Hi everybody, My name is Mary. I am working as Science Editor and Trainer for Academic communication at Editage.
A few weeks ago, my colleague, Mr. Masayuki Okumiya introduced me to one book in Japanese on publication ethics. To my happy surprise, I realized that the original book is written in English and published by the National Academies Press. I immediately went to their website and downloaded the book (this book is available free of charge to anyone registered with them).
I found a treasure trove of case studies: all kinds of situations.
One study, “A Career in the Balance” really struck me as a situation that can happen in either the laboratory or workplace. In this scenario, a graduate student named Peter “realized that something was seriously amiss with the work of a fellow graduate student, Jimmy.” Jimmy was often absent from the laboratory. Peter found unopened materials just thrown away. Jimmy’s results were too perfect.
Peter was in a dilemma since he and Jimmy were working on different parts of the same project and sharing data and would need to begin writing up their research very soon. This could potentially escalate to publication fraud, if they do go ahead and submit the paper with the made-up results. However, Peter can save the day and prevent this from happening.
It seems that Jimmy was chummy with their advisor: really close. Peter was afraid that if he ratted on Jimmy, the advisor would not believe him or even worse, Jimmy would not get the recommendations he needed from the advisor.
All right now. Have you ever come across this situation? I have, for sure. It is a classic case of a charismatic person getting really close to a person in power and using that influence to cut corners, or as the case may be, do no work! However, you are quite the opposite, minding your own business, busily doing your own work, sometimes not going to those fancy parties, to finish on time.
This book is extremely useful because it does not prescribe what a person should do. Instead, it presents questions to consider for resolving the problem:
- What kind of evidence should Peter have to be able to go to his adviser?
- Should Peter first try to talk with Jimmy, with his adviser, or with someone else entirely?
- What other resources can Peter turn to for information that could help him decide what to do?
What would you do? I always discuss any problem with someone I can trust before doing anything. I talk the problem through with my confidant and create a plan that would help everyone out, in the end. If you are struggling with a similar problem, I hope you can find someone you can trust. If not, please read this book. It may point you to ways to consider your personal situation.
勤務地 Tokyo, Japan