutions to have regulations and guidelines to ensure responsible financial management of research grants; including the process in which grants are applied for, funds are managed, research materials and equipment are procured, research staff are employed and intellectual property rights are shared (National Science Council [NSC], 2017). It is equally important for all researchers to be aware of the processes and regulations that have been delineated; and of course comply with them. While different institutions and grant funders may have unique considerations in the process, for most part, there is universal commonality. Often research personnel are so focused on their specific role/task; they are unaware of the whole value chain. It is important for every personnel in the research enterprise to be aware of all the different players involved in the research process and the roles and responsibilities they play. Activity 8.3: Drawing for understanding Purpose:

Instructions:

O

This activity aims to guide the participants in identifying the various steps involved in the securing and management of research grants.

AD

1. Ask each group to draw a flow chart on a piece of Mahjong paper to depict the steps that are involved in research grant management, starting from the initial discussion (preplanning stage) to the completion of the research project. 2. Ask each group to present their flow chart after they have completed this task. 3. Disclose the model answer and explain the process step-by-step. Note to instructor:

RE

Each group might have a different flow chart; there will be some that are too simplified. When disclosing the model answer, explain that the exact steps may differ from one institution/university or funder. More importantly, by the end of this activity, it is important for the participants to recognise that responsible financial management extends beyond actual monetary transactions. It begins even at the pre-planning stages and ends with the completion of the project; as determined by the funders.

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Model answer(s):

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Initial discussion on research proposal

Planning of research

Writing of research proposal

Internal peer review within the Institution / University

Finalisation of research proposal

Submission of research proposal to Funder

Evaluation of proposal by Funder

Rejected

O

Announcement of decision by Funder

Approved without corrections

Approved with changes

Signing of contract with Funder

The applicant needs to address the comments and resubmit

Disbursement of research funds to Institution / University

AD

Management of funds by RMC and Bursary

*Direct Purchase

*Tender Purchase

Quotation

Call for open tender

Purchase order (PO)

Tender briefing

Delivery (DO)

Tender submission

Invoicing

Tender evaluation

Payment

Award of tender

Delivery (DO)

Invoicing

Payment

Submission of research progress and end of project reports

Closing of research grant account

*This process is repeated whenever necessary until the end of the research period

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Opening of research grant account


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PART 3: ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES The previous section discussed the steps involved in the securing and management of research grants. This section focuses on the roles and responsibilities of all the players involved in the steps described earlier and the characteristics that define responsible financial management of research grant. Activity 8.4: Brainstorming Purpose:

This activity aims to engage participants in appreciating the roles and responsibilities of various players in the financial management of research and the characteristics that define financially responsible practices. Instructions:

AD

O

1. Ask the participants in the group to list down all the players (individuals or institutions/ department/committee) that are involved in securing and managing research grants. 2. Ask the participants to shout out the answers and list them on a Mahjong paper/flipchart. 3. Disclose the model answer. You may include additional players that are not mentioned in the model answer but were suggested by the participants. 4. Provide the participants with Handout 8.1 that includes a flowchart and a legend with numbers assigned to the various players involved in securing and managing research grants. 5. Ask each group to discuss among themselves and determine which players are involved in each step of the flowchart. Use the numbering system in the legend to represent the players in the flowchart provided. 6. Ask each group to identify examples of financially responsible characteristics or actions at each step in the flowchart. Note to instructor:

RE

The responsibility of ensuring responsible financial management is shared by multiple parties; although the biggest responsibility is shared by the PI and the organisation that receives the grant. The funders and the organisation that receives the grant have to ensure that the processes in place promote compliance.

Model answer(s):

Examples of personnel/players involved in the process: 1. Principal Investigator (PI) 2. Co-PIs 3. External Reviewer 4. Internal Reviewer 5. Project Managers 6. Research Assistants/Graduate Research Assistants/ Research Officers/Enumerators/Students 7. Funders

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8. Faculty/School/Departmental management (Dean/Deputy Dean of Research/Head of Department 9. Intellectual Property (IP) Unit 10. Research Integrity Unit 11. Bursary 12. University/Institutional Research Management Centre

Players involved in each step of the flowchart are as follows: Initial discussion on research proposal

2, 3, 4, 5

Planning of research

2, 3, 4

Writing of research proposal

6, 7, 11

Internal peer review within the Institution / University

2, 3

Finalisation of research proposal

2, 6, 7

Submission of research proposal to Funder

1, 12

Evaluation of proposal by Funder

1

Announcement of decision by Funder

O

2, 3

Approved with changes

AD

Approved without corrections

Signing of contract with Funder

1, 2, 6

The applicant needs to address the comments and resubmit

1, 6, 7, 8

Disbursement of research funds to Institution / University

6, 7, 8

Management of funds by RMC and Bursary

2, 5, 7, 8

2, 3, 7

Legend

Opening of research grant account

Players

1

Funders

*Direct Purchase

*Tender Purchase

5, 6, 7, 8

2

Principal Investigators (PI)

2-8

Quotation

Call for open tender

7, 8

3

Co-PIs

2-8

Purchase order (PO)

Tender briefing

2, 7, 8

4

Research Assistants / Graduate Research Assistants / Research Officers / Enumerators

2-8

Delivery (DO)

Tender submission

8

5

Project Managers

2-8

Invoicing

Tender evaluation

2, 8

6

Faculty Management (Dean / Deputy Dean of Research / Head of Department)

5-9

Payment

Award of tender

8

7

University / Institutional Research Management Centre

Delivery (DO)

2

8

Bursary

Invoicing

2

9

Research Integrity Unit

Payment

5-9

10

Intellectual Property (IP) Unit

11

Internal Reviewer

12

External Reviewer

RE

2-8

1-3, 5-8, 10, 12

1, 2, 7, 8

Submission of research progress and end of project reports

Closing of research grant account

*This process is repeated whenever necessary until the end of the research period

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Rejected


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The responsibility to ensure responsible financial management is shared by multiple parties; although the biggest responsibility is shared by the PI and the organisation that receives the grant. The organisation that receives the grant has to ensure that the processes in place promote compliance. Some of the best practices during the securing and management of grants include: 1. Initial Discussion on Research Proposal • Understand the scope of the project taking into account the grant provider. • Identify potential collaborators and the nature of the collaborations. • Evaluate the feasibility of the infrastructure and human resources. • Collect preliminary data; understand the institutional processes and deadlines.

Planning of Research The following considerations should be discussed in agreed upon with clarity on all collaborating parties: • Gantt chart (Timeline, Milestones that are measurable) • Logistics to accommodate instruments (Space) • Manpower • Justification for purchases • Budgeting • Collaboration – identifying the parties involved such as the industry, researchers, community etc. • Distribution of funds • Ownership • Conflicts of interest • Legal ramifications

AD

O

2.

Writing of Research Proposal • The detailed information regarding the research project (including budgeting) needs to be made clear to avoid confusion amongst reviewers and also for future downstream monitoring of the achievement of research milestones.

RE

3.

4.

Internal Peer Review within the Institution/University • A robust peer review process with independent reviewers should be done within the institution of the PI. • Poor-quality or badly budgeted grants should be rejected and not sent to the funding agencies; feedback should be provided to the PI for improvement.

5.

Finalisation of Research Proposal • Once the internal evaluators have conducted the internal peer review, the researcher should take into account the reviewer comments and ensure that they are addressed adequately.

6.

Submission of Research Proposal to Funder • Submission should be in line with the rules and regulations set out by the funder (e.g. within the budget and scope of funding)

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Evaluation of Proposal by Funder • The evaluation of grant applications by the external evaluators should be fair and devoid of conflicts of interest (robust peer review) and should bebased solely on the merits of the proposal and the scope defined by the funder. Cost-benefit ratios should be considered and thorough deliberation regarding the requested budget should be made.

8.

Announcement of Decision by Funder • The final decision will be made after a compilation of comments from the external evaluators and the funding body authority. The decisions can be i) rejected, ii) approved without changes or iii) approved with changes. • Decisions should be prompt and clear explanations should be given to researchers who fail in securing the funding. • In the case of grants that are approved with recommended changes, the PI has to address the comments and make the necessary corrections (writing & planning) prior to the resubmission. This should be done diligently and in a timely manner.

9.

Signing of Contract with Funder • Funder is responsive and prepares the agreement/contract as soon as the award is announced. • Quick response to avoid delays but without compromising robust due diligence by the PI and the various institutional parties before signing of the agreement. • The PI and the institution understand the terms and conditions of the agreement and their obligation to comply with those terms and conditions.

AD

O

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7.

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11. Management of Funds by Research Management Centre and Bursary (including opening of account and processing tender and direct purchases) • Good accounting practices are applied with transparent documentation. • Purchases on record are identical to that is actually purchased. • Conflicts of interest are declared and avoided. • Purchasing within the budget ceiling of the grant and before the end of project. • Quick and transparent process of purchases so as to not delay research and compromise on financial integrity of the research process. • Responsible spending. 12. Submission of Research Progress and End of Project Reports • Funder provides ample notice of submission of reports. • On-time submission of reports by PI with clear expenditure records as verified by the bursary. • Clear communication channel between funder, institution and researcher.

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10. Disbursement of Research Funds to Institution/University • Prompt disbursement of funds by the Funder and the Institution has in place all the mechanism in place to manage the funds.


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13. Closing of Research Grant account • Upon successful completion of project (or not but the funder still decides to close the grant), the grant account should be officially closed. • A complete financial report should be provided together with the end of project report. • Any remaining funds should be returned back to the funder unless the funder decides differently. PART 4: FINANCIAL IRRESPONSIBILITY AND CONSEQUENCES The section above discussed the financial responsibilities of the various player involved in research but it is also equally important for researchersto be able to identify (avoid) financially irresponsible behaviours and reflect on the consequences to the scientific ecosystem if these irresponsible behaviour is left unmitigated. The next section focuses on the identification of financially irresponsible practices and the ramifications of such actions.

Purpose:

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Activity 8.5: Case study

This activity aims to facilitate the participants’ ability to identify financially irresponsible practices in research and assess the consequences if financially irresponsible practices in research are left unmitigated.

AD

Instructions:

RE

1. Distribute Handout 8.1 to the participants. 2. As a group, ask the participants to discuss: a. What are the irresponsible practices displayed by the characters in the case study? b. What do you think are the factors that allow/promote these irresponsible practices to occur? What is the motivation behind these irresponsible practices? c. What do you think will be the potential consequences of the actions of Dr. Azim, Dr. Chong and Prof. Zaid? Consider the wider/long-term and immediate/short-term consequences. Note to instructor:

1. Provide Handout 8.2 which is a case study. Clearly state that it is a fictional case. 2. You may reveal the questions systematically one by one. Get the participants to present their answers before progressing to the next question or give them all the questions at the same time and get them to present their answers collectively. 3. If the participants are new postgraduate students, they may not be able to appreciate and reflect on the case study. An alternative activity is to ask them to list out the irresponsible practices that contradict the responsible practices that they had developed in Activity 8.4. Then ask them to state the consequences if the irresponsible practices are left unmitigated.

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Model answer(s): MOTIVATION

Inflated the cost Including Prof. Zahid and Dr. Chong’s name without scientific justification

–– To meet KPIs –– To please mentors –– Greed

Deceptionconverting RA salary as cash in hand

–– Insufficient funds for the project –– Extra cash

Parked money at Company X

–– Pressure to spend money in the time frame given –– Not aware of his responsibility to return unused funds to funder

Suggested to Dr. Chong to use Dr. Azim’s parked money at Company X to purchase chemicals for an unrelated project of Dr. Chong

–– Wanting to gain a stake in Dr. Chong’s project

–– Loses his/ her job and reputation (if caught). –– Criminal offence, charged in court. –– Difficulty in obtaining future grants due to loss of trust.

AD

RE

–– Wanting to please Dr. Chong by helping him as a friend.

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Dr. Azim (Principal Investigator)

CONSEQUENCES

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CONDUCT

O

PLAYERS


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Prof. Zaid

CONDUCT

MOTIVATION

CONSEQUENCES

Suggested to inflate the cost

Expected a slashing of fund by the grant review panel

Slap on the wrist (if caught.)

Suggested “financial arrangement”

To facilitate purchases to achieve research goal Has financial interest with these companies

Suggested dummy quotations

N LY

PLAYERS

Culture of irresponsible financial management practices in perpetuity. His mentors will also follow For ease and speed of suit since they think purchase those irresponsible Conflict of interest – practices are the giving unfair advantage to norms. certain suppliers

Suggested parking money at the company

–– Easy access by PI, easy spending –– Commercial favour

Issued dummy quotations

Easy administrative clearance

None (he is irresponsible because he allowed his name to be used in the application)

KPIs, Greed

Slashing of funds irresponsibly

To save funds (perhaps) or trying to distribute to as many researchers as possible (so more people are happy)

Poor monitoring

Entrust the responsibility on the PI (perhaps)

AD

Company X

O

Unhealthy financial culture

RE

Dr. Chong

University Alam

Blacklisted (if caught).

Perpetuation of the culture of playing the game and getting acknowledge for no real scientific contribution.

Loss of reputation. Development of stringent regulations that may hinder actual research.

This case study was designed to present an example of a relatable situation in which irresponsible securing and management of research funding is complex; involving multiple parties. While the motivation of their actions may differ, ultimately the negative consequences can be far-reaching. The next section focuses on the reasons as to why these irresponsible practices continue to occur in research grant financial management. 201 Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research


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Activity 8.6: Sticky notes Purpose:

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This activity aims to get the participants to analyse the factors that drive irresponsible financial practices in research. Instructions:

O

1. Ask the participants to write down challenges (including beyond individual motivation) that a researcher may encounter that impacts their ability to maintain responsible financial practices on sticky notes. Each sticky note should have only one challenge. Each participant can list as many challenges as possible. 2. Create a large pie-chart with 3 equal slices on a wall, where each slice represents areas where these challenges may exist: a. Funder b. Institution c. Researcher

Institution Researcher

RE

3. Now ask the participants to stick the sticky notes in the respective slices of the pie chart. 4. If a challenge intersects with two areas, ask the participants to place the sticky note on the boundary of both slides. 5. If the challenge intersects with all 3 areas, ask the participants to place the sticky note around the middle of the pie chart. 6. Review the pie chart and discuss the distribution and types of challenges as identified by the participants.

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Funding Agency


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Note to instructor:

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There should only be one challenge in each post-it-note. Itis important to assess where the participants think the challenges mostly exist.

These challenges should reflect their ‘real-life’ experiences. It is important for them to realise that while there are funding bodies/institutional challenges, there is significant responsibility on the part of the individual himself. This includes the responsibility to recognise and inform where the system can be improved. Model answer(s):

AD

O

The following are challenges that have been identified by participants from our previous workshops conducted: • Funder o Funder’s review panel → conflicts of interest o Evaluation on allocation of research funds → unjustified slashing of research funds. Funding slashed but not the research objectives/ budget cut excessively but the outputs are maintained o Slow disbursement of funds → Delay in getting funds → delay in the project o Preset/ capping of budget / Too many rules/restrictions → no flexibility and trust o Restrictions on allocating budget to travel (sampling/ conferences) o Unrealistic timeline and financial rules o Cannot appoint RAs that are international students → loose required talent o Too rigid in system/ rigid procurement → limitations in purchasing o Unreasonable KPIs o Unreasonable audits o Unreliable/rigid account/procurement process o Red tape in the regulation of finance

Institution o Bureaucracy/ too much red-tape o Politics o Financial audit periodically o Unreasonable admin fees o Not allowing the purchase of essential equipment o Review process that is too long o Bias in certain research areas o Financial system too rigid/procurement procedures o Travel restrictions at departmental level o Administrative procedures that are too rigid o Lack of facility and equipment maintenance o Failure to understand the needs and requirements of being a PI o Rigid financial regulations that do not reflect the need for flexibility in research. So rather than scientists making justifications to authorities to make exceptions, scientists resort to deception.

RE

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Individual Researcher o Unable to achieve milestones if postgraduates/RA quitat the last minute o Inability to get RA (competent)/students so that time and is not wasted o Obeying the more experienced team member that go against the researcher’s personal/professional conviction o Greed o Keeping up with the KPI o Peer pressure o Lack of financial management skills and knowledge o To finish a certain amount of money at the designated time o No time to do proper management o Lack of awareness o Temptation to misuse funds for personal gain (e.g. new laptops, furniture, etc.) o To attend workshops/ conferences as participants but this is not allocated in the funding o Insufficient/ low quality manpower o Too much paper work o Carelesness o Ignorance o “short cut” procedures o To create a good environment → use research money for social activities with students/ lab staff o Wanting things to be fast/Impatience

AD

O

N LY

Researchers face challenges that impact their ability to be financially responsible and compliant to the regulations for their project because:

RE

1. Inability to get the right man-power to run the experiments (for example, not beingable to get a good RA that is supported by the grant in a timely manner) 2. Collaborator is not able to transfer or receive funds in a timely manner (either institutional constraints or personal inhibition) – This is an example where the sticky note, may intersect between the two different slices Institution 1. Unreliable procurement and accounting processes 2. Multiple forms to fill that delay the process 3. Multiple signatories that delay the process

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Researcher


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O

N LY

Funder The bureaucratic nature of the funding process creates a vacuum between funding bodies and the researchers. The bureaucratic nature is exemplified in two different manners: • Communication gap that affects the ability of researchers to comply with the expectation of the funding bodies. For example, guidelines are not well disseminated for researchers to comply to • Over-stringent and inflexible regulations set by the funding bodies that limit the empowerment of the researchers and their ability to execute research seamlessly. For example, the need for multiple quotations for relatively small purchases delays the purchase and ultimately, the research activities. Another example is the inflexibility in moving funds across different vote categories that also impacts the ability of the researcher to achieve the milestones in time

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AD

The Malaysian Code of Responsible Conduct in Research (MCRCR): Responsibilities of Research Funders While the principle responsibility for financial compliance falls on the PI and his/her institution, funders have a major role in this aspect. Section 8 of the Malaysian Code of Responsible Conduct in Research recommends various responsibilities that the Funding Agencies should have that include: a) communicating all funding opportunities to research entities and researchers b) responding promptly to enquiries regarding the applications of funding c) acknowledging receiving applications for funding that it receives from the research entities or researchers d) evaluating all applications in the fairly and professionally e) disbursing funds to the Research Entities in accordance with the Funding Agency’s policies and procedures with minimal administrative obstacles f) monitoring the progress of the funded projects; g) assessing research projects and research performance; h) providing Annual Reports; i) conducting regular institutional evaluation preferably done by external bodies/ personnel free of vested or conflict of interest. j) in response to research misconduct: I. responding to allegations of breaches of policies set by the Funding Agencies II. communicating the case to the Research Entities III. responding promptly to enquiries regarding the case IV. assisting individuals and Research Entities with the investigation and interpretation of this Malaysian Code of Responsible Conduct in Research (NSC, 2017)

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PART 5: FOSTERING RESPONSIBLE FINANCIAL PRACTICES

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Activity 8.7: Drawing for understanding Purpose:

This activity facilitates participants in formulating strategies to foster responsible financial practices in research. Instructions:

Note to instructor:

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1. Distribute Handout 8.3 to the participants. Ask them to list 3-5 keywords to represent each of the terms in the Handout. 2. Now provide a Mahjong paper for participants to draw a concept map to delineate how the keywords relate to each other and the ability of the strategies provided to mitigate irresponsible financial practices. 3. If there are time constraints, you can consider using 2 keywords for each category. It might be easier to organise a smaller number of keywords to develop a concept map. However, you might lose some of the nuances that can only be captured through the complexity of the task.

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Ensure that the number of keywords for each item do not exceed five because it will make the resulting concept map complex. Groups can use keywords that are not suggested in the model answer. It is the prerogative of the participants. Model answer(s):

Example of keywords include

Keywords

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Individual and institutions that have Researchers, Funders, Auditors, RMC, Signatory, etc. financial responsibilities Processes in research that involve finance

Planning, Purchasing, Monitoring, BalanceChecking, Closing, etc.

Responsible financial values

Timeliness, Transparency, Accuracy, Traceability, Complete, etc.

Irresponsible financial practices

Misuse, Waste, Over budget, Delay payments, Lie, etc. Lack of manpower, Difficulty in resource sharing, Unreliable procurement, Multiple signatories, Over stringent guidelines, etc.

Challenges for individuals to comply

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Factors that drive irresponsible financial practices

Greed, Competition, KPI, Lack of values, ignorance, etc.

Strategies to mitigate irresponsible financial practices

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Public Distrust, Loss of funds, Stress, Project Consequences of irresponsible financial failure, job sacking, etc. practices Effective communication, Clear records, Streamlined process, Empowerment, RCR awareness workshop

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An example of a concept map that can be derived from this exercise is as follows:

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Another example of a concept map: Factors

Factors

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Lack of manpower, Difficulty in resource sharing, Unreliable procurement, Multiple signatories, Over stringent guidelines

Greed, Competition, KPI, Lack of values, ignorance

Researchers

Auditors

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RMC

Signatory

MONITORING

BALANCECHECKING

PURCHASING

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PLANING PLANNING

CLOSING

Transparency

Accuracy

Complete Traceability

Negative impacts

Misuse, Waste, Over budget, Delay payments, Lie

Public Distrust, Loss of funds, Stress, Project failure, job sacking

Solutions

Effective communication, Clear records, Streamlined process, Empowerment, RCR awareness workshop

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Timeliness


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CONCLUSIONS

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Research grants are not a privilege of the scientific community but an obligation that needs to be executed responsibly. Financial responsibility is necessary in fostering a sustainable culture of responsibility in any successful research ecosystem. If left unmitigated, financial irresponsible practices can have severe repercussions. There are various factors that lead to irresponsible financial practices. The responsibility to ensure an effective and honest financial management of research is the responsibility of all the parties in the R&D ecosystem. This includes the need for continuous improvement assessment that engages the whole value-chain (players and process) in the financial management of research. Increased institutional autonomy is also seen as a mechanism by which institutions are empowered but will also be held accountable in the event of breaches in research financial integrity (Myklebust, 2018; Himanen, et al., 2009). Funders should also consider the impact and consequences of any new policies that govern research during the formulation stage. By considering the perspectives from all the different stakeholders (including how it will affect the pace of science), there will be a higher chance of developing balanced and well-thought out policies or regulations/guidelines that promote financial integrity as well as accelerate research excellence (NSC, 2017).

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LIST OF REFERENCES

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Himanen, L., Auranen, O., Puuska, H.M., and Nieminen, M. (2009). Influence of research funding and science policy on university research performance: A comparison of five countries. Science and Public Policy, 36(6), 419-430. Myklebust, J.P. (2018). Investigator proposes more autonomy for universities. Retrieve from http:// www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20180119150020123

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National Science Council. (2017). The Malaysian code of responsible conduct in research. Cyberjaya, Selangor: Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology.


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FURTHER READING

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Bennera, M. and Sandstromb, U. (2000). Institutionalizing the triple helix: research funding and norms in the academic system. Research Policy, 29(2), 291-301. Chubb, J., and Watermeyer, R. (2016). Artifice or integrity in the marketization of research impact? Investigating the moral economy of (pathways to) impact statements within research funding proposals in the UK and Australia. Studies in Higher Education, 42(12), 2360-2372.

Hicks, D. (2012). Performance-based university research funding systems. Research Policy, 41(2), 251-261.

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New York University. (2017). Principal investigator responsibility policy for the integrity of the financial management of sponsored programs. Retrieved from: https://www.nyu.edu/content/dam/ nyu/compliance/documents/SPA-PI Responsibility Integrity Financial Management Sponsored Programs Policy.pdf

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HANDOUT 8.1 FLOWCHART

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2, 3

Initial discussion on research proposal

Planning of research

Writing of research proposal

Use the numbering system in the legend below to represent the players in the flow chart provided. For example, only the PI (2) and CoPI (3) are involved in the initial discussion on the research proposal.

Internal peer review within the Institution / University

Finalisation of research proposal

Submission of research proposal to Funder

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Evaluation of proposal by Funder

Announcement of decision by Funder

Rejected

Approved without corrections

Approved with changes

Signing of contract with Funder

The applicant needs to address the comments and resubmit

Management of funds by RMC and Bursary

Opening of research grant account

Legend

Players

1

Funders

*Direct Purchase

*Tender Purchase

2

Principal Investigators (PI)

Quotation

Call for open tender

3

Co-PIs

Purchase order (PO)

Tender briefing

4

Research Assistants / Graduate Research Assistants / Research Officers / Enumerators

Delivery (DO)

Tender submission

5

Project Managers

Invoicing

Tender evaluation

6

Faculty Management (Dean / Deputy Dean of Research / Head of Department)

Payment

Award of tender

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University / Institutional Research Management Centre

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Bursary

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Research Integrity Unit

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Intellectual Property (IP) Unit

11

Internal Reviewer

12

External Reviewer

Delivery (DO)

Invoicing

Payment

Submission of research progress and end of project reports

Closing of research grant account

*This process is repeated whenever necessary until the end of the research period

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Disbursement of research funds to Institution / University

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e.g.

Your task is to work in your group to determine which players are involved in each step of the flow chart.


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HANDOUT 8.2

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CASE STUDY Dr. Azim is a new faculty member in University Alam and he is eager to apply for his first grant. The grant is an internal grant from University Alam. He seeks Prof. Zaid’s advice and, after many rounds of discussion, Dr. Azim included Prof. Zaid and Dr. Chong (who is a close collaborator of Prof. Zaid) as his collaborators in his grant application. This decision was made on the basis that the presence of their names (Prof. Zaid and Dr. Chong) would increase the chances of the project securing the funding although they won’t have any direct involvement in the project. Prof. Zaid, being the more experienced researcher suggested inflating the grant budget nearer to the budget ceiling in anticipation of budget cuts by the external review panel members assigned by the funder. As a junior faculty member looking to fulfil his yearly KPI, Dr. Azim succumbed to the pressure from Prof. Zaid and agreed to inflate the cost of all the materials in the proposed budget.

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After 6 months, he successfully secured the grant, however the approved funding was dramatically slashed without any justification provided by the funder. Dr. Azim realised that the budget was severely inadequate to achieve the proposed research objectives; especially for the purchase of equipment. Nevertheless, Dr. Azim agreed to the terms and conditions set out by the funder and signed the agreement. Although he had more than sufficient (surplus) funds to purchase consumables, there was not enough for equipment purchase. After 4 months, the first progress report was almost due. Prof. Zaid paid him a visit to ask about the research progress and Dr. Azim explained about his inability to purchase the necessary equipment due to shortage of funds dedicated for equipment purchase.

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Prof. Zaid suggested that Dr. Azim should breakdown the purchase of the equipment into several quotations. Each quotation would quote for a different component of the equipment; however the quotations would appear to be quoting for consumables. By doing this, Prof. Zaid advised Dr. Azim that he would be able to use the surplus funds dedicated for consumablesto purchase the desired equipment. Prof. Zaid also told that “various arrangements” could be made with the supplier in terms of payment and quotations. After recalculating his budget, Dr. Azim realised that he was still short of funds. He decided then to appoint a research assistant with the notion of receiving kickbacks from the RA’s salary. This allowed Dr. Azim to have cash in hand to make up for the shortage of funds required to purchase the equipment. In fact, Dr. Azim now had extra money. As he needed to report his spending for the financial report that was due soon, he was desperate to spend the money as soon as possible. Hence, he contacted an old friend who happened to be a supplier for scientific equipment. His friend suggested that he could provide dummy quotations to expedite the purchasing process. In addition, his friend also suggested to Dr. Azim to park a certain amount of money in his company, Company X for future orders. This would help Dr. Azim to meet the spending schedule as planned. At the same time, Dr. Chong who was working on an unrelated project needed to purchase a chemical from Company X. Dr. Azim informed Dr. Chong that he could acquire the needed chemical using the money that he has parked in Company X.

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HANDOUT 8.3 Keywords

Individuals and institutions that have financial responsibilities

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Responsible financial values

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Processes in research that involve finance

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Item

Irresponsible financial practices

Factors that drives irresponsible financial practices

Consequences of irresponsible financial practices

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Challenges for individuals to comply


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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

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CHAPTER 9: Mentor-Mentee

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Mentor-Mentee

SYNOPSIS

KEY MESSAGES

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This chapter aims to introduce the importance of effective mentor-mentee relationships in research as well as strategies that can be designed to foster effective and responsible mentormentee relationships. This chapter consists of 5 parts. Part 1 encourages participants to reflect on their mentor-mentee experiences in the past. In addition, it also delineates the types of mentormentee relationships that can exist. Part 2 explores the responsibilities of mentors and mentees and focuses on encouraging the participants to appreciate the benefits of effective mentor-mentee relationships. Part 3 discusses the characteristics and ethical values of good mentors and mentees. In Part 4, participants will decipher and synthesise strategies to foster effective and responsible mentor-mentee relationships. Finally, Part 5 engages the participants to exercise their ethical reflexivity in assessing ethical conflicts that may arise from mentor-mentee relationships.

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1. Responsible mentor-mentee relationships are necessary towards fostering a sustainable culture of responsibility in any successful research ecosystem. 2. Effective mentor-mentee relationships are symbiotic; where both the mentor and mentee enjoy benefits from the relationship. 3. Mentor-mentee relationships are complex and involve human emotions and perceived realities. 4. Failure to establish responsible and effective mentor-mentee relationships will not only negatively impact individuals but also impact the larger scientific ecosystem. 5. Every party (individual and organisation) has a role in establishing responsible and effective mentor-mentee relationships.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

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At the end of the chapter, participants should be able to: 9.1 define and appreciate the complexity of mentor-mentee relationships 9.2 identify the responsibilities of mentors and mentees 9.3 assess the benefits of an effective mentor-mentee relationship 9.4 identify good characteristics and ethical values in responsible mentors and mentees 9.5 formulate strategies to foster effective and responsible mentor-mentee relationships 9.6 identify good and bad mentor-mentee characteristics and discuss the potential ethical conflicts that can arise from these relationships

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ACTIVITY LIST This chapter contains 6 activities:

Activity 9.3

Activity 9.4

Sticky notes, List & Rank: This activity aims to guide the participants in identifying the responsibilities of mentors and mentees as well as to assess the benefits that can be reaped from an effective mentor-mentee relationship. (LO 9.2 & 9.3) Sticky notes: This activity aims to guide participants in identifying the good characteristics and ethical values of mentors and mentees. (LO 9.4)

Brainstorming: This activity aims to engage participants in formulating strategies to foster responsible and effective mentor-mentee relationships. (LO 9.5) Role Play: This activity aims to immerse participants in relatable real-life situations that they might have encountered and assess their ability to dissect the mentor-mentee conflicts as well as to consider the potential consequences of bad mentor-mentee relationships. (LO 9.6)

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Activity 9.5

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Activity 9.2

Reflect, Draw, Share: This activity aims to define mentor-mentee relationship(s), which will raise the awareness among participants regarding the complexity of mentor-mentee relationships. (LO 9.1)

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Activity 9.1

Activity 9.6

Case study: This activity aims to aid participants in integrating the various components of the chapter to reflect the complexities of a mentor-mentee relationship and how clarifying these relationships help in mitigating future conflicts. (LO 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5, 9.6)

MATERIALS

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Materials

Handout 9.1

Quantity 1 copy per participant

Mahjong paper

Chapter 9

A4 paper

Sticky notes

Coloured marker pens

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CONTENT

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“Without it (mentorship) the trainee is deigned to traverse the labyrinth of professional development in the research enterprise as a solitary soul, making it all but impossible to reach full potential. It is the mentor who draws the best from the junior person by acting as an adviser, teacher, role model, motivational friend and supportive advocate” (Hyman-Browne, & Vasgird, 2004). More often than not, a mentee can also provide the mentor by providing a renewed sense of purpose, especially in supporting the mentor’s growing responsibility in a particular research ecosystem. In influencing each other’s personal development, the psychosocial state of both the mentor and mentee are equally impacted. The strong social component of effective mentor-mentee relationships provides a rich social environment that nurtures a successful research environment. Thus, for a sustainable scientific ecosystem to thrive, a robust mentor-mentee system must be put in place. In addition, a responsible mentor-mentee system will ensure the preservation of the integrity of all scientific efforts because a culture is often created from the individual actions of mentors and the interaction between the mentors and mentees.

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Mentor-mentee relationships in the context of research often describe the supervision by a researcher to a postgraduate student or an undergraduate student working on a research project during the course of studying for a particular degree. This relationship is often fostered at an early stage of the mentee’s research experience or studies. However, mentorship can extend beyond a researcher’s student days and into the researcher’s career. For example, senior researchers can also provide mentorship to junior researchers. In fact, studies have identified that effective mentorship as one of the most useful and positive aspects of training (Sung et al., 2003). In contrast, the lack of mentors and role models is often identified as a demotivating factor in research. In Malaysia, where the critical mass of researchers in many fields of expertise has not been achieved coupled with a relatively young ecosystem, the scarcity of established traditional senior mentors is probably a common feature across most if not all fields of research in Malaysia. Thus, the role of peer mentoring through shared experiences becomes more pertinent in supporting each other’s professional and personal development.

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Mentor-mentee relationships are usually complex as they involve the interest of at least two individuals. Since, it involves human relationships, mentor-mentee relationships do not escape the challenges of communication gaps, mismatched expectations and ethical conflicts. While many institutions in Malaysia promote the establishment of mentor-mentee relationships, either through active formal provisions or informal encouragement, there is rarely any formal education into the science of fostering responsible mentor-mentee relationships. This often results in the establishment of official mentor-mentee relationships that only remain in name without achieving its intended purpose. Therefore, there is a need for a proactive approach to fostering responsible mentor-mentee relationships because these relationships extend beyond just training of research techniques but fostering values that will be transmitted from one generation of researchers to another.

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PART 1: PERSONAL REFLECTIONS ON MENTOR-MENTEE EXPERIENCE

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Activity 9.1: Reflect, Draw, Share Purpose:

This activity aims to define mentor-mentee relationship(s), which will raise the awareness among participants regarding the complexity of mentor-mentee relationships. Instructions:

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1. Give each participant a piece of A4 paper and ask them to fold the A4 paper in half. 2. Ask the participants to draw a representation of themselves in the middle of the paper along the folded line while leaving sufficient space on both sides of the paper. 3. Ask the participants to think about their mentor(s) and mentee(s). Tell the participants they could think about current or past mentor(s) or mentee(s). 4. Then, ask them to draw representations of people whom they consider as their mentors on the left side of the paper, and people whom they consider as their mentees on the right side of the paper. 5. When the self-reflection time is over, ask the participants to turn to the person sitting next to them and tell that person who they have drawn. 6. At the end of the pair sharing, go around the class and ask someone from each group to tell the class who their mentors or mentees are. If they are too many groups, then you may randomly select participants to share. 7. Next, ask the participants to draw a line representing the types of mentor-mentee relationship between them and the individuals that have been drawn on the A4 paper. Draw a solid line to represent a formal type of mentor-mentee relationship, whereas a dotted line to represent an informal type of mentor-mentee relationship. 8. Finally, ask the participants to write the duration of the mentor-mentee relationship in parallel with the line drawn. The duration is categorised as short-term and long-term.

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1. The personal reflections section is aimed at focusing the subsequent dialogue on mentormentee relationship by harnessing the previous experience of participants. The type of mentorship will be different across individuals and there may be individuals who perceive that they have never had mentorship in the past. If the majority of participants state that they have never had a mentor or been a mentor in the past; then more effort should be made to clarify the definition of mentors. It is important to clarify that all of us have had mentors and mentees in the past, independent of our experience and the impact of the mentor-mentee relationship. 2. Then, provide information found in the subsequent explanation section.

Model answer(s): The drawing by the participants should reflect something shown in the figure below:

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Note to instructor:


CHAPTER 9: Mentor-Mentee

short

lon

g

lon

g

te

rm

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short

short

te

rm

short

short

long term

short

short

longest term (eternity)

long

est t

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Mentor-mentee relationship

erm

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Mentors are defined as “ ... advisors, people with career experience willing to share their knowledge; supporters, people who give emotional and moral encouragement; tutors, people who give specific feedback on one’s performance; masters, in the sense of employers to whom one is apprenticed; sponsors, sources of information about and aid in obtaining opportunities; models, of identity, of the kind of person one should be to be an academic.” (Zelditch, 1990). Mentees, on the other hand, are defined as “Anyone learning to be a researcher under an established researcher’s supervision. This includes primarily graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, but may also include undergraduate and high school students working on research projects or junior research faculty, research scientist, and research staff” (Steneck, 2007).

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List of the most common groups of individuals that play the role of mentors and mentees are shown in the table below: Mentor • Advisor • Guide • Senior faculty • Faculty • Post-doctoral fellow • Senior Postgraduate Student • Supporter • Sponsor • Host • Role Model

Mentee • Undergraduate Student • Postgraduate Student • Research Technician • Apprentice • Post-doctoral Fellow • Junior Faculty Members

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Structured & Long-term This type of formal relatioship is established for a long period of time to achieve greater goals set for an organisation. The relationship may lead to high productivity that benefits the mentor, mentee as well as the organisation. Example: A professor mentoring his mentee as part of the succession plan of the organisation where the mentee will succeed the mentor at some point.

Unstructured & Short-term The nature of this mentor-mentee relationship is informal and may develop spontanneously or casually. Usually this type of relationship arises when the mentee needs specific help from the mentor. Example: A junior researcher asking help from a senior researcher who is collaborator to guide him in applying for an international grant.

Unstructured & Long-term A mentor and mentee relationship may develop from friendship, former supervisor-student relationships or long-time collaborations. Example: Researchers from various institutions collaborate to form a research group led by a senior Professor. Some members may develop a mentor mentee relationship with the senior Professor who will provide guidance to the members of the group.

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Structured & Short-term A formal mentor-mentee relationship established for achieving specific purposes in a short period of time. Example: Junior faculty staff assigned to senior faculty staff in an organisation for guidance on the culture and norms praticed in the institution. the specefic aim is to aid the mentee to familarise themselves in the organsation.

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Degree of Formality

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Duration of Mentorship

Figure 9.1: Mentor-mentee relationship stratified based on degree of formality and duration (adapted from The University of Melbourne, 2012)

While there may be different types of mentor-mentee relationship that have not been mentioned, the main mentoring options have been defined. Important to note that one individual may have more than one type of mentor-mentee relationship at any given time.

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A mentor-mentee relationship is not necessarily one that exists between only two people. Mentormentee relationships can also exist in a group-setting, where a mentor mentors a group of mentees collectively or one mentee is mentored by a group of mentors who form a committee that collectively provides all the necessary support the mentee needs. The classical mentor and mentee relationship is often based on a seniority; whereby the senior acts as the mentor. However, with the speed in which research is being transformed and the assimilation of new technologies in mainstream research, the knowledge base frequently shifts. Thus, at times, a junior researcher may act as the mentor to the senior researcher who in turn becomes the mentee. In addition, mentor-mentee relationships can also occur between peers. Where by peer mentorship provides the opportunity for both parties to contribute to each other’s progress.


CHAPTER 9: Mentor-Mentee

PART 2: RESPONSIBILITIES OF MENTOR AND MENTEE & BENEFITS OF AN EFFECTIVE MENTORMENTEE RELATIONSHIP

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Activity 9.2: Sticky notes, List & Rank and Group Discussion Purpose:

This activity aims to guide the participants in identifying the responsibilities of mentors and mentees as well as to assess the benefits that can be reaped from an effective mentor-mentee relationship. Instructions:

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1. Ask the participants to write their answers for the following questions on individual stickynotes: a. What responsibilities does a mentor have in establishing a mentor-mentee relationship? b. What responsibilities does a mentee have inestablishing a mentor-mentee relationship? 2. Then, ask the participants to paste the sticky notes on a designated area in the classroom. 3. You may read the notes out-loud after the participants have completed this task. 4. Next, on a scale of 1-10, ask the participants to rate how their mentor has positively impacted their personal and professional development (including emotions, research, career progression etc.) by carrying out the responsibilities listed. Ask each group to average their scores and get them to shout it out. 5. Next ask the participants to think about the mentor(s) whom they have drawn and discuss the question - “In what way have they benefited from their mentors?” 6. Ask each group to compile a list of the benefits. Then ask each group to shout out a few benefits. 7. Write what each group has shouted-out on a piece of Mahjong paper. 8. After this, ask the participants to come forward and vote for the top 3 benefits of having a mentor. 9. Next, on a scale of 1-10, ask the participants to rate how their mentee has positively impacted their personal and professional development (including emotions, research, career progression etc.) by carrying out the responsibilities listed. Ask each group to average their scores and get them to shout it out. 10. Next ask the participants to think about the mentee(s) whom they have drawn and discuss the question - “In what way have they benefited from their mentee?” 11. Ask each group to compile a list of the benefits. Then ask each group to shout out a few benefits. 12. Write what each group has shouted-out on a piece of Mahjong paper. 13. After this, ask the participants to come forward and vote for the top 3 benefits of having a mentee.

Note to instructor:

Prepare two pieces of paper - one says "Responsibilities of Mentor" and the other says "Responsibilites of Mentee". Stick these two pieces of paper at the designated area before the class begins. Model answer(s): See the section below.

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A) Roles and Responsibilities of Mentors-Mentees

role modelling encouraging counselling traditional figure education consulting/coaching sponsoring protecting

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• • • • • • • •

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In research, especially when the mentee is pursuing a research project that is essential for the award of a specific degree, often the mentee receives training and/or supervision that aids the mentee in developing specific skill sets in a systematic and comprehensive manner. This training forms essentially the foundations that the mentee will use to develop their own career in the future. Which is why, the process in which the mentee takes is as important as the degree that is finally awarded to him or her. A good mentor should guide rather than instruct; allowing the mentee to make and learn from the mistakes as well as flex their own conscience and confront the potential ethical dilemmas on their own after equipping them with ideal values. The Schockett and HaringHidore (1985) identifies eight possible functions or roles served by mentors:

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The mentees role is often one that is based on satisfying the primary reason a mentee chooses to be in a mentor-mentee relationship e.g., earning a scholarship, an award, a degree, a promotion, career progression, funding. To achieve this primary reasons, the mentee is expected to complement the roles and the function of a mentor. This will include assisting the mentor in conducting necessary research experiments, drafting manuscripts, preparing grant applications, teaching assistant support as well as mentoring more junior members in the laboratory and/or research group.

a. supervise mentees in conducting research in a responsible manner including providing critique and technical support b. create opportunities that may support and promote the mentee’s career c. leverage personal professional network to help mentee establish his or her own research network d. guide mentee’s pathway towards successful independent research

A mentee, on the other hand, has the responsibility of: a. conducting due diligence on potential’s profiles to assess suitability b. proactive in offering help in shouldering some of mentor’s responsibilities c. attending and record meetings with mentor that help share mutual visions that each party aims to achieve

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A mentor-mentee relationship between a researcher with a more senior researcher usually develops organically whilst the relationship between a researcher supervisor and his or her student develops due to the nature of their work relationship. Regardless of how the mentor-mentee relationship begins, the role of the mentor is to:


CHAPTER 9: Mentor-Mentee

B) Benefits of an effective mentor-mentee relationship Mentees benefit from an effective mentor-mentee relationship by acquiring:

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a. a positive role model in the form of the mentor; a role model that conducts research responsibly and the mentee’s values in the context of conduct of research is shaped in the mould of the mentor. b. objective and honest critique that helps mentee avoid wasting of resources (money, effort and time) by making ‘known’ mistakes (from mentor’s experience and knowledge) as well to achieved the desired research output in an optimised manner. Mentors, through their greater experience and knowledge are able to provide greater insights into problem solving as well as enhance research focus. c. opportunities for funding when mentors inform them of grant opening due to the various networks they are associated with as well enhancing the mentee’s chances of receiving funding because of the mentor’s track record as well as input into the grant application. d. Assurance to take risk because having a supportive mentor allows a mentee to have the confidence to try out new approaches or collaborations that may yield greater research results. e. Benchmark set by the mentor for the mentee to emulate or do better. Having a goal that has been achieved by a known individual increases the self-belief within the mentee to exceed the achievements. f. Social network by leveraging on the mentor’s network to acquire greater knowledge and points of reference that may prove useful in the future. g. Work-life balance tips from mentor who has successfully juggled the demands of a early career researcher and young families. The mentor needs the mentee as much as the mentee needs him. The benefits of mentor-mentee relationships to mentors include:

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a. By having more brains and hands to work on the mentor’s projects, the mentor’s own research increases in productivity. b. The increase in productivity can also be a result of the continuous injection of youth in the form of mentees that come with fresh ideas that are not impeded by biases and prejudices that are often associated with senior researchers. c. The mentor is able to update his/her skill set and knowledge and better utilise them. d. The mentor’s influence grows through the knowledge sharing process. Mentees regards mentors as “gurus” making these mentors, recognised, referred and respected. In addition, mentees often cite mentors work too, increasing the citation of the mentors! e. Mentors pass their legacy – immortalization and succession; ensuring continuous relevance and influence. For instance, a mentee may become future leaders of tomorrow and in turn influence the mentor’s future too.

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PART 3: CHARACTERISTICS AND ETHICAL VAULES OF GOOD MENTORS AND MENTEES

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Activity 9.3: Sticky notes Purpose:

This activity aims to guide the participants in identifying good characteristics and ethical values of mentor and mentee Instructions:

Note to instructor:

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1. Ask the participants to answer this question “What are the characteristics and ethical values of a good mentor, especially in research?”. Ask them to think about the mentor(s) they have drawn. 2. Ask the participants to write these characteristic or ethical values on individual pieces of sticky notes and stick the notes at the designated area. 3. Read the notes out-loud for the class to hear. 4. Repeat the activity by asking the participants to answer this question “What are the characteristics or ethical values of a good mentee, especially in research?”

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Prepare two pieces of paper - one says "Mentor" and the other says "Mentee". Stick these two pieces of paper at the designated area before the class begins. Model answer(s):

See the section below.

The characteristics of good mentors and mentees should include:

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a. Have a track-record of success in research and professionalism b. Aware of the rules and regulations of the institutions as well as the social culture and norms so that can provide appropriate advice to mentee c. Have the technical expertise required by the mentee or access to the technical expertise. d. Maintain confidentially of the discussions held. e. Demonstrate empathy, positivity and professionalism in general f. Sufficiently accessible (even if not in the human-interface) g. Respect the time commitment and early-career obstacles (including young family obligations) that a mentee may face. h. Espouse the following values: a. Respect b. Trustworthy c. Empathy d. Strategic Thinker e. Problem Solver f. Good Listener (with shoulder to cry on) g. Punctual Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research 226

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It is essential that the mentor values the mentee as a person rather than a ‘lab rat’ that can be exploited to advance the mentor’s professional career.

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Mentee:

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a. Demonstrates a genuine desire and passion to learning from the mentor to gain insight of the profession b. Ambitious but uncompromising when it comes to protecting scientific integrity through the responsible conduct of research. c. Aware of social and professional boundaries between mentor and mentee d. Able to effectively communicate their intentions and desires in a diplomatic manner e. Respect the extensive duties and commitments of the mentor beyond mentoring. f. Demonstrate empathy, positivity and professionalism in general g. Maintain confidentially of the discussions held h. Accepting that change in research is constant and thus develop ability to adapt quickly. PART 4: FORMULATING STRATEGIES IN ESTABLISHING EFFECTIVE MENTOR-MENTEE RELATIONSHIPS Activity 9.4: Brainstorming

Purpose:

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1. Ask the participants to discuss the question “What kind of issues do you discuss with your mentor at the early stage of developing the mentor-mentee relationship?” 2. Next, ask the participants to discuss the question “What are the responsibilities of a mentor or mentee to ensure the success of the mentor-mentee relationship?” at an institutional and individual level? 3. Ask the participants to write their answers on the Mahjong paper then present their answers to the class.

Note to instructor:

Provide sufficient time for the participants to brainstorm.

Model answer(s):

See the section below.

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Discussions that mentor-mentee would have at the early stage of the mentor-mentee relationship

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1. Research/teaching/service obligations 2. Setting goals 3. Building network 4. Handling conflict 5. Understanding group/program/department politics 6. Understanding the culture of their research discipline 7. Ways to move towards independence and proficiency 8. Time management 9. Balancing family and career 10. Knowing when and how to say “NO”

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By discussing the various issues mentioned above, both parties will understand the: • Motivations & Expectations of both parties in establishing this relationship • Limitations of both parties meeting the abovementioned motivations/expectations to enable realistic goals to be set • Boundaries that should not be crossed Strategies to maintain and improve the mentor-mentee relationship

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The clarifications of the abovementioned will create an open and safe environment for both parties and allow the mentor-mentee relationship to flourish.

A self-assessment of individual goals and objectives can help mentors and mentees understand why they are entering a mentor-mentee relationship include. This will then help them determine the kind of activities that can engage to mutually support each others goals. In the event, the mentee is assigned rather than by choice, a mentor should still engage with the mentee in the process. Even if the mentee is assigned to a mentor, the mentor is still benefiting (even if it is work obligation) from the relationship. Thus, the same rules apply. The mentee should never feel like a ‘burden’ or a ‘charity case’ to the mentor. It is the mentor’s responsibility (this is especially true for relationships between students and lecturers/professors). Institution also has a role to play in fostering good mentor-mentee relationship such as providing support for mentoring, establish a conducive work environemnt for mentoring, and invest in the development of a younger generation of researchers.

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As the mentor-mentee relationship continues to develop, a mentor or mentee should: 1. Evaluation and assessment of mentoring relationship (Institution/Individual) 2. Institutional support of mentoring (Institutional) 3. Conducive work environment (Institution/Individual) 4. Compatible relationship (Individual) 5. Investment in the development of a younger generation of researchers (Institutional) 6. Maintenance of flexibility (Institution/Individual) 7. Maintenance of a high level of communication between mentee and mentor (Individual) 8. Value of keeping priorities clear (Individual)


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PART 5: ETHICAL CONFLICTS AND CONSEQUENCES OF POOR MENTOR-MENTEE RELATIONSHIPS

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Activity 9.5: Role play Purpose:

This activity aims to immerse participants in relatable real-life situations in which they might have encountered and assess their ability to dissect the mentor-mentee conflicts as well as develop alternate ideal scenarios. Instructions:

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1. Prepare a list of scenarios on individual pieces of paper and cover it. On each piece of paper, include the word “ideal scenario” or “undesired scenario”. Ask representative from each group to pick a piece of paper from the lot. 2. Ask each group to create a sketch, no more than 3 minutes long, demonstrating the scenarios. 3. At the end of each act, ask the group members to identify why such a conflict arises, if they depict an undesired scenario. Also ask them to identify what characteristics or ethical values are missing, if they depict an undesired scenario; or displayed, if they depict an ideal scenario.

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Note to instructor: List of scenarios: • Issues on writing manuscripts • Issue on professional networking • Issue on finance management • Issue on conducting research • Issue on managing expectation Accompany each scenario with the description of “undesired scenario” or “ideal scenario”. Model answer(s):

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See the section below.

When a mentor-mentee relationship fails, it not only impacts the mentor and mentee but has negative ramifications to the scientific ecosystem as a whole. Often when a mentor-mentee relationship fails: a. the mentee loses a role model to support his or her personal development ultimately impacting professional progress and even personal live b. both parties may lose their reputation c. failure in collaborative research that may have been fostered at the start of the relationship; resulting in slowing down research progress or even mutually supervised student’s progress. d. there is a loss of trust on both parties, resulting in greater cynicism and lack of motivation to foster future mentor-mentee relationships with other individuals e. negative practices of mentors will be mirrored by mentees resulting in a propagation of a culture of irresponsible conduct of research.

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Reasons why Conflicts Arise

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The ability to identify and recognise potentially conflicts that can arise between a mentor and mentee is a significant step towards mitigating the potential conflicts that may arise. Amongst reason why these conflicts arise include: Differences in certain aspects may result in one party (usually the mentee) feeling inferior and thus unable to communicate his or motivations/desire or true feelings; while the mentor who is usually professionally superior to the mentee may not recognise this differential factors. As a result the mentor may take advantage of this situation (knowingly or unknowingly) while mentee perceives himself or herself as victims of the circumstances (treated unfairly). These differences in roles may even result in competing/conflicts of interest. These differences include: • Abilities • Influence/Power • Roles

• • • •

Lack of time discipline: Punctuality, not keeping to deadlines (perhaps unrealistic), etc. Poor communication: Expectations and motivations are poorly defined, presumptuous, misunderstandings etc. Inability to respect or recognise other people: Self-promoting, self-absorbed, ungrateful, fail to acknowledge/credit work done by the other party, etc. Exploitive: Parasitic, only thinking about oneself, etc. Carelessness/Irresponsible behaviour: Failure to comply with standards set, loss of trust, etc. Predatory behaviour: Sexual/Physical harassment, intimidation etc.

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In addition, there are also behavioural traits that may ultimately negative impact the relationship that include:

Addressing the abovementioned factors can help to resolve arising conflicts but more importantly prevent from them arising in the first place.

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Both parties need to be recognised for their efforts/influence and recognition should be stated/ acted on rather than being implicit. Both parties also need to feel that they are benefiting from this relationship. It should not be a ‘one-way’ ticket where only one party feels that they are benefiting from this relationship. The keyword here is symbiosis and whenever the symbiotic balance shifts, both parties have to recognise it. The failure to recognise the problems that both parties face will result in the problems escalating in the future.


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Activity 9.6: Case study Purpose:

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This activity aims to aid participants in integrating the various components of the chapter to reflect the complexities of a mentor-mentee relationship and how clarifying these relationships help in mitigating future conflicts. Instructions:

Note to instructor:

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1. Distribute case-study (Handout 9.1) to the participants. 2. Ask the participants to go through the case study together and answer the questions associated with the case study. 3. Ask the participants to draw a relationships map to delineate the relationships that exist between the key characters in this case-study.

You may withhold question 7 in Handout 9.1 and ask that question only after questions 1-6 have been discussed. As they think about question 7, ask them to also reflect on the scenarios that they have created in Activity 9.5. Model answer(s):

Good mentorship qualities of Dr. Chen include: • Accommodating • Willing to share equipment - Generous • Thinks about the safety of his students • Creates opportunities for his students etc. The ethical conflicts/issues that exist in this case study include: • Dr. Chen benefitting through co-authorship by allowing the use of equipment (his intellectual contribution is unclear) – irresponsible authorship • Dr. Chen’s false promise to Hamid and conflict of interest as the Chairman of the selection committee – conflict of interest • Dr. Chen’s supervision of more than 20 students brings up the question of adequate supervision • Hamid’s unwillingness to abide to safety concerns due to his work pattern • Prof. Mohan’s relationship with Melissa – conflict of interest These ethical conflicts potential arose because: • KPI game – need to publish or perish • No institutional guidelines or poor awareness on responsible authorship • Greed/ambition – having so many students (no institutional limit as well) • Lack of communication between colleagues (due to language barriers) • Inappropriate personal relationship that create conflict of interests • Differences in influence and power (Hamid feels powerless as his MSc award is dependent on Dr. Chen) • Hamid’s refusal to do experiments that were asked of him (Different expectations on the depth of work required for the award of an MSc degree)

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1.

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2.

3.

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• •

Conflict between the relationship between Dr. Chen and Prof. Mohan vs. Dr. Chen and Hamid Hamid’s personal stress (relationship, financial etc.) that was not adequately shared or communicated with Dr. Chen There does not appear to be other mentors who could help support Hamid in his conflicts with Dr. Chen.

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Bad mentorship qualities of Dr. Chen include: • Selfish – having so many students • Potential abuse of power – leveraging on his control over important equipment • Unable to influence his students (use of language, work pattern)

5.

Hamid may have been able to avoid the situation he was currently in by: • Adhering to safety guidelines • Having a greater communication channel with his supervisor and suggesting improvements (such as language use, protected time for equipment use) as well as his personal concerns. • Having greater communication channel with his fellow students. • Having clear expectations from the start of his MSc on the amount/depth of work required for the award of the degree through open and written confirmation of his discussions with Dr. Chen • Having co-supervisors who were able to resolve the conflict

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Recommendations on how every party in this case-study could have helped prevent the various conflicts from arising: Dr. Chen: • Refuse underserving authorship • Recuse himself from the selection committee • Reduce his intake of students to enable better supervision • Enforce safe and conducive working environment • Avoid false promises

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Implications of this whole scenario on specific individuals and the scientific ecosystem as a who include: • Propagation of a culture of irresponsible authorship practices – rewarding undeserving ‘intellectuals’ • Hamid may lose interest in a career in academia or science • Reputations of Dr. Chen and Prof. Mohan may be affected in the long-term • Melissa will be perceived as an undeserving candidate (even if she deserved it in her own right) and as a result affect her reputation and credibility • Hostile working environment that may affect other individuals or stop potential students from pursuing their studies • Culture of irresponsible research misconduct that is continued into future generations of scientists trained in that environment.

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Hamid: • Greater communication • Abide to rules Other Students: • Speak in a language that all understand to avoid miscommunication Prof. Mohan and Melissa; • Avoid having the relationship that they have

Participants may dissect this case study and reveal additional insights than the above mentioned.

CONCLUSION

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Responsible mentor-mentee relationships are necessary in fostering a sustainable culture of responsibility in any successful research ecosystem. Effective mentor-mentee relationships are symbiotic; in which both the mentor and mentee benefit from the relationship. Mentor-mentee relationships are complex and involve human emotions and perceptions. Failure to establish responsible and effective mentor-mentee relationships will not only negatively impact individuals but also impact the larger scientific ecosystem. Every individual and organisation has a role in establishing responsible and effective mentor-mentee relationships.

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LIST OF REFERENCES

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Hyman-Browne, E., Vasgird, D. (2004). Mentoring. Retrieved from: http://ccnmtl.columbia.edu/ projects/rcr/rcr_mentoring/ Schockett, M.R., & Haring-Hidore, M. (1985). Factor analytical support for psychosocial and vocational mentoring functions. Psychological Reports, 57, 627-630. Steneck, N.H. (2007). ORI Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Sung, N.S., Crowley, W.F., Genel, M., Salber, P., Sandy, L., Sherwood, L.M., et al. (2003). Central Challenges Facing the National Clinical Research Enterprise. JAMA, 289(10), 1278-1287.

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The University of Melbourne. (2012). Mentoring. Retrieved from https://staff.unimelb.edu.au/__ data/assets/pdf_file/0006/583305/Mentoring-Types.pdf

Zelditch, M. (1990). Mentor Roles, Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Western Association of Graduate Schools.Cited in Powell, R.C. &Pivo, G. (2001), Mentoring: The FacultyGraduate Student Relationship. Tuscon, AZ: University of Arizona.

FURTHER READING

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IAP-the Global Network of Science Academies. (2016). Doing global science. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Keyser, D.J., Lakoski, J.M., Lara-Cinisomo, S., Schultz, D.J., Williams, V.L., Zellers, D.F., Pincus, H.A. (2008). Advancing institutional efforts to support research mentorship: A conceptual framework and self-assessment tool. Academic Medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 83(3), 217-225.

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Lee, J.M., Anzai, Y. and Langlotz, C.P. (2006). Mentoring the mentors: aligning mentor and mentee expectations. Academic radiology, 13(5), 556-561.

Macrina, F.L. (2014). Scientific integrity: text and cases in responsible conduct of research. Washington, DC: American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Press. Straus, S.E., Johnson, M.O., Marquez, C., Feldman, M.D. (2013). Characteristics of successful and failed mentoring relationships: a qualitative study across two academic health centers. Academic Medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 88(1), 82-89.

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Lock, R.H., Lee, S.H., Theoharis, R., Fitzpatrick, M., Kim, K.H., Liss, J.M., et al. (2006). Create effective mentoring relationships: Strategies for mentor and mentee success. Intervention in School and Clinic, 41(4), 233-240.


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HANDOUT 9.1 CASE STUDY

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Prof. Mohan recruited Dr. Chen as a junior faculty member 20 years ago. Both of them maintained a very strong professional and personal relationship. Under Prof Mohan’s mentorship, Dr. Chen rose through the ranks and became well known in his faculty as someone who was very accommodating and generous. He allowed many students from other laboratories to usethat research equipment that were purchased by the department and placed in his laboratory. Many of his colleagues and their students who used the equipment were grateful for his generosity and added him as a coauthor in many of their papers because he allowed them use the instruments. As such, his students also frequently established similar symbiotic relationships with other students. As a result, Dr. Chen won many awards for his high productivity; publishing many papers as a co-author. This also enabled many of his students who published papers to have an advantage when applying for scholarships and jobs.

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Hamid is a 3rd-year MSc student in Dr. Chen’s laboratory. He has been working in Dr. Chen’s laboratory since he was an undergraduate student and Dr. Chen has always claimed that Hamid was the best student he ever had. Towards the end of his MSc research, Hamid started to do most of his laboratory work at night and on weekends when nobody was in the laboratory. Although Dr. Chen did not restrict the working hours, Dr. Chen did not agree with Hamid’s work pattern. Dr. Chen informed Hamid that he should spend more time in the laboratory during working hours so that he could interact more with his lab colleagues (Dr. Chen supervises 20 graduate students in his lab) as well as for safety reasons. Hamid disagreed, stating that he could work better without the distraction of people around him and also because he was uncomfortable as many of the students in his laboratory spoke in a language he couldn’t understand. Although they were not unfriendly towards him, there was limited communication. In addition, the laboratory equipment was frequently fully booked by the other students during the day.

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Hamid and Dr. Chen’s relationship began to sour because of this and Hamid also refused to do some experiments recommended by Dr. Chen because he felt it was unnecessary for his Masters research. Hamid confided in his friends that he was facing financial difficulties and was very uncertain about his future. In the mean time, Dr. Chen was also co-supervising Prof. Mohan’s MSc student, Melissa, who was Hamid’s ex-girlfriend. Dr. Chen essentially supervised Melissa on behalf of Prof. Mohan because Prof. Mohan was very busy with administrative work. As such, Melissa spent most of her time in Dr. Chen’s laboratory. One day, Dr. Chen announced that the faculty was offering a PhD scholarship to an outstanding student to pursue a PhD abroad. Dr. Chen advised that Hamid should consider applying for the scholarship and that he would put in a good word for Hamid. He assured Hamid that he would definitely get the position as he was the Chairman of the selection committee. Hearing this, Hamid completed all the experiments he previously refused to do.A month later, it was announced that Melissa got the scholarship. Dr. Chen explained to Hamid that the departmental committee thought that Melissa was the better candidate and that he thought that might actually be the case. Later, Hamid found out that Melissa was dating Prof. Mohan.

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Discussion questions: Describe the good mentorship qualities of Dr. Chen. State the ethical conflicts/issues that existed in this case study. Why did these ethical conflicts arise? Describe the bad mentorship qualities of Dr. Chen. How do you think Hamidmay have been able to avoid the situation he was currently in? What are the implications of this whole scenario on specific individuals and the scientific ecosystem as a whole? 7. Make recommendations on how every party in this case study could have helped prevent the various conflicts from arising.

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

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CHAPTER 1: Ethical Values and Responsibilities of Researchers

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O CHAPTER 10 Collaborative Research

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CHAPTER 10: Collaborative Research

CHAPTER 10

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Collaborative Research

SYNOPSIS

KEY MESSAGES

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Collaboration in research is an important element in the conduct of research. Collaborative research brings many benefits to the research as well as the researchers themselves. Nevertheless, collaborative research also has its challenges. This chapter contains 6 parts. Part 1 describes the characteristics of collaborative research and Part 2 explains the process of forming collaborative research. Part 3 describes various forms of collaborative research and Part 4 explores the benefits and challenges of collaborative research and Part 5 describes the ethical values of responsible collaborators and the best practices in collaborative research. Finally, Part 6 demonstrates the negative consequences of irresponsible collaborative practices and ways to mitigate these negative consequences.

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1. Collaborative research is defined as the process in which two or more researchers work together to achieve the common goal of addressing a research problem. 2. The benefits of collaborative research include the division of labour, sharing of resources and harnessing the expertise and experience of others. 3. Challenges in collaborative research can be avoided or mitigated with good collaborative practices. 4. Self-reflection is a useful process for researchers to evaluate, improve and monitor the progress of their own collaborations.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

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At the end of the chapter, participants should be able to: 10.1 differentiate collaborative research from non-collaborative research by identifying the criteria and characteristics of a true collaborative research. 10.2 describe the process of forming collaborative research. 10.3 identify various forms of collaborative research. 10.4 identify the benefits and challenges of collaborative research. 10.5 describe the ethical values of responsible collaborators and best practices in collaborative research. 10.6 discuss the negative consequences of irresponsible collaborative practices and ways to mitigate these negative consequences.

ACTIVITY LIST This chapter contains 7 activities: Activity 10.1

Polling: This activity aims to gauge the participants’ understanding of collaborative research. (LO 10.1)

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Drawing for understanding: This activity aims to lead the participants into thinking about the process of forming collaborations. (LO 10.2)

Activity 10.3

Think-share: This activity aims to facilitate the participants in identifying the different forms of collaborative research they are in. (LO 10.3)

Activity 10.4

Sticky notes: This activity aims to illustrate the benefits and challenges in collaborative research. (LO 10.4)

Activity 10.5

Think-share: This activity aims to demonstrate the ethical values of responsible collaborators. (LO 10.5)

Activity 10.6

Brainstorming: This activity aims to demonstrate the best practices in collaborative research. (LO 10.5)

Activity 10.7

Role play: This activity aims to demonstrate the negative consequences of irresponsible collaborative conduct. (LO 10.6)

Materials

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MATERIALS

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Activity 10.2

Quantity

1 set per participant

Handout 10.1

1 copy per participant

Handout 10.2

1 copy per participant

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Participant-response tool

Mahjong paper Sticky notes

Coloured marker pens

PART 1: CHARACTERISTICS OF A COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH As inter-disciplinary research has become the norm these days, new technologies are constantly being developed, and collaborations have become almost a necessity to produce high quality research. Most research endeavours require a team of researchers who bring different knowledge, expertise and technical know-how to the table. Collaboration is an act where two or more people with common research interests work together to achieve a common research goal. Collaboration amongst the research community, also known as collaborative research, is a key component of many scientific achievements. In many instances, significant research achievements have been produced from collaborative research. Complex research projects often require a multi-disciplinary team with researchers of different expertise who are able to work on the various different aspects of a large research project/study. In fact, without collaborative research, it would have been impossible to successfully execute large, paradigm-shifting mega projects such as the: The Human Genome Project: 20 consortiums Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration: more Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research 240

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than 1000 scientists from over 100 institutions ATLAS Experiment: around 3000 scientific authors from about 182 institutions

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Collaborative research not only exists between researchers in academia. It also exists between academia and the private industry, academia and the community, and also, academia and government agencies. Collaborative research can vary depending on the duration of the collaboration and the size of the research team. International collaboration shave also become more common as it allows researchers to tap into more research resources such as funding, expertise, and infrastructure. Activity 10.1: Polling Purpose:

Instructions:

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This activity aims to gauge the participants’ understanding of collaborative research.

Ask participants to determine whether these scenarios describe collaborative research by answering “yes” or “no” using a participant-response tool. Preamble for each scenario: Johan is a microbiologist who studies bacteria. He found some interesting bacteria and wants to carry out further studies on these bacteria.

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Scenario 1: Johan lacks the facilities to study these bacteria. Therefore, he asked Muthu, a colleague from another lab, for permission to use his facilities. Muthu was not involved in any data analysis and interpretation. Do you consider the interaction between Johan and Muthu as research collaboration? Scenario 2: Johan isolated DNA from the bacteria and sent the DNA to Farrah for DNA sequencing. Farrah’s lab was paid to perform the work and she sent the un-analysed raw data to Johan. Farrah was not involved in the further analysis and interpretation of data. Do you consider the interaction between Johan and Farrah as research collaboration?

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Scenario 3: Johan invited Tan, a geneticist, to study the genes of the bacteria that he discovered. Together, they designed the experiments, analysed the data which led to the discovery of a new strain of bacteria. Do you consider the interaction between Johan and Tan as research collaboration? Scenario 4: Johan asked his good friend Fikri, a plant biologist from another university, to join him on a new expedition to a remote place to collect samples. Fikri thought it is a good idea since he can share the cost of travel with Johan while using the opportunity to collect plant samples for his own research. Do you consider the interaction between Johan and Fikri as research collaboration? Scenario 5: Johan talked to Chan during lunch about the bacteria that he had recently discovered. Chan casually suggested an experiment for Johan to test on the bacteria. John asked his own student to carry out the experiment as suggested by Chan. Johan and Chan did not have any further discussion on this project. Do you consider the interaction between John and Chan as research collaboration?

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Note to instructor:

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The preamble should be shown with each scenario. Model answer(s): Scenario 1: No Scenario 2: No Scenario 3: Yes Scenario 4: No Scenario 5: No

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Collaboration in science occurs when two or more people with shared interest in a research problem work together to achieve a common goal. Researchers with different expertise, resources, experience, and complementary knowledge often collaborate to achieve these common goals. Collaboration creates a network of team members and brings mutual benefits to all members of the research team.

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Some general characteristics of a collaborative research team include: • Each collaborator contributes his or her respective expertise to answer the research question • Collaborators may work on different aspects of the research question, which are later integrated • Collaborators meet frequently to review data and brainstorm ideas and strategies • Collaborators share resources including finance, facilities, equipment, manpower, and other infrastructure

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These scenarios do not qualify as collaborative research: –– Merely providing research materials or reagents (National Science Council [NSC], 2017) –– Merely providing research funding (NSC, 2017) –– Merely providing access to research facilities –– Services provided by core research facilities* *A core facility is a facility that provides specific research services in an institution. Personnel in the core facility are usually not involved in the design of experiments or interpretation of the research data generated from the service. –– Casual intellectual discussions PART 2: PROCESS OF FORMING COLLABORATIONS Activity 10.2: Drawing for understanding

This activity aims to lead the participants into thinking about the process of forming collaborations.

Instructions: 1. Ask the participants to draw a flowchart on a piece of Mahjong paper to describe the process involved in forming collaborations. 2. Next, ask each group to present their flowchart to the class. 3. After their presentations, ask each group to discuss the question “How do you determine who to collaborate with?”

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Purpose:


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Note to instructor:

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Ask everyone to reflect on how their own collaborations were formed? How did they identify and invite their collaborators to collaborate? How were they identified and invited to be someone else’s collaborator? Model answer(s):

Formulate research ideas

Identify and assess potential collaborator

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Initiate discussion with the potential collaborator

Agree on general expectations, roles/responsibilities of collaborators

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Begin collaborative research

When necessary, formalise the collaboration such as through a signed commitment

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Questions that researchers should ask themselves in the process of identifying or evaluating potential collaborator(s): (Burroughs Welcome Fund and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 2006) 1. What is my research question? 2. Do I need a collaborator to move this project forward? 3. What technique(s), tool(s) or expertise am I missing to accomplish all the objectives of the project? 4. Is there someone I know who has the expertise that I require or someone with a shared interest? If not, where and how can I find someone with the necessary expertise or shared interest? 5. Will this collaborator be interested to work with me? 6. Is this a collaborator I can work with? 7. Is there someone else who can provide a reference for this potential collaborator? 8. Do we have any common research goals? 9. What do I need to do to know this collaborator better? 10. What are the pros and cons of working with this collaborator? Researchers may identify collaborators from their existing or ex-collaborators. They may also find new collaborators through several methods such as by asking their existing network of researchers for recommendations, carrying out a literature search to find experts in the field, or networking with researchers at conferences, seminars or meetings.

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Establishing the collaboration Most collaborations begin informally with one researcher contacting another researcher to gauge their common interests, willingness and ability to collaborate. If there is an agreement to collaborate, both researchers will begin to discuss the way forward such as whether explorative or preliminary studies can be conducted without new funding. If new funding is needed, the researchers will write a proposal together for grant applications. Some collaborators develop a formal agreement to formalise the collaboration through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) or Letter of Intent (LOI). The establishment of academiaindustry or academia-government collaborations generally follows a similar process but with additional procedures that may have certain regulations or guidelines. In most institutions, legal advice is usually consulted for these purposes.

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PART 2: VARIOUS FORMS OF COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH There are many forms of collaborative research. The following table describes one way of categorising collaborative research. These categories do not stand-alone; they are interlinked. Collaborative research usually has a mixture of various types. Table 10.1: Various forms of collaborative research Types Long

International or regional collaborations are considered as fardistance collaborations. The benefits of these collaborations are the expansion of the research footprint, gaining international recognition, and accessing international resources such as grants and infrastructure.

AD

Distance

Description

Long-term

A long-term collaboration can be defined as collaborations that last for a year or more. There is a long-term research goal and the collaborative relationship lasts a longer time.

Short-term

Short-term collaborations have short-term goals with quick deliverables and output. Short-term collaborations sometimes end as soon as one member of the team delivers the results required and there is no longer any need to further the collaborative relationship.

Interaction High frequency frequency

Collaborators that have high-frequency interactions are those who meet on a regular basis, such as weekly or monthly, to discuss their research. Such discussions can also take place over the phone, email or other means of communication. Some collaborative research teams do not interact frequently. The teams work independently for a duration of time, sometimes for months, before having any meetings to discuss the project progress.

Duration

Low frequency

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Near-distance collaborations include intradepartment, interfaculty, or intrauniversity collaborations. The benefits of a near-distance collaboration include the ease of communication and possibly, reduced language or culture barriers. * In Malaysia, some researchers may consider intrastate collaboration as short-distance; while interstate collaboration as long-distance.

RE

Short


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Activity 10.3: Think-Share Purpose/aim:

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This activity aims to facilitate the participants in identifying the different forms of collaborative research they are in. Instructions:

1. Distribute Handout 10.1 to each participant. 2. Ask the participants to carry out the instructions on the Handout. 3. At the end of this activity, select a few participants to share their diagram with the rest of the class. Note to instructor:

O

1. You may give a demonstration on how to use the chart based on your own experience. 2. Tell the participants that although there is no one form of collaborative research that is particularly better than the other, researchers are encouraged to foster a balanced collaboration profile. 3. If the participants are very junior researchers or postgraduate students, they may not have established collaborators as yet. Thus, ask them to imagine what kind of collaborators that they think they will need or would like to have in the future.

Collaborator 1

AD

Model answer(s):

Far

O

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Distance

X Collaborator 2

Near Short

Duration

Long

Collaborator 1: This is a short-term collaboration with someone who is far away. Despite the distance, the frequency of interaction between the collaborators is high Collaborator 2: This is a long-term collaboration with someone who is nearby. However, the frequency of interaction between the collaborators is low.

This self-reflective exercise is a good way for researchers to think about the nature of their research. Different types of research have their own pros and cons. It is the responsibility of the researchers to know the needs, structure, and expectations of the collaborative team and determine if the collaborative research is suitable. These different types of collaboration also change from time to time. For example, a collaboration that was initially designed to be short-term might become a 245 Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research


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long-term collaboration because the researchers found new ways to work together. These days, the mobility of researchers for short- or long-term attachments as well as the advancement of communication technology have enabled long-distance collaborations to become more feasible and manageable. PART 4: BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES IN RESEARCH COLLABORATION Activity 10.4: Sticky notes Purpose/aim:

This activity aims to illustrate the benefits and challenges in collaborative research. Instructions:

Note to instructor:

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1. Ask the participants to think about the benefits and challenges of collaborative research. 2. Write the benefits or challenges on individual pieces of sticky notes and stick these notes at a designated area. 3. Read the sticky notes out-loud once all the participants have completed this task.

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1. Print two sub headings, one labelled “benefits” and the other labelled “challenges”, before the session. 2. Stick these two subheadings at a designated area in the classroom. 3. The challenges of collaborative research identified here will be used as a stepping stone to address the best practices in collaborative research. Model answer(s):

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Benefits of collaboration –– Preferences of funding sources – multidisciplinary research has better chances of getting funded –– Complementation of research expertise – collaborators with different expertise contribute by solving the research problem from different aspects – much like jigsaw pieces coming together to form a complete picture –– Access to shared resources – collaborators can have access to better facilities or equipment for the joined research –– Opportunity to learn from other disciplines – collaboration gives team members opportunities to learn from other team members with different expertise and perspectives –– Impact of research – impact of research can be heightened and ultimately delivered –– Risk management – risky research would benefit from having members that are better trained to carry out risky research and also from team members who have better and safer facilities to handle risky research –– Opportunity to engage in collegiality – collaboration not only provides the opportunity for members to work together on a professional level, it also offers opportunities for the members to engage each other in activities that are not research-related. An enjoyable collaboration often brings personal satisfaction Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research 246

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––

Network expansion – being in a collaboration allows researchers to tap into the wider networks of other members, and find new collaborative and professional opportunities

O

N LY

Challenges in collaborative research: –– Finding suitable collaborators –– Cultural differences or language barrier –– Different communication styles –– Different approaches to research/culture of research –– Unfair or overbearing competition –– Exploitation –– Power struggle –– Non-transparent or lack of openness –– Sustaining the relationship or network –– Lack of trust –– Different expectations, missions and goals –– Significant time commitment –– Selfish or irresponsible team members –– Delineation of responsibility –– Authorship, data and funding disputes

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PART 5: ETHICAL VALUES OF RESPONSIBLE COLLABORATORS AND BEST PRACTICES IN COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH

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Most of the challenges above can be overcome when collaborators apply and display the right ethical values. We can all remember being in collaborations that were successful and those that were not and it often can be traced to the characteristics of the collaborators. Being in a good collaborative research not only requires someone who has the necessary skill sets and expertise, it also requires someone with the right values and character. When applied, these values and characters would sow the seed of trust and lead to successful collaborative research (Bennet et al. 2010). Activity 10.5: Think-Share

Purpose/aim:

This activity aims to demonstrate the ethical values of responsible collaborators.

Instructions:

1. Distribute Handout 10.2 to each participant. 2. Ask the participants to fill in the table in the handout. 3. When they are ready, ask the participants to share what they have written with their group members.

Note to instructor: Encourage the participants to write as many ethical values as they can and how these values can be applied in collaborative research.

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Model answer(s):

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See the section below.

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Ethical values of responsible collaborators –– Appreciative – appreciate input from other collaborators, and give credit where it is due –– Ethical – follow ethical guidelines of conducting research and play ‘by the rules’ –– Honest – open and frank, be it about communicating problems or discoveries with collaborators –– Trustworthy – can be relied upon; willing to be a team player –– Openness -willing to give and accept constructive criticisms/advice/consultation and willing to share facilities –– Timely – deliverables are executed according to the time-plan –– Responsive – responds to calls or emails, and does not delay; communicate effectively –– Respectful – does not put any of the other team members down; treats each other with respect, and communicates respectfully –– Accountable – is responsible for his or her actions and is willing to accept responsibility

AD

Best practices in collaborative research Collaborative research is often formed organically and informally such as when two colleagues conduct some exploratory experiments or proof-of-concept studies; or when colleagues exchange research specimens or samples for testing. As this collaborative research matures, there comes a time when a more formal discussion is needed to move the collaboration forward. The next section will discuss some of the key issues that collaborators should discuss during the formation of a collaboration, while the collaboration is on-going and when the collaboration is approaching its end. Activity 10.6: Brainstorming

Purpose/aim:

This activity aims to demonstrate the best practices in collaborative research.

1. Ask the participants to stand in a circle. 2. Pass a ball to the first participant to answer the question “what should collaborators do to make the collaboration a success?” 3. Once the first participant has given the answer, he or she would toss the ball to a random group member in the circle and the next person who receives the ball will provide one answer. 4. The ball will be tossed around from participant to participant until every participant has given at least one answer. This can go on for a few more rounds if necessary.

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Instructions:


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Note to instructor:

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1. You may use a medium-sized ball such as a tennis ball for this activity. If there are no suitable balls, you may make a paper ball with Mahjong paper or newspaper instead. 2. You may form multiple circles and each circle will carry out the activity simultaneously. 3. If the classroom is not suitable for this activity, you may ask the participants to do a simple round table discussion. Ask each group to discuss the same question posted above and write their answers on the Mahjong paper. Next ask the participants to shout-out their answers. You may record their answers on the whiteboard or a piece of Mahjong paper. Model answer(s): See the section below.

RE

AD

O

Each stage of collaborative research, from the beginning until the end of the collaboration ,has some common as well as unique good research practices. In general, these good practices include: (Steneck, 2007) –– Define and clarify the roles and responsibilities of each member; review this periodically –– Define the goals and expectations; communicate them clearly to each member –– Discuss how data should be managed such as data storage (see Chapter 7 on Research Data Management) –– Discuss intellectual property and data ownership issues (see Chapter 7 on Research Data Management) –– Discuss how finance/funds should be managed (see Chapter 8 on Financial Responsibility) –– Discuss how to manage and supervise post-graduate students and research assistants (see Chapter 9 on Mentor-Mentee) –– Discuss issues concerning publications. Have a mutual understanding of authorship criteria and attribution; review this periodically especially when researcher’s contribution has shifted or there is a change in research personnel. (see Chapter 5 on Authorship and Publications) –– Discuss potential conflicts of interest (see Chapter 4 on Conflict of Interest) –– Organise regular meetings to discuss and evaluate the progress of the project –– Share research data with the team; within the right boundaries and guidelines –– Report and discuss problems so that the team can solve it together –– Notify other team members of major changes such as changes in personnel, experimental design, or usage of funds It is also equally important that researchers have a strategy when ending/concluding a collaborative research such as: –– Deciding whether to end the collaboration or maintain the collaboration to work on other new projects –– Closing the loop of the project by submitting reports or manuscripts –– Discussing possible future collaborations, and exploring new research ideas

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PART 6: NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES OF IRRESPONSIBLE COLLABORATIVE PRACTICES AND WAYS TO MITIGATE THESE CONSEQUENCES

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Activity 10.7: Role play Purpose/aim:

This activity aims to demonstrate the negative consequences of irresponsible collaborative conduct. Instructions:

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1. Prepare two sets of keywords and write each keyword on individual pieces of paper: Set 1: power-struggle, not contributing, selfish, close-minded, or lack of transparency. Set 2: issues with roles and responsibilities, funds or finance, authorship, data sharing, or students supervision. 2. Ask one representative from each group to pick a piece of paper from Set 1 and another piece of paper from Set 2. 3. Ask each group to create a short sketch based on the combination of these two categories. 4. Ask the participants to give their sketch a catchy title and the sketch should be no more than 5 minutes long. 5. At the end of each presentation, ask the group that has presented to discuss the negative consequences of the scene they have created and how the conflict could be avoided.

AD

Note to instructor:

1. Encourage all members in each group to take part in the role play. 2. Tell each group not to reveal the scene that they have created. Instead, after each group has presented, ask the class to guess what issue was depicted. Model answer(s):

The negative consequences of irresponsible conduct in collaborative research include: –– Research misconduct –– Collapse of collaborations –– Broken relationships –– Mistrust –– Creating and perpetuating a bad culture that other researchers to follow –– Emotional stress - frustration and dissatisfaction –– Wastage or mismanagement of resources (time, money, effort, etc.) –– Impediment of research progress (missed milestones, insufficient data for publication, etc.) –– No direction in research –– Dispute of data ownership or intellectual property –– Bad reputation for the researchers –– Student’s career/progress affected

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These negative consequences can be avoided or mitigated when researchers apply the ethical values and best practices that are found in part V. Postgraduate students and research assistants must be properly educated and trained to carry out research according to these best practices.

CONCLUSIONS

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AD

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Globalisation and today’s social media technology have both simplified the research collaboration process and have made it more probable for researchers who are geographically distant from one another to work together. However, navigating through collaborations can be both a rewarding and challenging journey. A fruitful collaboration will bring all the benefits as discussed in this chapter. Researchers benefit from obtaining new knowledge, the production of high-quality research and also excellent output such as co-authored publications in high-impact journals. Postgraduate students and research assistants benefit from the vast knowledge they gain from the different expertise of the researchers in the collaborative program. Unethical or irresponsible research conduct amongst the collaborators will prevent collaborations from being productive aside from causing a communication breakdown and loss of professional relationships. It is therefore crucial that researchers understand some of the potential pitfalls of collaboration and apply good collaboration practices as well as constantly self-reflect to improve their collaborations.

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LIST OF REFERENCES

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Bennett, L.M., Gadlin, H., Levine-Finley, S. (2010). Collaboration & team science: a field guide. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health. Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Burroughs Welcome Fund. (2006). Making the right moves: a practical guide to scientific management for post docs and new faculty (Second Edition). Research Triangle Park, NC: Burroughs Welcome Fund.

National Science Council. (2017). The Malaysian code of responsible conduct in research. Cyberjaya, Selangor: Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology. Steneck, N.H. (2007). ORI: introduction to the responsible conduct of research. Washington, DC: U.S Government Printing Office.

FURTHER READING

O

Eisner, R. and Vasgird, D. (2004). RCR Mentoring: Responsible Conduct of Research. Columbia Center for New Media Teaching & Learning (CCNMTL). Retrieved from http://ccnmtl.columbia. edu/projects/rcr/rcr_science/

AD

IAP-the Global Network of Science Academies. (2016). Doing global science: a guide to responsible conduct in the global research enterprise. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Macrina, F.L. (2014). Scientific integrity: text and cases in responsible conduct of research. Washington, DC: American Society for Microbiology Press.

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National Academy of Sciences. (2009). On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research: Third Edition. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved from: https://www. nap.edu/catalog/12192/on-being-a-scientist-a-guide-to-responsible-conduct-in

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HANDOUT 10.1

O

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1. Think about all your current/past research collaborations. It may also be collaborative research with the industry, government or community. 2. Use the information in Table10.1 as your guide. 3. The Y-axis denotes the physical distance between you and the collaborator(s) and X-axis denotes the duration of the collaboration. 4. There is a third level of categorising collaborations, which are those that have high frequency interactions between the collaborators and those that have low frequency of interaction between collaborators. Once you have identified where to mark your collaborator(s) based on the “distance” and “duration”, use the symbol “O” to denote collaboration with high frequency of interaction and the symbol “X” to denote collaboration with low frequency of interaction. 5. If you don’t have collaborators as yet, imagine what kind of collaborators you think you need or would like to have in the future.

AD

Far

RE

Distance

Near

Short

Duration

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HANDOUT 10.2 Application(s) of this ethical value to collaborative research

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Ethical values of responsible collaborator

Honesty in discussing results with collaborator

Chapter 10

RE

AD

O

Honesty

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APPENDIX: Active Learning Pedagogy and Tools

APPENDIX A

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Active Learning Pedagogy and Tools

(1) Sticky notes

O

The Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research is designed to be used as an instructor’s guide for those who wish to provide RCR instruction. This Module employs the active learning pedagogy and tools as its main instruction method as studies has reported that instruction of RCR is most effective when interactive and engaging teaching and learning methods are used (Antes, 2009; Mumford, 2017; Kalichman, 2014). The overall goals of these wide variety of active learning tools are to engage the learners in reasoned dialogue on research integrity that promotes ethical reflexivity which will hopefully result in a change in attitude on RCR.

Size: Individual, small or big groups

AD

Method: 1. Provide the participants with a question or prompt. 2. Ask the participants to provide a written response to that particular question or prompt. Each response should be written on individual sticky notes. 3. Ask the participants to paste the sticky notes at a designated space. In some cases, the instructor may ask the participants to group the sticky notes based on the responses.

RE

Function: This activity allows every participant a fair chance to respond without fearing the need to speak up in front of the class. This encourages better participation from everyone. It is a good way to collect responses from a big group of participants in a short time. This activity is one of the ways that the instructor obtains a general idea of the participants’ responses and their understanding of the topics. This activity also allows the participants to learn alternative or different view points from their peers. Consideration for instructors: Provide sufficient time for the participants to think and respond. Too little time will stifle their thinking process resulting in a reduced response rate. Depending on the instructions, the participants will either be asked to write their own individual responses or to provide a collective response based on the outcome of their group discussion.

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(2) Polling

N LY

Size: Individual or small groups

O

Method: 1. Provide a question or prompt and ask the participants to choose their answers. The answers may be “Yes/No”, “Agree/Disagree”, “Acceptable/ Not acceptable”, “Option A/ Option B/ Option C/ Option D”. 2. There are multiple ways to poll the participants: a) Sticky notes/dots/marker pens The participants cast their votes by pasting sticky notes/dots at a designated space or simply making a mark next to the answer. Different coloured sticky notes/dots/marker pens may represent different answers. For example: green for “yes” and red for “no”; blue for “agree” and yellow for “disagree”. b) Raising hands Participants are simply asked to raise their hands to provide their answers.

AD

c) Clickers Clickers are sophisticated wireless electronic devices designed specifically for the participants to provide their answers anonymously. The outcome of the polling can be displayed instantaneously. d) Online polling apps There are many apps on the internet, such as Poll Everywhere and Socrative, that can be used for participant-polling in real-time. These tools also allow the participants to provide their answers anonymously and the results can be displayed instantaneously.

RE

e) Response cards The participants cast votes by raising and showing their response cards to the instructor. There are many ways to create the response cards: • Coloured cards that correspond to various options (e.g. red card – “No”; green card – “Yes”) • Single-sided colour cards that is coloured on only one side that faces the instructor, so that only the instructor can see the response. • • Cards with printed words or alphabets (e.g. Cards printed “A”, “B”, “C” or “D”)

Appendix

3. At the end of the polling session, all participants should be able to see the poll results of the class.

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Function: This activity is used to probe the participants’ opinions of a particular question or prompt. Anonymous polling tools are a non-threatening method for the participants to cast their votes, which reflects their true and honest opinions. In some cases, this polling activity may follow the sticky notes or brainstorming activities. The instructor may use this activity to survey the participants’ knowledge or attitudes towards a topic before the lessons are given.

Consideration for instructors: Provide sufficient time for the participants to think about their answers carefully before providing answers. This thinking process is needed for recalling, forming or synthesizing knowledge.

(3) Case studies

O

Size: Individual, pairs, small groups (3-8 people)

AD

Method: 1. Provide cases or scenarios to the participants. These can either be fictional but based on real-life cases, or factual cases. The cases can be in the form of a news article, a section of a journal article, a report, or a video. 2. Ask the participants to first read or listen to the case study quietly. 3. Next, ask the participants to analyse the case study by themselves or discuss it with the person sitting next to them or with their group members. 4. Ask the participants to discuss the questions associated with the case study. 5. At the end of the discussion, select representatives to share their answers or opinions with the whole class.

RE

Function: Case studies are very good for engaging the participants in thinking about and analysing a situation critically. This requires the participants to apply and integrate knowledge and tools that they have learned to address a real-life situation. Different opinions and ideas are shared when the case study is conducted as a group discussion. This allows participants to learn from each other and have their misconceptions corrected or clarified. This activity encourages the participants to apply higher-order cognitive skills. Consideration for instructors: Instructors need to facilitate the discussion so that the participants can connect the case to the lessons they have learned. When the participants are discussing or analysing the case, the instructors should provide guidance to lead the discussion towards the intended objectives. Case studies work best with a small group of people (2-8 persons). If the group is too big, some participants may become passive and will not participate or engage in the discussion.

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(4) Shout-outs

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Size: Individual Method: 1. Pose a clear and specific question or prompt. 2. Ask the participants to consider that question or prompt then shout-out the answer. In some situations, you may ask the participants to discuss the question or prompt with their group members before they shout-out the answers. 3. The instructor may write down their answers on a whiteboard or flipchart.

O

Functions: The questions or prompts for shout-out are usually simple and straightforward. Shout-out is a suitable activity to collect quick responses or answers from the participants. It can be effective in breaking the monotony of a lecture by asking the participants to think rather than to listen passively.

Appendix

RE

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Consideration for instructors: The question and prompts should be clear and straightforward. Although sufficient time should be given for the participants to think and shout-out their answers, they should not be given too much time. Complex questions should be discussed using other pedagogical approaches like brainstorming. If the participants are passive and reluctant to shout-out, the instructors may randomly select participants to answer the questions.

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(5) Brainstorming

N LY

Size: Pairs, Small groups (2-8 people) Method: 1. Provide questions or prompts to the participants and ask them to discuss it with the person sitting next to them (pair-up) or with all the members in their groups. 2. Encourage all the participants to engage and contribute to the discussion. 3. After they have brainstormed, ask representatives from each group to share their thoughts or opinions with the class. 4. The instructor may record the answers or ideas on a whiteboard or flipchart.

O

Functions: This activity provides an opportunity for the participants to share their thoughts or contribute their ideas so that they may also learn from each other. This activity engages the participants in higher-order thinking. Unlike polling or shout-outs, this activity requires the participants to think deeper while they engage in the discussion. New ideas and opinions are often formulated or refined as the participants listen to each other’s thoughts.

RE

AD

Consideration for instructors: Just like case studies, instructors need to facilitate the discussion and lead the discussion towards the intended objectives. This activity works best with small groups (2-8 persons). If the group is too big, some participants may become passive and will not participate or engage in the discussion.

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(6) Self-reflection

N LY

Size: Individual Method: 1. Provide the participants with a question or a prompt. Sometimes a handout that contains a worksheet is given to the participants. 2. Depending on the nature of the activity, ask the participants to write their thoughts on a piece of paper, draw an image, or fill in the worksheet in the handout. 3. At the end of this activity, you may ask the participants to share their thoughts with others in the class. Alternatively, the participant can turn in their written reflections to the instructor for comments.

AD

O

Functions: Self-reflection is a process that allows the participants to contemplate on their own without the interference of other people. They assess their own thoughts, experiences, and knowledge to gain a deeper insight into what they now know or don’t know; or how they feel about a certain experience. Self-reflection can be used at various points during a lesson. It can be used at the beginning of a lesson to focus the participants’ thoughts and prepare them for the ensuing lesson; or it can be used in the middle or at the end of a lesson to synthesise, process and internalise the lessons or knowledge they have just learned.

Appendix

RE

Consideration for instructors: It is important to provide enough time for self-reflection and make sure no discussion amongst the participants takes place during this period. The instructor may play light music in the background to stimulate deep thinking. Instructors may encourage participants to write their thoughts on a piece of paper.

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(7) Think-pair-share / Think-share

N LY

Size: Pairs, small groups (3-8 people) Method: 1. Pose a question or prompt and ask the participants to think about that particular question or prompt on their own. 2. Next, ask each participant to pair up with the person next to them and share their thoughts with each other. Sometimes this step can be skipped. 3. Finally, ask the participants to share their thoughts with their group members or the whole class.

O

Functions: This activity works best if the instructors want to challenge the participants to think thoroughly about a more complex idea. Think-pair-share or think-share requires the participants to first think of the answers on their own before they share their thoughts with their partners, group members or classmates. This ensures that the students are engaged in the thinking process rather than passively absorbing information. Participants are generally more comfortable and confident in presenting their answers with the support of a partner or a group.

RE

AD

Consideration for instructors: Instructors should pose slightly more challenging questions rather than asking simple questions. A simple question poses no challenges and will make the three-step process meaningless as it will not stimulate critical thinking.

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(8) Drawing for understanding

N LY

Size: Individual, pairs, small groups (3-8 peoples)

AD

O

Method: 1. Give the participants a question, prompt or abstract concept. 2. Ask the participants to use drawings to address the question, prompt, or abstract concept. 3. The drawings may take different forms: a) Flow chart – this is used to depict a process b) Concept map – this is used to demonstrate how various concepts or relationships are linked to each other c) Illustration – this is used to translate concepts into simple and easily understandable images or pictures. 4. Depending on the instructors, participants either draw on their own or work as a team with their group members. 5. Mahjong paper, flipcharts or whiteboards are usually provided for the drawings. 6. Finally, ask the participants to present their drawings to the class. 7. These drawings can be pasted in the class or stored for future review. 8. Show the participants an example of a drawing (flow chart, concept map or illustration) if there are any.

Functions: This is a useful activity that helps the participants to synthesise their knowledge and process complicated ideas, relationships, or concepts. The participants first need to identify important key elements and concepts, then organise and integrate this information before they can present it clearly using drawings. Drawing is also a way to demonstrate the bigger picture of how different elements and information are pieced together.

Appendix

RE

Consideration for instructors: It is important to provide very clear instructions on what to draw and what are the key elements that have to be included in the drawing. If time is very limited, instructors may provide partially completed drawings and ask the participants to complete it.

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(9) Role play

N LY

Size: Pairs, small groups (2-8 people)

O

Method: 1. Group the participants so that the number of groups is sufficient for the role play activity. 2. Assign each group to a character or role. 3. Distribute the case study or scenario to the participants. 4. Ask the participants to read and understand the case or scenario. 5. Ask the participants to fully embody the role assigned to them as they discuss their tasks needed for the role play. These tasks include coming up with positions and planning their talking points to defend or argue their positions. 6. Clear instructions or guidelines are given to guide the participants as they prepare for their tasks. 7. After they are ready, bring the participants together to act out their roles. 8. The role play may take different forms, eg. debates, forums, meetings, or public announcements.

AD

Functions: This is a higher-order cognitive activity. As they role play, the participants need to fully embody the role and consider their opinions from the vantage point of a different person. Although this role play activity requires more time and effort in planning and execution, by applying their knowledge, through the lens of a different role, the participants will gain a deeper appreciation of the complexities of the scenario. They will have a deeper understanding of the core concepts of the lesson. Role play also presents an opportunity for the participants to develop their soft skills such as their communication, coordination, team work, and problem solving skills.

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Consideration for instructors: It is advisable to explain the role play activity carefully. Take the participants through the instructions step by step. Make sure the participants understand their roles and tasks in hand. Due to the complexity of this activity, instructors should provide ample guidance to ensure that each group stays focused.

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(10) Test-learn-test

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Size: Individual, pairs, small groups (3-8 people) and big groups.

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Method: 1. Pose the questions to the participants, which can either be subjective questions or multiple-choice questions. 2. The questions can be shown either as part of the presentation slides or through an online app such as Poll Everywhere or Kahoot!. 3. Ask the participants to answer the questions using one of the methods described in the Polling activity. The participants should answer the questions without discussing with their peers. 4. Record the statistics of the participants’ test results on a flipchart or whiteboard. The answers should not be revealed at any given point. 5. Provide the lesson and retest the participants’ knowledge using the same questions. Record the test results and compare it to the results before the lessons were given. 6. Reveal the answers and facilitate a round of discussion regarding the answers.

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Functions: The purpose of this activity is to test the participants’ existing knowledge on a concept, topic or theory. It is a good way to reveal any misunderstandings or misconceptions. The participants are retested after the lessons are given to determine whether their misunderstandings or misconceptions are corrected. If the misunderstandings or misconceptions still exist, the instructors are advised to explain the concepts again. In some situations, the participants are asked to discuss their answers with their peers. This peer-learning process also makes their learning fun and engaging.

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Consideration for instructors: Create questions that are slightly more challenging, which require the participants to think carefully before answering. In some circumstances, the questions are designed specifically to reveal the participants’ existing misconceptions. Alternatively, the instructor may allow the participants to search for the answers via the internet during the learning session.

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APPENDIX: Active Learning Pedagogy and Tools

List and Rank

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Size: Individual, small and big groups.

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Method: 1. Provide a question or prompt to the participants. 2. Ask the participants to respond either through shout-outs, brainstorming or posting sticky notes. 3. Create a list by collating and writing the participants’ responses on a whiteboard or mahjong paper. 4. After the list has been created, ask the participants to cast their votes and choose their most preferred responses on the list. 5. One of the most common ways for the participants to cast their votes is to use marker pens to make a mark next to the responses or by simply pasting sticky dots. 6. Tally the votes after the participants have casted their votes. Responses are ranked from those that garnered the most votes to the least.

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Functions: This is a two-step activity that requires higher-order thinking skills. In the first part, the participants are asked to create a list based on a question or prompt (List). Rather than merely creating the list, the participants are then asked to prioritise their responses (Rank). This prioritising step requires the participants to think deeper and determine which responses are the most important or relevant. As a result, the participants would also know how the entire class views a certain question or prompt. .

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Important skills/consideration: Allow ample time for the participants to provide their responses. An effective List and Rank activity requires a comprehensive list to be first created. After the list is created, provide sufficient time for the participants to consider their choices and cast their votes. The number of votes each participant are allowed to cast depends largely on the number of responses on the list. For example, then they may cast 3 votes if the list contains less than 10 responses; 5 votes if the list contains more than 10 responses.

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REFERENCES:

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Antes, A.L., Murphy, S.T., Waples, E.P., Mumford, M.D., Brown, R.P., Connelly, S. and Devenport, L.D. (2009). A meta-analysis of ethics instruction effectiveness in the sciences. Ethics Behavior, 19(5), 379-402. Kalichman, M. (2014). Rescuing responsible conduct of research (RCR) education. Accountability in Research: Policies and Quality Assurance, 21(1), 68-83.

Appendix

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Mumford, M.D. (2017). Appendix C: assessing the effectiveness of responsible conduct of research training: key findings and viable procedure. Published in “Fostering integrity in research”. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

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