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EthicsCaseStudyForm edit

Title A Mess of Authors
Long Title A Mess of Authors
Contributor/Contact John Banja, PhD? (jbanja@emory.edu)
Contributor Details John Banja, PhD?
Director, Section on Ethics in Research
Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 30322
CTSA Emory
Case Study Provided I worked with Dr. Z on data analysis that led to my writing a manuscript draft. Dr. Z assisted with the data analysis but did not own the data and would not be senior author. Upon reading my manuscript, Dr. Z said it was not acceptable for publication, whereupon we then worked on it for 6 months. During that time, I would email him revisions, which would come back with “not good enough” remarks, but little direction for revision. When I evinced my frustration, he would say we were nearly done and I just needed to work a little harder to complete it.
At the end of the 6 months, I decided I would leave Dr. Z’s lab. Dr. Z did not take this at all kindly. In fact, he said some rather unflattering things about my work, and stated that he wanted to submit the paper himself as first author and not even include me as an author.
My new lab director Dr. N, who did own the data and to my mind had a clear claim to being first author from the start, informed me about what Dr. Z was saying. Dr. N said he felt I had the right to submit the paper myself and that we could remove Dr. Z completely from authorship—which confused me even more. I wasn’t comfortable going behind Dr. Z’s back, especially as he had originally made numerous suggestions affecting the project’s design. But clearly, Dr. Z and Dr. N were at odds and I felt I could easily get caught in their crossfire.
The primary question I was left with was how to sort this authorship mess out. Dr. Z, in my mind, certainly deserved some authorship credit, but my current advisor was disagreeing. Also, he insisted that I be first author, which was flattering but, I thought, somewhat undeserved. As it turned out, the paper was never submitted. I feel badly that it wasn’t. How could this mess have been worked out?
Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership Topics
Ethical values behind the scientific standards for data acquisition_management_sharing and ownership
Mentor and Trainee Responsibilities Topics
Definitions and expectations of the mentor and trainee relationship,
Power relationships and the potential problems they involve,
Scientific responsibilities of the mentor,
Responsibilities of trainees within the mentor–trainee relationship,
Addressing challenges and problems in the mentor–trainee relationship
Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship Topics
The significance of authorship,
Authorship assignment,
Inappropriate authorship practices,
Dealing with controversies that arise in authorship
Peer Review Topics No peer review topics
Collaborative Science Topics
The nature and advantages of successful collaborations,
Working well with others,
Dealing with challenges in collaborative relationships
Research Misconduct Topics No research misconduct topics
Conflicts of Interest, Law and Policy Topics No conflicts of interest_law_and policy topics
Human Subjects No human subjects

URL http://www.actsi.org/areas/erks/ethics/index.html
RCR Keyword Research Paper, Intellectual Work, Collaboration, Manuscript, Mentoring, Post-doc
Other RCR Keywords Authorship Credit; Collegiality; Data Analysis; Data Ownership; First Author; Integrity; Mentor; Project Design; Revisions; Senior Author; Two Labs
Type of Case

Source for Topic Areas Du Bois, J., & Dueker, J. (2009). Teaching and Assessing the Responsible Conduct of Research: A Delphi Consensus Panel Report. Journal of Research Administration, 40(1), 49-70.


Topic revision: r1 - 31 Oct 2011 - 17:45:14 - MarkYarborough
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