The Ethics Of Citation: A Matter Of Science's Family Values

As scientists, what do we owe our colleagues and the science community at large? With a little thought, I suspect, each of us would come up with a respectable list. Here is a short one of my own: honesty in performing experiments and reporting results (I suspect this would appear at the top of many lists); communication of our results in a timely manner (even the most important discovery is useless unless other people know about it); objectivity in evaluating our colleagues' work (for example,

Barry Palevitz
Jun 8, 1997

As scientists, what do we owe our colleagues and the science community at large? With a little thought, I suspect, each of us would come up with a respectable list. Here is a short one of my own: honesty in performing experiments and reporting results (I suspect this would appear at the top of many lists); communication of our results in a timely manner (even the most important discovery is useless unless other people know about it); objectivity in evaluating our colleagues' work (for example, when reviewing manuscripts and grant proposals); and fairness in recognizing the contributions of others. Some might regard such norms as ideals to be aimed for but not necessarily achieved. After all, scientific research has a strong social component, and scientists therefore are motivated by a variety of factors (B. Cronin, The Citation Process, London, Taylor Graham, 1984). Still, I suspect that commonly recognized standards...

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