short answer to 4 cases with explanation


You are a faculty mentor for a graduate student in your department. The student is taking some classes in another department that requires written essays. He asks you to read his essay before he submits it. You routinely google his work and discover that large parts have been lifted, verbatim, from the web with no quotation marks or citations.

1-Did the student in this case commit plagiarism?

2-In your own words define what plagiarism is?

3-What should you do?

4-Is there a way to monitor this student’s future behavior without irreparably damaging his career?


Dr. Erin Williams is developing a social networking website that she eventually wants to use to study how different segments of the population interact online. She intends to monitor which topics of conversation emerge and how social groups form. Dr. Williams plans to ask students in one of her courses to use the website for about a month and take a survey about their perceptions of the website. Students who participate would receive extra-credit points toward their course grades.

1-Is the project that Dr. Williams plans to conduct a form of human subject’s research?

2-What should Dr. Williams do with respect to her university’s Institutional Review Board (IRB)?

3-Will the students in the course need to sign a consent form before participating in the project?

4-Is the extra-credit bonus an appropriate way to recruit students?

5-Are there any confidentiality concerns associated with the project?


Dr. Green works at an academic institution that has a license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to conduct animal research, yet her studies are funded by a private company. Her initial plan is to work with rats, but she suspects that she will not have enough of the animals so she thinks she will eventually need to work with mice as well.

1-If the rats were specifically bred for research, might IACUC review be required for Dr. Green’s project?

2-According to the AWA, does Dr. Green need approval from the IACUC to conduct her research if she was working with wild rats?


Dr. Jones has sent his full grant proposal to Dr. Smith with an invitation to have Dr. Smith join him in the grant application. Dr. Smith had access to a large bank of specimens which would have made Dr. Jones’s study highly feasible, as otherwise he would have needed to collect the required specimens prospectively. In an email message, Dr. Smith declined to join his grant application and explained at the time that she was planning her own study on the same topic, but using a completely different methodology, which she outlined in the email message. Dr. Jones informed her that her planned method was flawed and explained to her the reasons. Eighteen months after seeing his proposal, Dr. Smith published her paper using her own bank of specimens and the exact methodology that Dr. Jones had outlined in detail in his grant proposal.

1-Are there any potential ethical problems in this case?

2-How could Dr. Smith make sure that she upholds proper writing practices?

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