Research Ethics has integrity as one of its most essential core values. By focusing on the variety of basic norms and values of the research community, this Series aims at highlighting honesty and responsible ways of doing research across all disciplines.

Recent Submissions

  • Distance exams : can targeted warnings discourage cheating?

    Humbert, Marc; Lambin, Xavier (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    During the COVID-19 sanitary crisis of 2020, many exams were hastily moved to online mode. This revived a much-needed debate on the privacy issues of online proctoring of exams, while the validity and fairness of unproctored exams were increasingly questioned. In a randomized control trial, we send a targeted warning to half of the students who were identified as cheaters in previous exams. We then compare their cheating behavior at the final exam to the group of unwarned cheaters. Preliminary results show that the warning proves effective but does not completely annihilates cheating as the cheating strategies of some students become more sophisticated. We conclude that switching traditional exams to online mode should come with proctoring. When proctoring is not possible, credible and effective anti-cheating technologies should be deployed, together with adequate warnings.
  • Didactic evolution of similarity detection software : the example of Compilatio

    Agnès, Frédéric (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    Since 2005, Compilatio has been offering tools to help detect and prevent plagiarism. Users of similarity detection software were initially attracted by the ability to track down cheaters. They are now more aware of the tools and services offered to create an environment that encourages the adoption of integrity and citizenship values, especially digital ones. They are aware that plagiarism is not a passing evil to be eradicated, but a deep-seated temptation that each individual must learn to overcome. The technology used to help teachers spot cheating has also evolved. The approach was initially syntactic, comparing texts formally to detect similarities. It then became semantic, using so-called artificial intelligence techniques to find similarities between different words with the same meaning. The issues related to plagiarism prevention illustrate how technology and pedagogy can be used together to train individuals for their future professional and civic life.
  • The professor : a conduit for integrity in the dissertation process

    Bergadaà, Michelle; Peters, Martine (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    Plagiaristic behaviour by students is still considered a deviance that needs to be prevented or cured. Prevention is achieved through training and communication and repression through manual or computerised controls. The qualitative study presented in this article shows that the practice of plagiarism by students is a behaviour that has become normalised. By understanding the logic expressed by the respondents, we argue that every teacher can be a conduit for integrity by adjusting to the challenges of the six stages of dissertation production and by knowing how to respond appropriately. Considering creacollage as a learning option opens up new perspectives here.
  • Implementation of an e-proctoring solution for online exams : stumbling blocks for trust

    Ajmi, Oumaima (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    The case illustrates the difficult, but successful, journey of choosing and implementing an e-surveillance tool in a Swiss public university during the COVID-19 health crisis. The importance of this case is to show the difficulty of using new technologies in the public administration, given the conjuncture of several aspects in this type of project, especially for academic projects. This feedback also shows the technical, pedagogical and ethical challenges to be consolidated in order to maintain academic integrity in times of crisis.
  • Training the sages of integrity

    Popescu, Marian (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    Drawing on his experience in the field and his familiarity with theatrical techniques, Marian Popescu offers us a stimulating reflection on what he ends up calling academic "integrative ethics" and on the role that "wise men of integrity" should play in its implementation. The author develops his proposal by understanding the historical flaws and advances in the field of character education. The training, combining cognitive devices and communicative and dramatic skills of these experts, mediators and referents appears, in his view, to be the key element in the current fight for integrity.
  • Rethinking research integrity : a dialogical and reflective approach

    Magalhães, Susana (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    In this chapter, we reflect on responsible conduct in research and the need to complement a top-down normative approach with a bottom-up dialogical approach, giving the example of the training sessions organised since October 2019 at the Institute for Research and Innovation in Health Sciences - i3S based in Porto, Portugal. Research integrity has been the main concern of universities and other research institutions due to the increasing number of cases of research misconduct every year. Although scientific governance documents aim to promote the integrity and accountability of researchers, rather than focusing exclusively on cases of misconduct, they tend to be interpreted as warnings to avoid fabrication, falsification and plagiarism, emphasising the need for sanctions. However, the meaning of integrity for researchers is not homogeneous and can be determined by context. We argue that the integrity of researchers should be promoted in a positive bottom-up approach, without neglecting open, transparent and clear standards and guidelines for responsible conduct.
  • Academic integrity at the University of Montenegro : pathway to certification

    pekovic, sanja; Vuckovic, Dijana; Janinovic, Jovana (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    Academic dishonesty is one of the major challenges in higher education. In developed countries, higher education institutions have, for some years now, begun to put in place strategies and mechanisms to combat academic misconduct. In developing countries, such as Montenegro, the formalisation of processes to strengthen academic integrity is a relatively new concern. In this paper, we will analyse the framework for the development of a determined academic integrity strategy, which resulted in the international certification of the University of Montenegro. Based on the literature review on academic integrity and using the case analysis method, we highlight the steps in the certification process. We will show how the holistic approach that has been adopted strengthens the culture of academic integrity.
  • Using plagiarism detection software : the other side of the coin

    Eck, Nadine (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    The conclusions of this article are the result of a study conducted over three years, based on the expertise files that the author established as a scientific collaborator of the current IRAFPA. The use of similarity detection software was systematic for each case. The aim of this article is to demonstrate the absurdity of a persistent belief in universities: that it would be sufficient to call on the services of a computer services company specialising in so-called "anti-plagiarism" software to curb such cases. We will show, by example, what can and cannot be expected of them, and then we will compare the two most widespread in France, Urkund and Compilatio.
  • Knowledge delinquents and sex offenders : same difference?

    Ciavaldini, André (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    The article proposed by André Ciavaldini takes us to the shores of an often little known world, that of psychoanalysis. At the end of a very detailed analysis of the psyche of the sexual pervert and the 'manipulative' plagiarist identified by Michelle Bergadaà in her research, showing the analogy of behaviours (and their sources), he reveals that academic institutions are not equipped to spot and treat these manipulators. The author tells us that "plagiarism seems to be built on this conjunction: lack of self-esteem and the impossibility of accepting the reality of it, because it is too hurtful". There is therefore no reason why our institutions of higher education should not be less trapped in these perverse games than health care or religious institutions are by paedophiles.
  • Corporate social responsibility and academic integrity : a path to global citizenship

    Hunt-Matthes, Caroline (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    The mission of our higher education institutions is to produce global citizens with the skills to contribute to a diverse and complex world in the 21st century. The objective, from a governance perspective, is to reconcile the priorities of the institutions with the social and economic objectives of society. This article examines the central elements of corporate social responsibility (CSR) for academic institutions, whether public or private, articulating in concrete terms what CSR means in practice for the higher education system. As academic dishonesty and corporate corruption continue to rise to record levels around the world, the nature of CSR needs to be considered in this context. A global commitment to academic honesty in the service of public integrity is essential in this regard. Some of the best practices in CSR are discussed with the aim of creating and maintaining a system of academic institutions that are sustainable, responsive to external demands and accountable for the results they produce.
  • When whistleblowers need to step in : convolutions in and lessons from a historic case

    Soufron, Jean-Baptiste (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    The article deals with one of the most publicised cases in France during the 2010s. It follows the journey from 2013, when he started his doctorate, to 2020, when the University of Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne cancelled his title. We will show how this affair, far from being a success in terms of investigation and academic reaction, is first and foremost the indicator of a profound failure and of a system incapable of reforming itself. For, if it had not been for the continuous action of whistleblowers through a precise and demanding anonymous Twitter account, and vigilant media, it is to be feared that this case would never have reached its conclusion.
  • Ownership, access, and sharing of data : what does Quebec law say?

    Morales, Sonya (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    Ownership over data may depend on their qualification (common goods or public goods) and their typology (personal, raw, derived, or compiled data). This paper raises the question about how to strike a balance between accessing and sharing research data for science knowledge and serve broader public interest with restrictive data ownership.
  • "Ideas can be freely used" : a victim of plagiarism reflects on a legal maxim and other legal usages

    Durand, Béatrice (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    When French academics take plagiarizing colleagues to Court, they often are disappointed by the reluctance of the judges to acknowledge the full dimension of the plunder. Often the judges refuse to qualify many of the alleged text passages as counterfeiting. Two main principles guide them: “Ideas are free” and can therefore not be protected as intellectual property; only “the form” (the wording) may be. Since scholarly work aims to produce intellectual contents – ideas –, its productions would be, as a matter of principle, excluded from legal protection. In addition, the first work must also be “original” in order to be protected. Scholarly work always includes a more or less important empirical part. Since primary sources are regarded as belonging to the public domain, empirical (data based) work cannot be protected. Based on a personal trial experience this paper explores the semantic misunderstanding (“ideas”) and the inappropriate conception of empirical data as “public”, which lead to legal decisions unfavorable to the protection of research work.
  • French and German judicial approaches to plagiarism in research

    Roux Steinkühler, Marie-Avril (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    In Germany, the courts are simply not called upon to judge cases of plagiarism. It is the research institutes and, in case of appeal, the administrative courts that are competent. This is because German research has developed solid tools for defining and punishing plagiarism, which the institutes must respect. These rules cover infringements much broader than copyright, including 'intelligent' plagiarism, theft of ideas, paraphrasing and other misquotes. Prosecution is not a matter for the parties but for society. What German institutions most often sanction by withdrawing the title of doctor is the deception of the researcher, the lack of independence of his or her research work and the resulting lack of progress in research. In France, the university does not challenge or sanction cases of plagiarism. Victims, tired of not being heard or afraid of seeing their case buried, turn to the courts. Because historically based essentially on copyright, the French courts only manage to award damages and punish copy-pasting. While new legal grounds such as parasitism are developing, the costs, burdens and hazards of the procedures limit the number of claims.
  • Slow and uncertain justice in matters of academic integrity

    de Gourcuff, Catherine (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    Catherine de Gourcuff, a lawyer at the Paris Bar, invites us to understand the ways in which justice intervenes in matters of academic integrity in court or in disciplinary proceedings. She observes how little the academic order is equipped, by virtue of its professional standards, to make its procedures legally admissible. As a result, many academic situations cannot be dealt with by the courts. An example? The term 'plagiarism' does not exist in law, it is called 'forgery', a term that does not exist in the world of academic writing. Justice has difficulty in using codes of research ethics, because the legal and the academic do not identify in the same way the facts that the laws have provided for. And what about the real obstacle course that awaits the plaintiff who has to face a criminal trial? What researcher, what author, is prepared to devote two to ten years of his or her life to these procedures?
  • Becoming artists (again)! : interview with Jean-Philippe Denis

    Denis, Jean-Philippe (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    In this interview, which closes the section dedicated to the role of publishing in the urgency of integrity, we wanted to capture the analysis of a professor with a great deal of experience in the world of publishing in the broad sense. Jean-Philippe Denis is committed to the promotion of French-speaking management research and the way in which management sciences can and should inform public debate. Jean-Philippe Denis is Editor-in-Chief of the Revue française de gestion since 2013. This multidisciplinary journal, in line with the original knowledge project of management sciences (explanatory, but also prescriptive and critical), is the leading French-speaking scientific publication in the field of management. Jean-Philippe Denis has also created an audiovisual laboratory dedicated to the scientific valorization IQSOG - Fenêtres Ouvertes sur la Gestion. In this capacity, he conducts academic interviews for Xerfi Canal and more than 800 capsules have been broadcast in some seven years. The third part of his commitment consists in being co-director of collections ("Grands auteurs francophones" and "Lectures, relectures") at Éditions Management & Société (EMS).
  • The ethics of scholarly publishing and academic social media : an odd couple?

    Boukacem-Zeghmouri, Chérifa (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    The chapter addresses the issue of the ethics of scientific publication to academic social media. This new approach allows us to highlight two important issues in the mutation of internalities and externalities in the course of scientific communication. First, the strategies by which new actors in scientific publication, originating from the Web, seize the principles of Open Access to reformulate them and subordinate them to their own development and monetisation strategies. Secondly, the functionalities and services developed contribute to introducing a new media dynamic into researchers' practices. These raise ethical issues because of their incompatibility with the normative values of science.
  • Journalism, science, and integrity

    Leglu, Dominique (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    Trust is the basis of the relationship between journalists and scientists, between editors and scientists, as we recall here, in an article based on our experience of several decades of publishing in the press and publishing industry. The integrity of specialists, whose initial writings are reviewed by their peers, is not a priori questioned. However, shortcomings do exist and the question of verifying information, its sources and even its veracity is increasingly being raised. It is also necessary to ensure that the writings do not contain plagiarism (or self-plagiarism) or fraud. Publications (newspapers, magazines, books, etc.) could then be accused of counterfeiting or copyright infringement - which could cost them dearly - and lose their credibility. In addition to academic standards, legal standards apply here. Some concrete examples that we have had to deal with, both in the press and in publishing, illustrate our point.
  • Can publication standards be lowered during a pandemic?

    Maisonneuve, Hervé (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    The peer-review system is the guarantee of the quality of publications. It has its flaws and is sometimes contested, but we have no better alternative. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has led to an increased demand from researchers, journalists and citizens for rapid information. How have scientific journals evolved to rapidly disseminate research data that is as valid as possible? The number of manuscript submissions has doubled or tripled compared to similar periods in 2019 for most journals. Editorial boards were faced with unexpected volumes of articles to review, with a shortage of reviewers, in an environment of competition between researchers and journals to publish quickly. New sections have been created, peer-review has been accelerated and even simplified, with open access publications. Questionable research practices were observed; prestigious journals published articles whose quality standards were no longer those of normal times. Journals were manipulated with the complicity of the scientific community. These practices show that open science principles and declarations such as the Singapore Declaration on Research Integrity have little impact on the behaviour of some researchers.
  • Deontology and the scientific publication process

    Py, Jacques (Globethics Publications, 2023)
    After laying down a few markers aimed at distinguishing between what comes under research ethics (which concerns the participant in the research and even society) and what comes under scientific integrity (i.e. the researcher's deontology), an argument is developed concerning the implosion of the peer review process, The argument is made about the implosion of the peer review process, which is a pillar of the functioning of science, as well as about the minor deviations of authors in plagiarism and self-plagiarism, which are indeed a problem of scientific integrity, albeit of moderate importance, but of great significance. An analysis is made of the structural reasons for these various problems; solutions are proposed around the idea of a radical rebalancing in the evaluation of researchers between their scientific production activities and their activities in evaluating the articles and research projects of their peers.

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