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Research Ethics (Course will be delivered entirely online)

Course code
Course type
Doctoral Program Lecture
Weekly Hours
FS 2021
Prof. Dr. Fabiola Heike Gerpott
Please note that exchange students obtain a higher number of credits in the BSc-program at WHU than listed here. For further information please contact directly the International Relations Office.
Day 1: Introduction & Ethics Proposal
  • Many shades of grey: Moral dilemmas
  • How to write an ethics proposal (theory & practice)
  • Case study of academic (mis-)conduct

Day 2 – Morning: Open Science (Guest Speaker Simon Columbus)

  • What is open science? An introduction to principles of transparent and reproducible research (including new publication formats)
  • Tools for developing a reproducible research pipeline: Study design, preregistration, and data sharing
  • Setting up your own OSF-Account and getting started with pre-registration

Day 2 – Afternoon: Ethical Challenges – Part I

  • DFG recommendations for safeguarding good scientific practice (plus global perspective)
  • Team presentations
  • How should (co-)authorship be determined? A discussion of concrete examples (e.g., exchanging authorship favors with colleagues, faculty members demanding authorship on a publication coming out of a dissertation)
  • Interactive Case Study “The Lab”

Day 3: Ethical Challenges – Part II

  • Team presentations
  • Reviewing an application for ethical approval (feedback session)
  • Shaping the Future: Teaching Research Ethics at the WHU
  • Wrap-Up: Open Topics & Final Thoughts

This course will be delivered entirely online. If you prefer on-side teaching, please note that you can also choose the Fall course on campus.

Date Time
Monday, 12.04.2021 13:00 - 18:00
Tuesday, 13.04.2021 08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday, 14.04.2021 09:00 - 13:00
Upon completing the course, you should be able to…
  • Analyze and review the work of others on ethical standards
  • Evaluate your own research in terms of ethics procedures
  • Plan your data handling and analysis plan for studies
  • Critically discuss publications policies
  • Consider alternative routes in the publication process
  • Conduct open and reproducible research
Bhattacharjee, Y. (2013). The Mind of a Con Man. The New York Times, retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/magazine/diederik-stapels-audacious-academic-fraud.html?hp&_r=0Dominus, S. (2017). When the revolution came for Amy Cuddy. The New York Times, retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/18/magazine/when-the-revolution-came-for-amy-cuddy.htmlAcademy of Management (2019). Ethics Video Series. Retrieved from http://aom.org/Multi-Media/Ethics-Video-Series/Ethics-Video-Series.aspx?terms=ethics%20video%20seriesFanelli, D, (2009). How many scientists fabricate and falsify research? A systematic review and meta-analysis of survey data. Plos One, 4: 5, e5738. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005738Kacmar, M. K. (2009). An Ethical Quiz. Academy of Management Journal, 52, 432-434. Doi: 10.5465/AMJ.2009.41330319Kerr, N. L. (1998). HARKing: hypothesizing after the results are known. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2(3): 196-217. Doi: 10.1207/s15327957pspr0203_4Martin, BR, (2013). Whither research integrity? Plagiarism, self-plagiarism and coercive citation in an age of research assessment. Research Policy, 42, 1005-1014. Doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2013.03.011Macfarlane, B. (2010). Researching with integrity: The ethics of academic enquiry. New York: Routledge.Murphy, K. R. & Aguinis, H. J (2019). HARKing: How badly can cherry-picking and question trolling produce bias in published results? Business Psychology, 34. DOI: 10.1007/s10869-017-9524-7Open Science Collaboration (2015). Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science, 349: 6251, aac4716. Doi: 10.1126/science.aac4716Office of Research Integrity (2019). The Lab. Interactive Movie on Research Misconduct. Retrieved from https://ori.hhs.gov/THELAB
During the course, you are expected to…
  • … actively participate in the class room (30%)
  • … write an ethics proposal for your own research (40%)
  • … present an ethics-related topic with your team (30%)
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