Code of ethics curtaining malpractices and plagiarism to promote research in Christian College Chengannur

Preamble

The purpose of this set of guidelines is to provide a positively oriented set of practical suggestions for maintaining integrity in research. Observance of these guidelines will help an investigator avoid departures from accepted ethical research practice and prevent those most serious deviations that constitute research misconduct. Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism including misrepresentation of credentials in proposing, performing, or reviewing research or in reporting research results. It does not include honest error or differences of opinion. These guidelines can be used as a common repository of generally accepted practice for experienced researchers and as an orientation to those beginning research careers. These principles apply to all fields of research including scientific research, social and behavioral sciences that involve collection and interpretation of data.

  1. Plagiarism

If there is a word-for-word copying beyond a short phrase or six or seven words of someone else’s text, that section should be enclosed in quotation marks or indented and referenced, at the location in the manuscript of the copied material, to the original source. The same rules apply to grant applications and proposals, to clinical research protocols, and to student papers submitted for academic credit. The work of others should be cited or credited, whether published or unpublished and whether it had been written work, an oral presentation, or material on a website.

  1. Possible types of Ethical violations:
  • Conflict of Interest:

Academic members of staff may not allow other professional or outside activities to distract their attention from their primary responsibilities towards the Institution. They should maintain a significant and professionally acceptable presence on campus during each semester in which they are on active duty. Holidays and leave should be in accordance with the Institution regulations. They should create an atmosphere of academic freedom by promoting the open and timely disclosure of the results of their academic activities, by ensuring that their advice to students and postdoctoral associates is not influenced by personal interests, and by disclosing external activities that could affect the free flow of academic information between themselves, students and colleagues. Researchers may use Institution resources, including facilities, staff, equipment, information or confidential information as part of contract work, provided that the Institution is compensated. Researchers may not use Institution resources for any purpose other than purposes related to research or service by the Institution, unless prior permission has been obtained by the head of the institution as provided by the Institution regulations.

 2) Disputes about authorship:

Authorship should be awarded only to those persons who have made an original and significant contribution to the conceptualization, design, execution and interpretation of the published work. It is an ethical obligation for an investigator at the Institution to make research findings accessible, in a manner consistent with the relevant standards of publication. Individuals who have made smaller contributions by for instance giving advice, performing analyses or providing subject material, or who have supported the research in some other way, should also be acknowledged. The principal author should determine whether or not these individuals should be included as authors. Customs regarding the order in which co-authors’ name(s) appear vary with the discipline. Whatever the discipline, it is important that all co-authors understand the basis for assigning an order of names and agree in advance to the assignments. A corresponding, or senior author (usually the first or last of the listed names in a multi-authored manuscript) should be designated for every paper, who will be responsible for communicating with the publisher or editor, for informing all co-authors of the status of review and publication, and for ensuring that all listed authors have approved the submitted version of the manuscript. This person has a greater responsibility than other co-authors to vouch for the integrity of the research report and should make every effort to understand and defend every element of the reported research.

3) Duplicate Submission:

 Researchers should not publish the same article in two different places without very good reason to do so, unless appropriate citation is made in the later publication to the earlier one, and unless the editor is explicitly informed. The same rule applies to abstracts. If there is unexplained duplication of publication without citation, sometimes referred to as self-plagiarism, a reader may be deceived as to the amount of original research data.

 4) Fabrication or misrepresentation of data or results:

It is considered a breach of research integrity to fail to report data that contradict or merely fail to support the reported conclusions, including the purposeful withholding of information about confounding factors. If some data should be disregarded for a stated reason, confirmed by an approved statistical test for neglecting outliers, the reason should be stated in the published accounts. A large background of negative results must be reported. Any intentional or reckless disregard for the truth in reporting observations may be considered to be an act of research misconduct. Any incidence of fabrication or misrepresentation is to be considered as an extremely serious breach of professional conduct, with potentially severe ethical and legal consequences.

 5) Ownership of and Access to Data

Research data obtained in studies performed at the Institution by employees of the Institution are not the property of the researcher who generated or observed them or even of the principal investigator of the research group. They belong to the Institution, which can be held accountable for the integrity of the data even if the researchers have left the Institution. Another reason for the Institution claim to ownership of research data is that the Institution, not the individual researcher, is the grantee of sponsored research awards. Reasonable access to data, however, should normally not be denied to any member of the research group in which the data were collected. If there is any possibility that a copyright or patent application might emerge from the group project, a written agreement within the group should specify the rights, if any, of each member of the group to the intellectual property. A principal investigator who leaves the Institution is entitled to make a copy of data to take to another institution so as to be able to continue the research or, in some cases, to take the original data, with a written agreement to make them available to the Institution  on request within a stated time period. A formal Agreement on Disposition of Research Data should be negotiated in such cases through the Office of Research. Each student, postdoctoral fellow, or other investigator in a group project should come to an understanding with the research director or principal investigator, preferably in writing, about which parts of the project he or she might continue to explore after leaving the research group. Such an understanding should specify the extent to which a copy of research data may be taken. Co-investigators at another institution are entitled to access the data which they helped to obtain.

6) Self-citations: In citing one’s own unpublished work, an author must be careful not to imply an unwarranted status of a manuscript. A paper should not be listed as submitted, in anticipation of expected submission. A paper should not be listed as accepted for publication or in press unless the author has received proof or has received a letter from an editor or publisher stating that publication has been approved, subject perhaps only to copy-editing.

Disciplinary Action:

The Publication Ethics Committee which comprises five members team will establish and take care of the issues and complaints regarding the plagiarism and will submit the report after thorough investigation and recommends the disciplinary action to be imposed within a period of 3 weeks from the day of compliant.

The member comprises:

1) Principal: Chairman

2) Member Coordinator (R&D): Secretary

3) Respective Head of the Department: Member

4) Subject Experts: 2 Members

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