Part 1: Ethics in Research As discussed in class in weeks 6 & 7, research ethics (or research integrity) is a crucial consideration when undertaking research in any discipline. For this part of the assignment, firstly describe why ethics is important in research and how it is monitored in Australia. As part of this, identify the key ethical issues that you think will be important within a discipline area that you are interested in undertaking a research project. It is strongly suggested that you base this on the same or a similar topic to your Summative Assessment Task 3 – Research Proposal. Reflecting on the topics covered in the Ethics classes, what aspects of research integrity are most pertinent to this research area and why? It is important to provide a brief overview of the research area that you have identified. Your description should be clearly and concisely explained and written in a form that
would allow a generalist scientific reader to understand it. Most students will not yet have a defined research topic; that is fine as you do not need to describe your proposed project in the minute details. Do not simply state potential ethical issues and leave it up to the reader to decide how these relate to your research area. Rather, discuss the ethical issues and how you would address them if you were to undertake a research project in this area.
Part 2: Scientific Misconduct Case Study In Part 2 of this task, you are required to write a report on a scientific misconduct case. In class we will discuss the human stem cell research of Hwang Woo-Suk in South Korea as an example. The Hwang Woo-Suk case is a well-defined piece of fraud. It included fabrication of data, conflicts of interest, authors who did not make a significant contribution to the work and ethical considerations involving coercion of participants and not taking due care with the welfare of those involved in the study. When selecting a suitable case, ensure that you choose a case to study that has several issues of concern and has generated a considerable amount of interest. In other words, don’t choose a case that is trivial in nature (otherwise your report will be rather superficial). The examined case study can be from any discipline of scientific research. When searching for a suitable case, it is highly recommended that you refer to the Retraction watch website which is an excellent resource for information on various cases of scientific misconduct and fraud