Code of Ethics

 Code of Ethics

To Check Malpractices and Plagiarism in Research

Introduction

Arts, Science and Commerce College, Chikhaldara, Dist. Amravati-M.S. (ASCC) is committed to promote and maintain high standards of integrity and accountability in the conduct of academic research and is keen to embed and endorse a culture of honesty and transparency in its institutional activities. Academic freedom is the leading principle of our research, at all levels.   The institute is dedicated to guaranteeing a free academic environment to conduct research, to teach, to speak and to publish, subject to the norms and standards of scholarly inquiry, without interference or penalty. ASCC requires its members to adhere to the terms and conditions governing access to such resources, be they on paper or in digital format. ASCC supports the principle of Open Access and invites its members to facilitate the widespread dissemination of their published research by reporting and depositing their publications with the Institutional Repository. The Institute invites its members (teaching staff, fellows, research students, visiting students as well as administrative and support staff) to abide by the highest standards of integrity in their conduct of academic research and/or support to academic research activities. The code of ethics to check malpractices and plagiarism in research of ASCC is based upon code of ethics in academic research, IUE 80/2/13 (CA 79) Rev., European University Institute, Published in Italy in July 2013.

 

 Good Practice in Academic Research

  1. Academic freedom, integrity and responsibility

The basic elements of academic freedom include the freedom of scholars to inquire into any subject that evokes intellectual concern, to present findings, to publish data and conclusions without control or censorship and to teach in the manner they consider professionally appropriate.

At the same time, integrity, accountability and responsibility in conducting academic research form the foundation of any academic enterprise and violations of widely-recognized academic research standards represent serious offences to the entire academic community at the Institute and are considered injurious for its credibility and authority as an institution that promotes excellence in academic research.

Academic integrity requires that academic research follows high professional standards, including appropriate research design and frameworks.

Principles and Values of Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is defined in terms of the commitment to the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, legality and dissemination.

Honesty

An academic community should advance the search for truth, knowledge, scholarship and understanding by requiring intellectual and personal honesty in learning, teaching and research.

Trust

An academic community should foster a climate of mutual trust to encourage the free exchange of ideas and enable all to reach their highest potential.

Fairness

An academic community should seek to ensure fairness in institutional standards, practices and procedures as well as fairness in interactions between members of the community.

An academic community should promote respect among students, staff and faculty: respect for self, for others, for scholarship and research, for the educational process and intellectual heritage.

Responsibility

An academic community should uphold high standards of conduct in learning, teaching and research by requiring shared responsibility for promoting academic integrity among all members of the community.

Legality

An academic community should observe valid legal norms related to the conduct and publication of research particularly in relations to copyright, the intellectual property rights of third parties, the terms and conditions regulating access to research resources and the laws of libel.

Communication

An academic community should seek to make the results of its research as widely and as freely available as possible.

  1. Institutional Responsibilities

The Principal, the Heads of Departments, the Librarian, together with the teaching staff, are responsible for promoting and endorsing a transparent academic environment helpful to the application of the high professional and ethical criteria of good practice for academic research. They are expected to create and uphold a climate of mutual co-operation that facilitates the open exchange of ideas and the development of academic research skills. They are also expected to ensure the provision of appropriate supervision and direction for researchers, in accordance with the nature of the individual academic discipline and associated mode of research. The ASCC is committed to the provision of appropriate direction of research and supervision for researchers. Supervisors are expected to adhere to the Code of Practice at the ASCC, which delineates the supervisory relationship, the assessment of research progress, and the procedures to resolve problems in the supervisory relationship.

III. Training

(Doctoral Researchers and Support Staff)

The Academic Departments should ensure that all researchers undertake appropriate training in research design, methodology, regulatory and ethics approvals and consents, equipment use, confidentiality, data management, record keeping, data protection and publication, the appropriate use of licensed research resources and respect for the intellectual property rights of third parties. The Institute is also committed to preparing its administrative and support staff involved in record keeping and the implementation of ASCC Data Protection Policy and expects them to fully respect the principles and rules of the Code of Ethics in Academic Research.

  1. Publication Practice and Authorship

The ASCC encourages the publication and propagation of results of high quality research. It also expects that researchers will engage in the process of publishing and dissemination of their work responsibly and with an awareness of the consequences of any such dissemination in the wider media. Results should be published in a form appropriate to the academic discipline. The Institute requires that all individuals listed as authors accept responsibility for the contents of the publication and can identify their contribution to it. Authors should have participated sufficiently in the research to take public responsibility for the content. The ASCC supports the goal of Open Access for researchers, in order to:

■ Attract researchers, fellows and faculty;

■ Disseminate widely its research findings to scholars, policy-makers, opinion formers and the interested public;

■Encourage open availability of publicly funded research;

■ Preserve the research output of its members for future generations;

      With respect to internal policies for publishing research:

■  ASCC members should communicate the bibliographical details of their published research to the Institutional Repository (IR) in a timely fashion.

■  ASCC members are the copyright owners of their research output and are recommended to retain that copyright in dealings with publishers.

■  ASCC members should deposit a digital copy of their published research for open archiving.

■ ASCC graduates should deposit a digital copy of their theses with the IR for preservation purposes. This copy will not be made available online without their explicit permission.

The Ethics Committee

  1. Tasks of the Ethics Committee

■ To provide advice and guidance to the ASCC academic community on all matters pertaining to academic research ethics.

■ To provide guidance and academic support to scholars on ethical issues in respect of teaching, research and other academic activities

On an entirely voluntary basis, researchers may ask the Ethics Committee for consultation on ethical aspects of their research.

■ To confirm to external parties on behalf of the ASCC compliance with ethical standards in respect of research projects undertaken by scholars at the ASCC. The Committee is only convened at the explicit request of scholars needing an assessment of the ethical dimensions of a research project.

■ To advise the Research Centres on any policies that may be required in relation to accepting funds from particular sponsors of research.

■ To act as an investigative/consultative body for any disputed matter concerning research ethics and conduct.

  1. Appointment and Composition of the Ethics Committee

The members of Research Committee will be the members of Ethics Committee. Ethics Committee is appointed by the Principal.

The Committee shall be composed of three members from each faculty.

Misconduct in Academic Research

  1. Definition of Research Misconduct

Misconduct in academic research implies (and is not limited to) fabrication, distortion, plagiarism or deception in proposing, carrying out or reporting results of research and deliberate, dangerous or negligent deviations from accepted practice in carrying out research. It includes failure to follow an agreed protocol if and when this failure results in unreasonable risk or harm to persons, the environment, and when it facilitates misconduct in research by collusion in, or concealment of, such actions by others. Misconduct also includes any plan or attempt to do any of these things. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretation or judgment in evaluating research methods or results, or misconduct unrelated to research processes.

Misconduct includes (and is not limited to) the following acts:

Plagiarism

The deliberate copying of ideas, text, data or other work (or any combination thereof) without due permission and acknowledgement.

Piracy

The deliberate exploitation of ideas from others without proper acknowledgement.                                                                                                                                                     

Abuse of intellectual property rights

Failure to observe legal norms regarding copyright and the moral rights of authors.

Abuse of Research Resources

Failure to observe the terms and conditions of institutionally licensed research resources.

Defamation

Failure to observe relevant legal norms governing libel and slander.

Misinterpretation

The deliberate attempt to represent falsely or unfairly the ideas or work of others, whether or not for personal gain or enhancement.

Personation

The situation where someone other than the person who has submitted any academic work has prepared (parts of) the work;

Fabrication and fraud

The falsification or invention of qualifications, data, information or citations in any formal academic exercise.

Sabotage

Acting to prevent others from completing their work. This includes stealing or cutting pages out of library books or otherwise damaging them; or willfully disrupting the experiments of others; or endangering institutional access to licensed research resources by willfully failing to observe their terms and conditions.

Professorial misconduct

Professorial acts that is arbitrary, biased or exploitative.

Denying access to information or material

To deny others access arbitrarily to scholarly resources or to deliberately and groundlessly impede their progress.

Misconduct in Formal Examinations

Includes having access, or attempting to gain access during an examination, to any books, memoranda, notes, unauthorized electronic devices or any other material, except such as may have been supplied by the invigilator or authorized by the Academic Department. It also includes aiding or attempting to aid another candidate or obtaining or attempting to obtain aid from another candidate or any other communication and conversations that could have an impact on the examination results.

  1. Identifying Levels of Violations of Good Academic Practice

Two levels of violations of good academic practice can be distinguished.

Minor violations

Minor violations may occur because of inexperience or lack of knowledge of the principles of academic integrity and are often characterized by the absence of dishonest intent on the part of the person committing the violation. They may result from:

  1. Weak procedures and methods which may put in danger the integrity of the research but are not undertaken deliberately or carelessly;
  2. Weaknesses which present no major risks to either subjects or policies which they may influence.

On the whole, these minor violations can be seen as failings which may reflect only poor, rather than unacceptable practices and therefore mainly require further training and development rather than any formal disciplinary action.

Major violations

Major violations are breaches of academic integrity that are more serious in nature or that affect a more significant aspect or portion of the academic work compared with minor violations. Key examples are:

  1. Deliberate, reckless or grossly negligent conduct which would clearly pose a significant risk in one

form or another to the integrity of the research.

  1. Conduct that may pose risks to subjects, the wider community, the environment, or to the research

reputation of the institution and research in general.

  1. Major plagiarism defined as:

■ Extensive paraphrasing or quoting without proper citation of the source;

■ Lifting directly from a text or other academic source without reference;

■The use of papers (or parts thereof) from essay banks, either downloaded from the internet or obtained from other sources;

■ Presenting another’s designs or concepts as one’s own;

■ Continued instances of what was initially regarded as minor plagiarism despite warnings having been given.

The ASCC is committed to fully investigate serious violations of academic misconduct by any academic member of the ASCC community.

 

III. Procedures for Investigation of Research Misconduct

  1. Instigation of Proceedings

Without prejudice to the right and duty of Departments to address and assess issues of plagiarism in the course of the regular assessment of a paper presented by a researcher, any person may submit a complaint about academic misconduct to the Principal. Such complaints need to be supported by sufficient evidence. The ASCC Principal will decide whether the allegation is serious enough to warrant an investigation by the Ethics Committee.

The Ethics Committee may carry out:

■ A preliminary investigation to ascertain whether there is sufficient substance to the allegation as to warrant a more thorough investigation;

■ A formal inquiry which may include the consultation or involvement of external experts when needed.

The Librarian has the right to investigate any suspected abuse of institutionally licensed research resources and to suspend any user from continued access to all resources, digital or paper, pending a full investigation. The Librarian will also register a complaint with the Ethics Committee when appropriate.

  1. Investigation

Where possible, the investigation will include examination of all relevant documentation, including, but not limited to: relevant research data; laboratory notebooks; computer files; other materials; proposals; publications; correspondence; and memoranda, insofar as this is necessary for the investigation and compatible with the ASCC Data Protection Policy. The Chair of the Ethics Committee may invite internal or external experts who are not involved in the disputed matter and who are not members of the Committee to attend meetings. They may be heard or participate in discussions but have no vote. Interviews shall be conducted with the complainant and the respondent. Other individuals involved in making the allegations and individuals who might have information regarding key aspects of the allegations may also be heard by the Committee. The respondent has the right to be assisted or represented by a member of the ASCC community of his/her own choice. Details of the allegations and the investigation will be made available only to the Ethics Committee. All individuals interviewed during the investigation will be asked to respect the confidential nature of the investigation.

  1. Investigation Report and Recommendations

The Ethics Committee will produce a report stating: the procedures under which the formal investigation was conducted; how and, where appropriate, from whom information was obtained; the findings of the committee and the basis for these; a summary of the views of the respondent; and a description of any recommendations made by the committee. The respondent will receive a copy of the investigation report and have an opportunity to comment on it. Comments may be submitted to the Ethics Committee and will be attached as an supplement to the investigation report. If disciplinary actions are recommended, the Ethics Committee will communicate to the the Principal and ASCC Disciplinary Committee what action, if any, should be taken as a result of the investigation. Based on the investigation report and recommendations of the Ethics Committee, the Principal and ASCC Disciplinary Committee may decide on sanctions (when considered appropriate).

 

Reference: Code of Ethics in Academic Research, IUE 80/2/13 (CA 79) Rev., European University Institute, Published in Italy in July 2013.

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