Scholarship and Research Ethics Education
The Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)
This web site has been created to:
- Provide Kenyon faculty in all disciplines access to RCR training courses and materials so that they may develop discipline appropriate RCR materials for their students.
- Contribute to the College's on-going efforts to educate its faculty and students about their obligations to be responsible researchers and familiarize them with some best practices designed to ensure compliance with regulatory standards.
- Help Kenyon faculty who need to meet the NSF (or other funding agency) requirements in planning grant applications.
Ethics is part of, not separate from, the practice of science and scholarship. The Kenyon mission statement says the college focuses upon those studies that are essential to the intellectual and moral development of its students. Whether you work in the sciences and social sciences or the arts and humanities, Kenyon students deserve a solid grounding in the ethics of research and scholarship and an understanding of the relevance of ethics to one's discipline. Though accepted practices for the responsible conduct of research can and do vary among disciplines, there are some important shared values for the responsible conduct of research that bind all researchers and scholars together.
- HONESTY - conveying information truthfully and honoring commitments,
- ACCURACY- reporting findings precisely and taking care to avoid errors,
- EFFICIENCY- using resources wisely and avoiding waste, and
- OBJECTIVITY- letting the facts speak for themselves and avoiding improper bias.
Public and regulatory demand for accountability has increased significantly in past 20 years in response to abuses and scandals. Federally funded research must comply with regulations related to nine areas of research responsibility that comprise "Responsible Conduct of Research." The 2007 America COMPETES Act requires that institutions applying for NSF funding must have a plan for "appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research" provided to undergraduate students, grad students, and post docs "participating in the proposed research". It is likely that other federal funding agencies will follow NSF's lead.