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EthicsCaseStudyForm edit

Title Sabotage
Long Title Sabotage
Contributor/Contact John Banja, PhD? (jbanja@emory.edu)
Contributor Details John Banja, PhD?
Director, Section of Ethics in Research
Atlanta Clinical and Translational Institute
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 30322
CTSA Emory
Case Study Provided Here’s a troubling story. A veteran PI related how he once worked in a large laboratory that had an open floor plan (OFP). In other words, multiple labs shared space and equipment with no walls between them. The OFP was primarily in place as an administrative strategy that allowed one lab to absorb another’s lab space if the latter got recruited to another university or lost funding.

The PI then described how two labs sharing the common space had become very competitive. These two labs shared a tissue culture storage area, and graduate students from either lab began to suspect sabotage from the other lab when their cell culture experiments yielded unpredictable results. Most researchers label the lid of their cell culture dishes, but when one postdoc began labeling the top and bottom of her dish, she discovered that a switch had indeed occurred. She then accused the personnel of the other lab of intentionally switching the covers of the dishes to mix up the samples. This resulted in a very painful incident with the labs accusing each other of sabotage. Finally the University had to construct walls to separate the labs.

Not terribly ethical, wouldn’t you say? Your comments?
Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership Topics
Variations in lab practices—legitimate and illegitimate variations,
Data storage protection and archiving
Mentor and Trainee Responsibilities Topics No mentor and trainee responsibilities topics
Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship Topics No publication practices and responsible authorship topics
Peer Review Topics No peer review topics
Collaborative Science Topics
Types of collaboration,
Working well with others,
Dealing with challenges in collaborative relationships
Research Misconduct Topics
Significance of misconduct,
Factors that contribute to scientific misconduct,
Other serious deviations from scientific best practices
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 Misconduct, Collaboration, Post-doc
Other RCR Keywords Administrative Strategy; Competitive; Construct Walls; Culture Dishes; Labeling; Large Laboratory; Mislabeled; Multiple Labs; Open Floor Plan (OFP); PI; Sabotage; Shared Space and Equipment; Shared Tissue Storage Area
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 - 02 Nov 2011 - 19:05:03 - DebieSchilling
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