Category Archives: Ethics

Trust your collaborators?

How many wasps are on this nest? What are their unique identifying marks? How many eggs, larvae, and pupae are in the nest? How many times does a given wasp dominate another? These are the questions that gave the numbers … Continue reading

Posted in Collaboration, Data and analysis, Ethics | 15 Comments

A tragedy in animal behavior and heroic responses

As I write this 8 papers where data were collected by Jonathan Pruitt are somewhere in the pipeline for retraction and another 5 have been identified with data problems. Many others are being checked. Yet other papers, mostly with data … Continue reading

Posted in Collaboration, Ethics | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Why gifts from students are problematic

A recently graduated student regularly brought our group delicious and sticky baklava that she made when she went home. We looked forward to it, shared it, and tried to resist eating too many of the flaky, nutty layered treats. Other … Continue reading

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The problem with describing author contribution

Did you ever read the author contribution box on a paper you have contributed to with horror? Did you not realize you were hardly a part of the study, that someone else is claiming the idea, the analysis, or all … Continue reading

Posted in Collaboration, Ethics, Publishing your work | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

No, you may not use that image without permission and attribution

My students are getting ready to teach high school students next Saturday. They will have a short talk, hopefully in story format, and then an activity that illustrates the scientific principle from their talk. These are the same students who … Continue reading

Posted in behavioral ecology, Ethics, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why you shouldn’t hire your colleague’s child, or be asked to do so

The whole reason we do experiments blind, have rules against nepotism, and worry about inadvertent bias is that we are humans and these things go with the species, no matter how fair we try to be. Even though there has … Continue reading

Posted in Department politics, Ethics, Social interactions, Tenure | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Why you shouldn’t say “data not shown” or “personal communication”

What makes something science is not so much the subject matter as the process. Scientific information is obtained by clear methods that others should be able to repeat. It is above all based on evidence. There are lots of different … Continue reading

Posted in Data and analysis, Ethics, Publishing your work, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Plagiarism is more common than I thought

Are you really so happy with how someone else says something that you are prepared to risk your honor and plagiarize? Apparently the answer is yes, all too often. Recently I have been involved in discussions about a particular case … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Ethical behavior towards others

The ethical treatment of others in research means you are fair to your students, fair to your collaborators, fair to others who have worked in the field, fair to your subjects if you are working on humans, and fair to … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

What you do not know about ethical science practice

Why should you have anything to learn about ethics in research if you are a good person who learned early about proper behavior? You know not to take things that belong to other people. You know not to cheat. You … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment