About the Program
The Measurement and Quantitative Methods (MQM) Program at Michigan State University offers a doctoral program for students wishing to specialize in educational and psychological test development, or quantitative methodology as applied to problems in educational and social science research. Specifically, our students prepare for academic positions as education, psychology or applied statistics faculty members in the testing industry, at research institutes or in-state or national departments of education, where the analysis of educational data or the development, administration and analysis of tests and surveys are key activities.
Doctoral students in the MQM program select between two specializations: Measurement, or Quantitative Methods.
Students interested in issues relating to large-scale assessment, instrument development and survey administration adopt the Measurement specialty.
Students interested in the development, extension or modification of statistical methods or the rigorous application of sophisticated statistical or econometric methods to examine empirical issues related to educational research adopt the Quantitative Methods specialty. Students in the Quantitative Methods specialty are also trained in the quantitative basis for causal inference and educational evaluation that informs policy.
In addition to completing MQM program coursework, students typically select other courses in the College of Education, or Departments of Psychology, Sociology, Epidemiology, Economics or Statistics and Probability as appropriate to their professional goals and in conformance with their Program Plan. All MQM doctoral students take courses to fulfill breadth requirements in the field of education.
For more detailed program information, please see the program of study and coursework or the MQM Handbook.
Applications for admission to the program are reviewed by faculty who look for indications of a high probability of success. Applicants must submit both Departmental and University admissions forms.
Factors considered in admissions decisions include:
- Clarity of applicant's professional goals and interests as stated in the personal statement
- Fit between the program and the applicant's goals and interests as stated in the personal statement
- Previous academic experience and performance as indicated by official undergraduate transcripts (and graduate transcripts, as relevant)
- Scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test (and TOEFL, for international students)
- Recommendations from individuals who know the applicant with special emphasis on those who are familiar with the candidate’s scholarly work or relevant work experience.
Students may be admitted during the Fall or Spring term, but are encouraged to apply for Fall admission to increase the likelihood of receiving financial support, to experience a smoother transition into the MSU community via orientation and becoming a cohort member, and to synchronize their coursework with existing University course sequencing. Students are encouraged to submit application materials as early as possible.
A. Admission Procedure
The following steps outline the application procedure. To ensure all application materials are received, send them in one packet to the admissions personnel listed on the Department application.
- University Graduate Application -- Accessible from The Graduate School’s webpage: http://www.grad.msu.edu , this application, may be completed on-line or downloaded as a PDF. The non-refundable application fee, payable to Michigan State University, should be enclosed with the University Graduate and Department applications, and sent to the admissions personnel listed on the Department application. The recommendation form provided in the University Graduate application is not necessary.
- Department Application and Program Information -- These forms can be downloaded in DOC or PDF format from the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education’s website: http://www.education.msu.edu/cepse.
- Letters of Recommendation -- Three (3) letters of recommendation should be submitted on letterhead stationery of the recommender's school, organization, or company. The recommendation form provided in the graduate application is not necessary.
- Goals Statement -- The goal statement format may be downloaded in DOC or PDF format.
- Writing Sample -- Submit an example of academic or professional writing, e.g., a publication, Master's thesis, or paper submitted to fulfill graduate course requirements. The applicant must have authored the sample exclusively. The purpose of the writing sample is to demonstrate a candidate's ability to write the analytical English prose that is such a central component of advanced graduate study.
- University Transcripts -- One official transcript copy from all previous institutions attended should be provided. These transcripts must be sent directly from each institution; please contact the Registrar's Office at the institutions you attended for the appropriate procedures and fee information.
- Curriculum Vitae or Résumé -- List professional education, experience, awards, honors, publications, presentations, professional affiliations, and professional development activities.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) -- The Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical portions of the GRE should be submitted. Information on testing may be obtained from:
MSU Counseling Center
207 Student Services Building
East Lansing, MI 48824
Financial Aid -- Information about Ph.D. fellowships, assistantships and graduate student financial aid is available from the Office of Financial Aid, The Graduate School, or the College of Education.
Housing Information -- Graduate housing information is available from the Division of Housing and Student Services.
Applications will not be reviewed until all materials are submitted.
B. Admission Materials
C. Transfer Admission
Students seeking to transfer to the MQM Program from other graduate programs at MSU or other institutions will be considered on the same basis as all other applicants seeking admissions to the Program. Admission requirements and procedures are the same as those followed by first-time applicants.
The MQM faculty is committed to establishing advising relationships that will support, challenge, and contribute to the professional development of its students. Each new student will be assigned, as a temporary advisor, an MQM faculty member with whom they may share common interests. During the first year, students are encouraged to become familiar with Program faculty members, and select a permanent advisor by Spring semester. Once a permanent advisor has been selected, a student may switch advisors with the consent of the Department Chair, and both advising faculty members. Advisors will make every effort to be available and responsive to the needs of students. It is equally important that students take initiative in establishing frequent contact with their advisors, and in requesting assistance as needed. Students should consult their advisors at all major decision points, including:
- prior to registering each term,
- preparing for the annual self-assessment,
- drafting the plan of study,
- preparing for comprehensive examinations,
- pursuing a dissertation.
Students are responsible for maintaining close communication so that the advisor can carry out his or her roles as consultant, advocate, mentor, and monitor of the graduate experience.
Forming a Guidance Committee
Following completion of the Preliminary Examination (described in Section V), students form a guidance committee, and upload this information into GradPlan to the Department of CEPSE. The purpose of the guidance committee is to assist the student in formulating a plan of study that meets degree requirements, while fulfilling the professional needs of the individual student. The guidance committee is typically composed of four faculty members, at least one of whom is from a program other than MQM. In consultation with each guidance committee member, the student formulates a plan of study. The plan of study is approved at a meeting of the guidance committee during which students describe how their interests, previous experiences, and professional goals relate to the courses included in the plan. Members of the guidance committee will electronically sign Gradplan, approving the plan of study, which is submitted to the department. That Plan becomes the formal requirements for completing the program and any changes must be electronically routed to and approved by the Guidance Committee.
The student, in consultation with his/her advisor, will select the four members of the Guidance Committee. The advisor serves as Chairperson, with the second and third members of the Committee usually selected from the faculty in MQM or CEPSE. The fourth member must be from outside the MQM program and can be from the faculty outside of the College of Education. Occasionally additional members with special expertise in the student's area of scholarly interest are added. Those members may come from any part of the academic or professional community, but only MSU regular faculty have voting rights on the Committee. At least three members of the Committee must be present at all meetings; the absent member(s) may offer written input.
As a student progresses toward the dissertation, changes in the composition of the Guidance Committee may be appropriate to better meet the student's advising and research needs. Members may be added or deleted (always adhering to a minimum of four members from the specified faculty areas), and a member other than the Guidance Committee Chairperson may be specified as Dissertation Director with the approval of the Guidance Committee Chair.
Program of Study: Coursework and Written Examinations
An MQM student’s program of study includes coursework, a preliminary examination, an apprenticeship project, a comprehensive examination, and dissertation research.
A. Preliminary Examination
Following the first year of study in the Program, students register to take the program’s preliminary examination. The preliminary exam is scheduled in mid- to late-August, before the second year of study begins. During the examination period, students are asked to write a thorough critique of a published paper, which will include applied elementary statistical methods such as those covered in CEP 932 (e.g., t-test, chi-square test, simple regression, correlation). The preliminary exam primarily functions as a diagnostic tool to assess students’ understanding of the research process and their analytical reading and writing skills. The exam takes place typically from 9 AM to 4 PM (8 AM to 4 PM for non-native speakers). Students should use a computer (laptop) and type their responses clearly during the exam (using word for example). Access to the Internet or computer files other than the file containing the student’s response is not permitted. Students can take breaks for meal, snack, water, etc.
B. Research Apprenticeship
The apprenticeship project (practicum) is completed after the preliminary exam, during the 2nd or 3rd year of study. The apprenticeship project, which is carried out under the supervision of an advising MQM faculty member, is intended to result in a paper of publishable quality. The topic of the apprenticeship project is presented to a three person committee composed of two faculty members and a graduate student who has successfully completed the comprehensive examination. The final report of the apprenticeship project is presented to that same committee for final approval. After the apprenticeship paper has been approved by the committee, a student may register to take the comprehensive examinations.
C. Comprehensive Examination
Comprehensive examinations should be completed before the end of a student’s 4th year. The comprehensive exams are administered over three half days: the first two days of exams focusing on the student’s major (e.g., Quantitative Methods), and the final day on the student’s minor (e.g., Measurement). The duration of the exam is three hours each day (e.g., 9 AM to 12 PM). Students will answer four questions for their major (two in the first and two in the second day) and four questions for their minor (third day). The comprehensive exams include topics that students have covered during their coursework in MQM. Students should use a computer (laptop) and type their responses clearly during the exam (using word for example). Access to the Internet or computer files other than the file containing the student’s response is not permitted Students who do not pass a particular section of the exam are permitted to retake that part during the next testing period. Students must pass the comprehensive exams in three attempts total. Once comprehensive exams are successfully completed, students should prepare their doctoral dissertation proposal for hearing before their Dissertation Committee (detailed in Section VI).
A student’s program plan of coursework must fulfill the three sets of requirements that are described below: Core Courses (courses required of all students), Selective Courses (courses by which students choose an area of specialization within MQM), and Cognate Courses (courses constituting an area of specialization outside of MQM). In addition to completing the designated coursework, students should participate in MQM seminars, and must satisfy the College of Education breadth requirements. Specifically, to fulfill the breadth requirements all doctoral candidates in the college are required to have basic knowledge in at least four of the nine following areas of general professional education:
- Psychological Foundations
- Research and Evaluation Methods
- Social, Philosophical, and Historical Foundations
- Motor Development and Motor Learning
- Biological Foundations
- Ethical Considerations
- Issues of Diversity in Education
The specific areas selected shall be determined by the student's guidance committee in consultation with the student. These requirements can be met either through courses or experience. Students can make the argument for what constitutes meeting a required area. For example, MQM class requirements can be used to meet requirement #4. Students could take ethics workshops to meet requirement #8. Students who work on research projects across the campus that may require them to learn about a substantive area, such as curriculum, can meet some of the requirements. CEP 930 could be used to meet requirements #3 or #5.
For more information about core courses, required courses, selective courses, and cognate courses, please see our coursework section.
Dissertation Committee, Meetings, Defense and Oral Examination
After completing the comprehensive examination, students choose a dissertation topic and dissertation advisor – a faculty member in MQM who has expertise relevant to the student's chosen topic. Together, the student and the advisor create a dissertation committee composed of at least four voting faculty members--one of these faculty members must be from outside of the CEPSE department. All voting members must be tenure-stream faculty at MSU. Individuals who do not meet these criteria must be approved by the Dean’s office; as approved members of the committee, these individuals do not have voting rights. Early in the dissertation process, the student discusses his or her ideas for a dissertation study with the members of the dissertation committee. Based on these conversations, the student develops a dissertation proposal in conjunction with the dissertation advisor.
When the proposal is complete, the student distributes it to members of the dissertation committee and schedules a dissertation proposal meeting (at least two weeks after the dissertation proposal is distributed to committee members). At the dissertation proposal meeting, the student gives a formal presentation of the proposed research, and faculty members discuss and advise the student concerning the proposed theoretical framework, design, and analyses.
Once the proposal is approved by the committee, and the Dissertation Proposal Approval form has been submitted, the student works with committee members to complete the study and write a summary of the results. Typically the student and advisor exchange comments on several drafts of the dissertation prior to scheduling a dissertation defense.
When the dissertation is complete, the student submits a copy to each committee member, and schedules a public dissertation defense (at least two weeks after the dissertation is distributed to the committee members (see the Notice of Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination form).
At the dissertation defense, the student makes a formal presentation of the dissertation study, and members of the committee and audience provide comments and ask questions concerning the study (see the Record of Dissertation and Oral Examination Requirements for Doctoral Degree Candidate form). Frequently, these exchanges result in requests for revisions to the final document. Once the revised document is submitted to the Graduate School, the student may graduate.
Annual Review of Students' Progress
The MQM faculty conducts an annual review of each student's academic and professional development. The annual review gives the student and faculty an opportunity to reflect upon the student's strengths, weaknesses, and needed areas for professional growth. If the student's work is deficient in any manner, this review process will allow for the development of specific remedial plans.
The annual review will consider the student's progress in the following areas:
- Completion of academic coursework
- Completion of program milestones (e.g., program plan, comprehensive exams)
- Participation in a community of scholars and practitioners
The annual review will begin with the student preparing a brief written self-assessment using the Annual Review form to summarize key developments in the above areas. The self-assessment is submitted to the advisor by the beginning of the fall semester. In developing the self-assessment, the student may wish to consult their advisor, course instructors and other students for feedback. After reviewing the student's annual review materials and gathering feedback from other faculty, the advisor will write a letter to the student discussing his/her progress in the Program and any particular strengths and weaknesses. If necessary, plans will be made at this time to address any areas of weakness that may require more focused attention.
Time Limit Policies
The University stipulates that all degree requirements must be completed within seven years (or five years for those who enter with a Master's degree) from the time the student first enrolled in the MQM Program. The University also states that students who extend their stay beyond this time limit will be required to recomplete the comprehensive exams.
Students who are not in compliance with these time limits are required to fill out the Request for Extension of Time form. Requests for an extension require the approval of the student’s advisor, the Dean’s Office, and the Graduate School. If a second request is initiated, the student must provide a detailed, written explanation regarding the reasons for insufficiency of the first time extension to complete the degree requirements, and any circumstances that warrant an additional extension. Each extension period is for one or two semesters only. No more than two extensions will be granted. Students are responsible for initiating and completing extension requests prior to the exhaustion of previous time deadlines.
During graduate study at MSU, a student may wish to register concerns, complaints, or grievances with the administration of the Program, Department, College, or University. Whenever possible, it is our hope to handle these concerns in an informal and timely manner. As soon as a question or concern is raised, the student should contact the Program Director and/or Department Chairperson. Depending on the nature of the concern, the matter may be resolved through informal negotiation and contact with the involved parties. However, if the concern or complaint is of a more serious nature and/or the student is not satisfied with the resolution determined via these informal discussions and actions, the student may need to file a formal complaint with the Department.
Students should consult the Graduate Students Rights and Responsibilities guidelines to evaluate the viability of filing a formal grievance. A copy of this document can be obtained from the Graduate School or University Ombudsman's Office, and can also be found on the web at http://www.educ.msu.edu/college/resources/Graduate-Student-Hearing-Procedures-Departments.pdf. At any point during this process, students may contact the Ombudsman's Office for advice, guidance or assistance regarding their concerns.
Retention and Dismissal Policies
The program faculty annually review each student's performance and progress in the Program. Faculty also may initiate a review of a student's status in the event of any evidence indicating impairment, unprofessional behavior, or a violation of the University's regulations (for MSU General Student Regulations see Spartan Life: http://www.vps.msu.edu/SpLife/index.htm), legal statutes, or ethical and professional standards. Evidence of cognitive, affective, and/or behavioral impairments that interfere with the graduate training process and/or threaten client welfare may also lead to a Review. Examples of impairment include, but are not limited to, substance abuse, mental health problems, and interpersonal difficulties. The review process consists of examining, together with the student, evidence regarding the apparent impairment or alleged misconduct. The outcome of such a review may be (a) to retain the student in good standing, (b) to allow the student to continue in the program on probationary status until specified conditions are met, or (c) to immediately dismiss the student from the program. The faculty reserves the right to restrict student's participation in coursework or internships during the Review process. The formal procedures for a Retention and Dismissal Review are described below.
A. Retention and Dismissal Review Procedures
To protect student due process rights, as well as faculty rights to uphold the academic and professional standards of the training program, the following steps will be taken as part of the Retention and Dismissal review process:
- The student will be informed in writing by the Program Director of any charge, event, performance, or circumstance that suggests impairment or violation of University, legal, ethical, or professional codes. Such charges or complaints may emanate from members of the Program, College, or University faculty, clinical supervisors, clients, or professionals or agents outside of the University community.
- As part of the above communication, the Program Director may initially advise the student to seek an informal resolution of the charge or complaint with the accusing party, and to inform the Director of the outcome of this action within 30 days.
- If, however, informal methods at problem resolution are inappropriate or unsatisfactory, the Program Director will inform (in writing) the student, the student's advisor, and other interested parties that the student's status in the Program is being reviewed, and a formal meeting of the Program faculty will be necessary to evaluate the nature of the problem and determine a course of action. Depending on the nature of the charge, event, performance, or circumstance, a student's status in the program may be in immediate jeopardy, with the goal of the Review, in that case, for faculty to decide whether to retain or dismiss the student. The Program Director may invite any persons judged to have relevant information to submit it either in person at the review meeting, or in writing prior to the meeting. In advance of the meeting, the student will be given copies of all written materials under consideration. The student and, if desired, his/her counsel (as defined in the Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities document) will be invited to attend this meeting and present testimony. In addition, the student may invite other individuals who have relevant testimony to attend, or to offer written information. The student will provide the Program Director with a list of these individuals at least 5 days in advance of the scheduled meeting.
- Following the presentation of testimony and evidence, the Program faculty will convene separately to deliberate and arrive at a decision regarding the student's standing in the Program. This decision may result in (a) retention of the student in the program in good standing, (b) a judgment to allow the student to continue in the program on probationary status until specified conditions are met, or (c) immediate dismissal of the student from the MQM program.
- Following completion of the Program faculty's decision-making, the Program Director will inform the student and student's advisor (in writing) of the faculty's decision and, if appropriate, clearly specify any conditions that must be satisfied by the student to maintain good standing within the Program. The student will also be advised that if he or she wishes to grieve the outcome of the faculty's decision, the grievance procedures specified in Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities should be followed. This document can be obtained from the Graduate School or the Ombudsman's Office or found on the web at http://www.msu.edu/unit/ombud/index.html.
B. Dismissal Policy
The dismissal of a student from the MQM Program is a significant event for both the student and the program faculty. It represents the conclusion of the faculty that the student has cognitive, affective, and/or behavioral impairments that interfere with professional functioning, or that the student has not demonstrated an adequate level of competency in either academic or clinical skills, or professional conduct. Dismissal action is generally the final outcome of several informal and formal communications with the student regarding his or her unsatisfactory progress through the Program and, when appropriate, special efforts at helping the student meet Program requirements and training objectives. The final decision regarding whether or not a student should be terminated from the Program, or under what conditions a student making unsatisfactory progress will be allowed to continue, rests with the MQM faculty.
C. Reasons for Dismissal from the Program
At any point during the student's matriculation through the Program, the faculty retains the right to review any student circumstances or personal performances that may negatively affect the student's competencies for independent professional practice or that may threaten client welfare. The following are offered as examples of circumstances or performances that may be the basis for dismissal action:
- Failure to maintain minimum academic standards
- Unsatisfactory performance in practice courses (e.g., practicum or internship)
- Academic dishonesty
- Criminal misconduct
- Failure to comply with established University or Program timetables and requirements
- Unethical practices and/or unprofessional conduct as specified in APA or NASP guidelines for ethical behavior
- Cognitive, affective, and/or behavioral impairments that obstruct the training process and/or threaten client welfare
- Failure to make satisfactory progress in completing program requirements.
- Failure to maintain regular contact with the program and one's advisor.
The Program maintains records documenting each student's progress through the PhD program. These records, which are maintained in the advisor's files, include the Program Plan, Comprehensive Exam Completion form, apprenticeship/practicum evaluations, portions of the original application to the program, and other materials deemed necessary. Additionally, to facilitate student advising, advisors may keep such items as their advisees' grade transcripts and comprehensive exam responses. All student records are kept in secure filing cabinets or private offices to protect students' privacy and confidentiality; only Program faculty and staff have access to this material.
Students may request to examine their own files; such a request should be directed to the student's advisor or the Program Director. The only material that will be withheld is that which the student has waived his or her right to examine, e.g., confidential reference letters. (Other than the latter, files generally only contain records of which students already possess copies.) Once students graduate, a permanent file is maintained by the Program which, among other things, may assist in documentation for future credentialing.
In addition to a student’s advisor and the MQM faculty, several programs and mechanisms have been created to assist students in learning about and progressing through the program. These include the student peer mentors, Program orientation, the MQM web page, MQM seminar series, and the Program and College of Education graduate student listservs. In addition, participation in the broader community of quantitative methods can be initiated and maintained through affiliations with professional organizations such as the American Educational Research Association (Division D), National Council on Measurement and Education, the American Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association, and the American Statistical Association. We strongly encourage students to join these professional organizations.
A. Program Orientation
Within the first month of the fall semester, the MQM Program hosts an orientation to be attended by all incoming students and selected advanced students. Topics covered include Program requirements, typical timelines, specialization options, and common questions of entering students.
B. MQM Program Web Page
The MQM Program web page (http://education.msu.edu/cepse/mqm/) includes a wealth of information related to the program, students, faculty, forms, applications, procedures, admissions, program requirements, links to the home pages and e-mail accounts of faculty, staff, and students, and many other helpful resources. Contact the Program Director with any suggestions for changes or additions to the Program web site.
The MQM listserv was created as an electronic medium to communicate information among students, faculty, and staff of the MQM Program. Typical messages include meeting or colloquia announcements, job postings, and a variety of other information to inform students, faculty and staff of programmatic and professional issues. New students are automatically subscribed to the MQM and College of Education listservs. To send a message to the listserv, use the following e-mail address: email@example.com .
Financing your Graduate Education
There are many places to look for financial support at Michigan State University. Students are eligible to apply for graduate research and teaching assistantships and fellowships.
MSU offers more than 3,000 assistantships to graduate students. These include research, teaching, administrative, outreach, and residential life positions. Assistantships are provided in 1/4-time increments, with each 1/4-time requiring approximately 10 hours of work per week. Typically students are appointed for 1/4- or 1/2-time positions. Permission from the student's advisor and the Dean of the College of Education must be obtained in order to receive a 3/4-appointment. An assistantship appointment provides the following benefits: a monthly stipend, a tuition waiver of nine credits during fall and spring semesters (five credits during summer), and payment for single-enrollee health insurance provided by the University. Additionally, for out-of-state students, a graduate assistantship entitles students to in-state rates on tuition for their remaining credits.
The College of Education offers many opportunities for assistantships, each providing valuable professional experiences in addition to the financial compensation. Available graduate assistantships are listed on the College of Education homepage. Students are not required to restrict themselves to assistantships provided by their home department, but instead are free to choose from any of the departments in the College of Education or across the university.
Other possibilities to pursue are the Residence Life and Minority Aide Assistantships. The primary role for these graduate assistants is to serve as resources to the student populations living in the residence halls. These assistantships are typically 1/2-time appointments, and they require that you live in the residence hall to which you are assigned. In addition to the standard benefits listed above, these assistantships also pay for room and board. For more information on these assistantships, contact the Office of Residence Life.
Upon admission to the College of Education, all graduate students are automatically considered for Departmental, College, and University fellowships. As students progress through the program, they have the option of applying for scholarships and fellowships made available throughout the school year. Information about these scholarships and necessary application materials are available from the Student Affairs Office. In addition, the College web site provides information on scholarship and fellowship financial packages and eligibility requirements. Students may also wish to check with professional organizations, including the American Educational Researchers' Association and National Council on Measurement and Evaluation, for possible funding opportunities.
The first place to seek loans and grants is the Office of Financial Aid, which is located on the third floor of the Student Services Building. Important information can also be accessed via their web site at http://www.esp.msu.edu. In order to determine eligibility for financial aid, a student must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, available online, or from the Office of Financial Aid.
University Committee for Research Involving Human Subjects
For full information regarding the University Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (UCRIHS), please visit the committee’s website: http://www.humanresearch.msu.edu
A. What is UCRIHS?
UCRIHS is an Institutional Review Board (IRB). Federal and University regulations require that all research projects involving human subjects be reviewed and approved by an IRB before initiation. Under the regulations, research is defined as a formal investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. A human subject of research is an individual (1) from whom an investigator obtains data by interaction or intervention, or (2) about whom the researcher obtains confidential information.
All research involving human subjects or human materials must have prior approval by UCRIHS. This includes investigations conducted by faculty, students, staff or others on the premises of Michigan State University as well as investigations conducted elsewhere by any representative of Michigan State University in connection with that individual's institutional responsibilities, unless the investigation is conducted under a cooperative research agreement as per 45 CFR 46.114.
B. How the UCRIHS Review Process Works:
The review process begins when an investigator submits a complete on-line application to the UCRIHS office. UCRIHS assigns the application an IRB log number. Depending upon the level of risk to subjects in the protocol, UCRIHS assigns the protocol to one of three review categories (exempt from full review, expedited review, full review) and sends it to one, two or five reviewers, respectively. If the reviewer (or reviewers) is satisfied that the rights and welfare of the human subjects are adequately protected, he or she approves it. However, if the reviewer has concerns, the reviewer returns written comments to the UCRIHS office for transmission to the investigator. The investigator must then send a response to each comment online to UCRIHS, which will forward it to the reviewer(s). If the proposal is either an exempt or expedited proposal, an approval letter can be issued as soon as the reviewer(s) approve. When a proposal receives a full (five-member subcommittee) review, an approval letter is issued after the proposal is discussed and approved by vote of the full committee at its monthly meeting.
There is a tutorial available online at http://www.humanresearch.msu.edu. Students must complete the tutorial in order to submit UCRIHS material for institutional approval.
All faculty members advising students in research are expected to communicate with their students the importance of being in complete compliance with UCHRIS (University Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (UCRIHS), and to read in detail the most recent instructions from UCRIHS. All faculty teaching graduate students in courses also are to emphasize complete compliance with UCRHIS principles and policies. Faculty teaching courses are urged to determine when and how UCRHIS principles can be covered in graduate courses.
Any research that is conducted by an MQM graduate student that is not in compliance with UCRIHS regulations cannot be used to fulfill course or degree requirements. Should a student conduct research that is not in compliance with UCRIHS, at a minimum, the work will have to be repeated with no adjustment for time lost in carrying out the research that was not in compliance. Faculty members consider UCRIHS compliance to be very important. A serious violation of UCRIHS standards by a student, or repeated violations, would result in a referral to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, who will refer the case to a college-level hearing board, as specified in University policy. Serious and/or repeated violations of UCRIHS policies could result in sanctions up to and including dismissal from the graduate program.
Upon entering the program, students should go to the UCHRIS web site and read about this important committee. They should take the UCRIHS training, which requires about a half hour, before involvement in any research that might conceivably involve human subjects.
It is critical to remember that absolutely no research data can be collected until a project is in complete compliance with UCRIHS, and collecting data before receiving such approval is a serious ethical breach. Once a student files with UCRIHS, if the student receives any feedback that they do not understand, they should immediately consult with a member of the MQM faculty or the UCRIHS staff for guidance regarding how to proceed. Again, for emphasis, absolutely no data can be collected without UCHRIHS approval. If any such data is collected, it cannot be used for any degree purpose.
C. Address for UCRIHS:
Michigan State University
University Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (UCRIHS)
202 Olds Hall East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 355-2180
Fax: (517) 432-4503
University Guidelines for Integrity in Research and Creative Activities
The conduct of research and creative activities by faculty, staff, and students is central to the mission of Michigan State University, and is an institutional priority. Faculty, staff, and students work in a rich and competitive environment for the common purpose of learning, creating new knowledge, and disseminating information and ideas for the benefit of their peers and the general public. The stature and reputation of MSU as a research university are based on the commitment of its faculty, staff, and students to excellence in scholarly and creative activities, and to the highest standards of professional integrity. As a partner in scholarly endeavors, MSU is committed to creating an environment that promotes ethical conduct in research and creative activities.
Innovative ideas and advances in research and creative activities have the potential to generate professional and public recognition and, in some instances, commercial interest and financial gain. In rare cases, such benefits may become motivating factors to violate professional ethics. Pressures to publish, obtain research grants, or complete academic requirements may also lead to erosion of professional integrity.
Breaches in professional ethics range from questionable research practices to misconduct. The primary responsibility for adhering to professional standards lies with the individual scholar. It is, however, also the responsibility of advisors and of the disciplinary community at large. Passive acceptance of improper practices lowers inhibitions to violate professional ethics.
Integrity in research and creative activities is based not only on sound disciplinary practice, but also on a commitment to basic personal values such as fairness, equity, honesty, and respect. These guidelines are intended to promote high professional standards by faculty, staff, and students alike.
A. Key Principles
Integrity in research and creative activities embodies a range of practices that include:
- Honesty in proposing, performing, and reporting research;
- Recognition of prior work;
- Confidentiality in peer review;
- Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest;
- Compliance with institutional and sponsor requirements;
- Protection of human subjects and humane care of animals in the conduct of research;
- Collegiality in scholarly interactions and sharing of resources;
- Adherence to fair and open relationships between senior scholars and their coworkers.
1. Honesty in proposing, performing, and reporting research
The foundation underlying all research is uncompromising honesty in presenting one's own ideas in research proposals, in performing one's research, and in reporting one's data. Detailed and accurate records of primary data must be kept as unalterable documentation of one's research, and must be available for scrutiny and critique. It is expected that researchers will always be truthful and explicit in disclosing research procedures and results. To this end, research aims, methods, and outcomes must be described in sufficient detail such that others can judge the quality of what is reported, and could reproduce the results. Results from valid observations and tests that run counter to expectations must be reported along with supportive data.
2. Recognition of prior work
Research proposals, original research, and creative endeavors often build on the work of others, as well as one's own work. Both published and unpublished work must always be properly credited. Reporting the work of others as if it were one's own is plagiarism. Graduate advisors and members of guidance committees have a unique role in guiding the independent research and creative activities of students. Information learned through private discussions or committee meetings should be respected as proprietary and accorded the same protection granted to information obtained in any peer-review process.
3. Confidentiality in peer review
Critical and impartial review by respected disciplinary peers is the foundation for important decisions in the evaluation of internal and external funding requests, allocation of resources, publication of research results, granting of awards, and in other scholarly decisions. The peer-review process involves the sharing of information for scholarly assessment on behalf of the larger disciplinary community. The integrity of this process depends on confidentiality until the information is released to the public. Therefore, the contents of research proposals, manuscripts submitted for publication, and other scholarly documents under review should be considered privileged information not to be shared with others, including students and staff, without explicit permission by the authority requesting the review. Ideas and results learned through the peer-review process should not be utilized prior to their presentation in a public forum or release through publication.
4. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest
There is real or perceived conflict of interest when a researcher has material or personal interest that could compromise the integrity of the scholarship. It is, therefore, imperative that potential conflicts of interest be considered and acted upon appropriately by the researcher. Some federal sponsors require the University to implement formal conflict-of-interest policies. It is the responsibility of all researchers to be aware of, and comply with, such requirements.
5. Compliance with institutional and sponsor requirements
Investigators are granted broad freedoms in making decisions concerning their research. These decisions are, however, still guided, and in some cases limited, by the laws, regulations, and procedures that have been established by the University and sponsors of research to protect the integrity of the research process and uses of the information developed for the common good. Although the legal agreement underlying funding of a sponsored project is a matter between the sponsor and the University, the primary responsibility for management of a sponsored project rests with the principal investigator and his or her academic unit.
6. Protection of human subjects and humane care of animals in the conduct of research
Research techniques should not violate established professional ethics, or federal and state requirements pertaining to the health, safety, privacy, and protection of human beings, or welfare of animal subjects. While it is the responsibility of faculty to assist students and staff in complying with such requirements, it is the responsibility of all researchers to be aware of, and comply with, such requirements.
7. Collegiality in scholarly interactions and sharing of resources
Collegiality in scholarly interactions, including open communications and sharing of resources, facilitates progress in research and creative activities for the good of the community. At the same time, it is be understood that scholars who first report important findings are both recognized for their discovery, and afforded intellectual property rights that permit discretion in the use and sharing of their discoveries and inventions. Balancing openness with protection of the intellectual property rights of individuals and the institution will always be a challenge for the community. Once the results of research or creative activities have been published or otherwise communicated to the public, scholars are expected to share materials and information on methodologies with their colleagues according to the tradition of their discipline.
8. Faculty advisors have a particular responsibility to respect and protect the intellectual property rights of their advisees
A clear understanding must be reached during the course of the project regarding who will be entitled to continue what part of the overall research program after the advisee leaves for an independent position. Faculty advisors should strive to protect junior scholars from abuses by others who have gained knowledge of the junior scholar's results during the mentoring process, for example, as members of guidance committees.
9. Adherence to fair and open relationships between senior scholars and their coworkers
The relationships between senior scholars and their coworkers should be based on mutual respect, trust, honesty, fairness in the assignment of effort and credit, open communications, and accountability. The principles that will be used to establish authorship and ordering of authors on presentations of results must be communicated early and clearly to all coworkers. These principles should be determined objectively according to the standards of the discipline, with the understanding that such standards may not be the same as those used to assign credit for contributions to intellectual property. It is the responsibility of the faculty to protect the freedom to publish results of research and creative activities. The University has affirmed the right of its scholars for first publication except for "exigencies of national defense." It is also the responsibility of faculty to recognize and balance their dual roles as investigators and advisors in interacting with graduate students of their group, especially when a student's efforts do not contribute directly to the completion of his or her degree requirements.
B. Misconduct in Research and Creative Activities
Federal and University policies define misconduct to include fabrication (making up data and recording or reporting them), falsification (manipulating research materials, equipment or processes, or changing or omitting data such that the research is not accurately represented in the record), and plagiarism (appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit). Serious or continuing non-compliance with government regulations pertaining to research may constitute misconduct as well. University policy also defines retaliation against whistle blowers as misconduct. Misconduct does not include honest errors or differences of opinion in the interpretation or judgment of data.
The University views misconduct to be the most egregious violation of standards of integrity, and as grounds for disciplinary action, including the termination of employment of faculty and staff, dismissal of students, and revocation of degrees. It is the responsibility of faculty, staff, and students alike to understand the University's policy on misconduct in research and creative activities, report perceived acts of misconduct of which they have direct knowledge to the University Intellectual Integrity Officer, and protect the rights and privacy of individuals making such reports in good faith.
Graduate students are expected to behave in a professional manner. Discussions of professional expectations including academic honesty, plagiarism, and MSU policies can be found at the Office of the Ombudsman: http://www.msu.edu/unit/ombud/honestylinks.html
MQM students are expected to consult the following documents and abide by all guidelines presented therein.
- Guidelines for Integrity in Research and Creative Activities http://grad.msu.edu/researchintegrity
- MSU policy related to the use of humans for research, monitored by the University Committee for Research Involving Human Subjects http://www.humanresearch.msu.edu
- The American Psychological Association's Ethical Guidelines http://www.apa.org/ethics/homepage.html
- The American Psychological Association's Publication Manual, which includes guidelines on plagiarism https://apastyle.apa.org/manual/index
- The Office of the Ombudsman's guidelines on plagiarism https://ombud.msu.edu/academic-integrity/plagiarism-policy.html
- University-wide Policy on Scholarship and Grades, including guidelines on plagiarism http://www.vps.msu.edu/SpLife/rule32.htm
- "Guidelines on Authorship", Endorsed by the University Research Council, January 15, 1998 http://www.msu.edu/unit/vprgs/authorshipguidelines.htm
- "Integrity in Scientific Research: Creating an Environment that Promotes Responsible Conduct", National Academies Press, Washington , D.C. , 2002, 216 pp http://www.nap.edu/books/0309084792/html
- "Research Data: Management, Control, and Access Guidelines", Endorsed by the University Research Council, February 7, 2001 http://www.msu.edu/unit/vprgs/research_data.htm
- MSU Faculty Handbook, Chapter VI, "Research and Creative Endeavor-Procedures Concerning Allegations of Misconduct in Research and Creative Activities" http://www.hr.msu.edu/documents/facacadhandbooks/facultyhandbook/index.htm
- Teaching assistants are briefed during their orientation to graduate study about their rights and responsibilities under the MSU-GEU contract. The contract is available at http://www.geuatmsu.org
Ethical Standards of the American Educational Research Association
Educational researchers come from many disciplines, embrace several competing theoretical frameworks, and use a variety of research methodologies. AERA recognizes that its members are already guided by codes in the various disciplines and, also, by organizations such as Institutional Review Boards. AERA's code of ethics incorporates a set of standards designed specifically to guide the work of researchers in education. Education, by its very nature, is aimed at the improvement of individual lives and societies. Further, research in education is often directed at children and other vulnerable populations. A main objective of this code is to remind us, as educational researchers, that we should strive to protect these populations, and to maintain the integrity of our research, our research community, and all those with whom we have professional relations. We should pledge ourselves to do this by maintaining our own competence and that of people we induct into the field, by continually evaluating our research for its ethical and scientific adequacy, and conducting our internal and external relations according to the highest ethical standards.
The standards that follow remind us that we are involved not only in research but in education. It is, therefore, essential that we continually reflect on our research to be sure that it is not only sound scientifically, but also makes a positive contribution to the educational enterprise.
B. Guiding Standards: Responsibilities to the Field
To maintain the integrity of research, educational researchers should warrant their research conclusions adequately in a way consistent with the standards of their own theoretical and methodological perspectives. They should keep themselves well informed in both their own and competing paradigms where those are relevant to their research, and they should continually evaluate the criteria of adequacy by which research is judged.
Educational researchers should conduct their professional lives in such a way that they do not jeopardize future research, the public standing of the field, or the discipline's research results. Educational researchers must not fabricate, falsify, or misrepresent authorship, evidence, data, findings, or conclusions.
- Educational researchers must not knowingly or negligently use their professional roles for fraudulent purposes.
- Educational researchers should honestly and fully disclose their qualifications and limitations when providing professional opinions to the public, to government agencies, and others who may avail themselves of the expertise possessed by members of AERA.
- Educational researchers should attempt to report their findings to all relevant stakeholders, and should refrain from keeping secret or selectively communicating their findings.
- Educational researchers should report research conceptions, procedures, results, and analyses accurately and sufficiently in detail to allow knowledgeable, trained researchers to understand and interpret them.
- Educational researchers' reports to the public should be written straightforwardly to communicate the practical significance for policy, including limits in effectiveness and in generalizability to situations, problems, and contexts. In writing for or communicating with non-researchers, educational researchers must take care not to misrepresent the practical or policy implications of their research or the research of others.
- When educational researchers participate in actions related to hiring, retention, and advancement, they should not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, physical disabilities, marital status, color, social class, religion, ethnic background, national origin, or other attributes not relevant to the evaluation of academic or research competence.
- Educational researchers have a responsibility to make candid, forthright personnel recommendations and not to recommend those who are manifestly unfit.
- Educational researchers should decline requests to review the work of others where strong conflicts of interest are involved, or when such requests cannot be conscientiously fulfilled on time. Materials sent for review should be read in their entirety and considered carefully, with evaluative comments justified with explicit reasons.
- Educational researchers should avoid all forms of harassment, not merely those overt actions or threats that are due cause for legal action. They must not use their professional positions or rank to coerce personal or sexual favors or economic or professional advantages from students, research assistants, clerical staff, colleagues, or any others.
- Educational researchers should not be penalized for reporting in good faith violations of these or other professional standards.
C. Guiding Standards: Research Populations, Educational Institutions, and the Public
Educational researchers conduct research within a broad array of settings and institutions, including schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, and prisons. It is of paramount importance that educational researchers respect the rights, privacy, dignity, and sensitivities of their research populations and also the integrity of the institutions within which the research occurs. Educational researchers should be especially careful in working with children and other vulnerable populations. These standards are intended to reinforce and strengthen already existing standards enforced by Institutional Review Boards and other professional associations. Standards intended to protect the rights of human subjects should not be interpreted to prohibit teacher research, action research, and/or other forms of practitioner inquiry so long as: the data are those that could be derived from normal teaching/learning processes; confidentiality is maintained; the safety and welfare of participants are protected; informed consent is obtained when appropriate; and the use of the information obtained is primarily intended for the benefit of those receiving instruction in that setting.
- Participants, or their guardians, in a research study have the right to be informed about the likely risks involved in the research and of potential consequences for participants, and to give their informed consent before participating in research. Educational researchers should communicate the aims of the investigation as well as possible to informants and participants (and their guardians), and appropriate representatives of institutions, and keep them updated about any significant changes in the research program.
- Informants and participants normally have a right to confidentiality, which ensures that the source of information will not be disclosed without the express permission of the informant. This right should be respected when no clear understanding to the contrary has been reached. Researchers are responsible for taking appropriate cautions to protect the confidentiality of both participants and data to the full extent provided by law. Participants in research should be made aware of the limits on the protections that can be provided, and of the efforts toward protection that will be made even in situations where absolute confidentiality cannot be assured. It should be made clear to informants and participants that despite every effort made to preserve it, confidentiality may be compromised. Secondary researchers should respect and maintain the confidentiality established by primary researchers. In some cases, e.g., survey research, it may be appropriate for researchers to ensure participants of anonymity, i.e., that their identify is not known even to the researcher. Anonymity should not be promised to participants when only confidentiality is intended.
- Honesty should characterize the relationship between researchers and participants and appropriate institutional representatives. Deception is discouraged; it should be used only when clearly necessary for scientific studies, and should then be minimized. After the study, the researcher should explain to the participants and institutional representatives the reasons for the deception.
- Educational researchers should be sensitive to any locally established institutional policies or guidelines for conducting research.
- Participants have the right to withdraw from the study at any time, unless otherwise constrained by their official capacities or roles.
- Educational researchers should exercise caution to ensure that there is no exploitation for personal gain of research populations or of institutional settings of research. Educational researchers should not use their influence over subordinates, students, or others to compel them to participate in research.
- Researchers have a responsibility to be mindful of cultural, religious, gender, and other significant differences within the research population in the planning, conduct, and reporting of their research.
- Researchers should carefully consider and minimize the use of research techniques that might have negative social consequences, for example, experimental interventions that might deprive students of important parts of the standard curriculum.
- Educational researchers should be sensitive to the integrity of ongoing institutional activities and alert appropriate institutional representatives of possible disturbances in such activities, which may result from the conduct of the research.
- Educational researchers should communicate their findings and the practical significance of their research in clear, straightforward, and appropriate language to relevant research populations, institutional representatives, and other stakeholders.
- Informants and participants have a right to remain anonymous. This right should be respected when no clear understanding to the contrary has been reached. Researchers are responsible for taking appropriate precautions to protect the confidentiality of both participants and data. Those being studied should be made aware of the capacities of the various data-gathering technologies to be used in the investigation so that they can make an informed decision about their participation. It should also be made clear to informants and participants that despite every effort made to preserve it, anonymity may be compromised. Secondary researchers should respect and maintain the anonymity established by primary researchers.
D. Guiding Standards: Intellectual Ownership
Intellectual ownership is predominantly a function of creative contribution. Intellectual ownership is not predominantly a function of effort expended.
Authorship should be determined based on the following guidelines, which are not intended to stifle collaboration, but rather to clarify the credit appropriately due for various contributions to research.
- All those, regardless of status, who have made substantive creative contribution to the generation of an intellectual product are entitled to be listed as authors of that product.
- First authorship and order of authorship should be the consequence of relative creative leadership and creative contribution. Examples of creative contributions are: writing first drafts or substantial portions; significant rewriting or substantive editing; and contributing generative ideas or basic conceptual schemes or analytic categories, collecting data which require significant interpretation or judgment, and interpreting data.
- Clerical or mechanical contributions to an intellectual product are not grounds for ascribing authorship. Examples of such technical contributions are: typing, routine data collection or analysis, routine editing, and participation in staff meetings.
- Authorship and first authorship are not warranted by legal or contractual responsibility for or authority over the project or process that generates an intellectual product. It is improper to enter into contractual arrangements that preclude the proper assignment of authorship.
- Anyone listed as author must have given his/her consent to be so listed.
- The work of those who have contributed to the production of an intellectual product in ways short of these requirements for authorship should be appropriately acknowledged within the product.
- Acknowledgement of other work significantly relied on in the development of an intellectual product is required. However, so long as such work is not plagiarized or otherwise inappropriately used, such reliance is not ground for authorship or ownership.
- It is improper to use positions of authority to appropriate the work of others or claim credit for it. In hierarchical relationships, educational researchers should take care to ensure that those in subordinate positions receive fair and appropriate authorship credit.
- Theses and dissertations are special cases in which authorship is not determined strictly by the criteria elaborated in these standards. Authorship in the publication of work arising from theses and dissertations is determined by creative intellectual contributions as in other cases.
- Authors should disclose the publication history of articles they submit for publication; that is, if the present article is substantially similar in content and form to one previously published, that fact should be noted and the place of publication cited.
- While under suitable circumstances, ideas and other intellectual products may be viewed as commodities, arrangements concerning the production or distribution of ideas or other intellectual products must be consistent with academic freedom and the appropriate availability of intellectual products to scholars, students, and the public. Moreover, when a conflict between the academic and scholarly purposes of intellectual production and profit from such production arise, preference should be given to the academic and scholarly purposes.
- Ownership of intellectual products should be based upon the following guidelines:
- Individuals are entitled to profit from the sale or disposition of those intellectual products they create. They may therefore enter into contracts or other arrangements for the publication or disposition of intellectual products, and profit financially from these arrangements.
- Arrangements for the publication or disposition of intellectual products should be consistent with their appropriate public availability and with academic freedom. Such arrangements should emphasize the academic functions of publication over the maximization of profit.
- Individuals or groups who fund or otherwise provide resources for the development of intellectual products are entitled to assert claims to a fair share of the royalties or other profits from the sale or disposition of those products. As such claims are likely to be contentious, funding institutions and authors should agree on policies for the disposition of profits at the outset of the research or development project.
- Authors should not use positions of authority over other individuals to compel them to purchase an intellectual product from which the authors benefit. This standard is not meant to prohibit use of an author's own textbook in a class, but copies should be made available on library reserve so that students are not forced to purchase it.
E. Guiding Standards: Editing, Reviewing, and Appraising Research
Editors and reviewers have a responsibility to recognize a wide variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives and, at the same time, to ensure that manuscripts meet the highest standards as defined in the various perspectives.
AERA journals should handle refereed articles in a manner consistent with the following principles:
- Fairness requires a review process that evaluates submitted works solely on the basis of merit. Merit shall be understood to include both the competence with which the argument is conducted and the significance of the results achieved.
- Although each AERA journal may concentrate on a particular field or type of research, the set of journals as a whole should be open to all disciplines and perspectives currently represented in the membership and which support a tradition of responsible educational scholarship. This Standard is not incompatible with giving serious consideration to innovative work and should not be used to discourage perspectives not yet fully established in traditional scholarship.
- Blind review, with multiple readers, should be used for each submission, except where explicitly waived. (See #3.)
- Judgments of the adequacy of an inquiry should be made by reviewers who are competent to read the work submitted to them. Editors should strive to select reviewers who are familiar with the research paradigm and who are not so unsympathetic as to preclude a disinterested judgment of the merit of the inquiry.
- Editors should insist that even unfavorable reviews be dispassionate and constructive. Authors have the right to know the grounds for rejection of their work.
- AERA journals should have written, published policies for refereeing articles.
- AERA journals should have a written, published policy stating when solicited and non-refereed publications are permissible.
- AERA journals should publish statements indicating any special emphases expected to characterize articles submitted for review.
- In addition to enforcing standing strictures against sexist and racist language, editors should reject articles that contain ad hominem attacks on individuals or groups or insist that such language or attacks be removed prior to publication.
- AERA journals and AERA members who serve as editors of journals should require authors to disclose the full publication history of material substantially similar in content and form to that submitted to their journals.
F. Guiding Standards: Sponsors, Policymakers, and Other Users of Research
Researchers, research institutions, and sponsors of research jointly share responsibility for the ethical integrity of research, and should ensure that this integrity is not violated. While it is recognized that these parties may sometimes have conflicting legitimate aims, all those with responsibility for research should protect against compromising the standards of research, the community of researchers, the subjects of research, and the users of research. They should support the widest possible dissemination and publication of research results. AERA should promote, as nearly as it can, conditions conducive to the preservation of research integrity.
- The data and results of a research study belong to the researchers who designed and conducted the study, unless specific contractual arrangements have been made with respect to either or both the data and results, except as noted in II B.4. (participants may withdraw at any stage.)
- Educational researchers are free to interpret and publish their findings without censorship or approval from individuals or organizations, including sponsors, funding agencies, participants, colleagues, supervisors, or administrators. This understanding should be conveyed to participants as part of the responsibility to secure informed consent.
- Researchers conducting sponsored research retain the right to publish the findings under their own names.
- Educational researchers should not agree to conduct research that conflicts with academic freedom, nor should they agree to undue or questionable influence by government or other funding agencies. Examples of such improper influence include endeavors to interfere with the conduct of research, the analysis of findings, or the reporting of interpretations. Researchers should report to AERA attempts by sponsors or funding agencies to use any questionable influence.
- Educational researchers should fully disclose the aims and sponsorship of their research, except where such disclosure would violate the usual tenets of confidentiality and anonymity. Sponsors or funders have the right to have disclaimers included in research reports to differentiate their sponsorship from the conclusions of the research.
- Educational researchers should not accept funds from sponsoring agencies that request multiple renderings of reports that would distort the results or mislead readers.
- Educational researchers should fulfill their responsibilities to agencies funding research, which are entitled to an accounting of the use of their funds, and to a report of the procedures, findings, and implications of the funded research.
- Educational researchers should make clear the bases and rationales, and the limits thereof, of their professionally rendered judgments in consultation with the public, government, or other institutions. When there are contrasting professional opinions to the one being offered, this should be made clear.
- Educational researchers should disclose to appropriate parties all cases where they would stand to benefit financially from their research or cases where their affiliations might tend to bias their interpretation of their research or their professional judgments.
G. Guiding Standards: Students and Student Researchers
Educational researchers have a responsibility to ensure the competence of those inducted into the field and to provide appropriate help and professional advice to novice researchers.
- In relations with students and student researchers, educational researchers should be candid, fair, non-exploitative, and committed to their welfare and progress. They should conscientiously supervise, encourage, and support students and student researchers in their academic endeavors, and should appropriately assist them in securing research support or professional employment.
- Students and student researchers should be selected based upon their competence and potential contributions to the field. Educational researchers should not discriminate among students and student researchers on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, marital status, color, social class, religion, ethnic background, national origin, or other irrelevant factors.
- Educational researchers should inform students and student researchers concerning the ethical dimensions of research, encourage their practice of research consistent with ethical standards, and support their avoidance of questionable projects.
- Educational researchers should realistically apprise students and student researchers with regard to career opportunities and implications associated with their participation in particular research projects or degree programs. Educational researchers should ensure that research assistantships be educative.
- Educational researchers should be fair in the evaluation of research performance, and should communicate that evaluation fully and honestly to the student or student researcher. Researchers have an obligation to report honestly on the competence of assistants to other professionals who require such evaluations.
- Educational researchers should not permit personal animosities or intellectual differences vis-à-vis colleagues to foreclose student and student researcher access to those colleagues, or to place the student or student researcher in an untenable position with those colleagues.
The Ethical Standards of the American Educational Research Association were developed and, in June 1992, adopted by AERA to be an educational document, to stimulate collegial debate, and to evoke voluntary compliance by moral persuasion. The Ethical Standards were revised in 1996 and in 2000. Accordingly, it is not the intention of the Association to monitor adherence to the Standards or to investigate allegations of violations to the Code.
American Educational Research Association
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