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Manual for Research and Publication Ethics in Science and Engineering

Cho Eun Hee, Kim Young-Mog, Park Kibeom, Son Wha-Chul, Yoon Tae-Woong, Lim Jeong Mook, Hwang Eun Seong
ISBN-13: 978-89-5938-345-0-93190
Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies
This is an open-access publication distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Manual for research and publication ethics in science and engineering

With the development of world class research infrastructure in East Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan, high quality research is conducted, producing internationally-recognized findings. In other Asian countries, science and technology are also undergoing rapid development, and research outcomes are being actively discussed domestically. The dissemination of results is central to research, and scientists are seeking to have their work read and cited as widely as possible, usually through internationally acclaimed scientific journals. Editors of domestic academic journals have also been making efforts to internationalize their journals to publicize their papers and researchers to an international audience. International exposure increases the number of citations of a researcher's work. At the same time, however, research is also open to greater scrutiny, and flaws in the research process are more widely open to criticism. While most flaws are unintentional, in some cases, deliberate breaches of scientific integrity have been identified. A researcher's advancement in science is not achieved solely through publication of a large body of work in internationally recognized journals. A scientist needs to adopt good research practices. Conducting and publishing research with integrity is key to the genuine advancement of science, of an individual, a country, and humanity.

Recently, the demand for guidelines on research and publication ethics has increased in Korean academic society. Research and publication ethics has always been considered an area that researchers learned from experience or through one-on-one interactions with mentors. However, most researchers now think there should be formal instruction of the common guidelines for research practices. The authors share this view and have noted in their teaching experience that a decent number of scientists think they have not received the necessary exposure to ethics and research guidance, and thus had insufficient time to fully embrace research integrity. It also appears that unlike in the past, different fields of research allow varying practices, resulting in confusion in establishing standards and values of research integrity that are important to science.

We believe such a phenomenon rings true in other Asian countries as well. In light of this situation, we, the authors, have published a research and publication ethics manual in Korean and distributed the book and its PDF file to universities and research institutions nationwide. The publication was immediately received with an enthusiastic welcome from the Korean academic society and has since become a companion for scholars devoted to conducting research with high integrity. The purpose of translating this manual into English is to reach other Asian researchers to assist in establishing and promoting appropriate standards of research ethics in the broader Asian scientific community.

This manual presents guidelines for good research practices for scholars in most fields of science and engineering. The following aspects of research and publication ethics are discussed:

  • Key principles for ethical conduct and standards in research;

  • Research misconduct and inappropriate research practices;

  • Ethical guidelines for editors to follow during the publication process, including: writing, submission, editing, and reviewing stages;

  • Instructions on the use of CrossCheck to screen for plagiarism;

  • Guidelines for institutions on handling cases of research misconduct;

  • Instructions for identifying and resolving conflicts of interest;

  • Ethical principles and practical guidelines for studying human and animal subjects; and

  • Concepts of research integrity and guidelines for its practice in laboratories.

This manual is also intended to be a:

  • Reference for researchers to ensure integrity while undertaking research and writing papers;

  • Reference for universities, institutions, and academic societies when addressing ethical issues related to their members' research and as guidelines for practicing good research standards; and

  • Textbook or basic reference material for a class on research ethics for science and engineering students.

It is our great pleasure to provide readers of this manual with up-to-date international standards on research and publication ethics.

  • Eun Seong Hwang, Ph.D.

    Chair, Committee for Publication Ethics, Korean Council of Science Editors