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Laas, K., Taylor, S., Miller, C. Z., Brey, E. M., & Hildt, E. (2021). Views on ethical issues in research labs: A university-wide survey. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1080/08989621.2021.1910503


In this article, we summarize the key findings of an exploratory study in which students and faculty completed a survey that sought to identify the most important ethical issues in STEM fields, how often these issues are discussed in research groups, and how often these ethical issues come up in the daily practice of research. Participants answered a series of open-ended and Likert-scale questions to provide a detailed look at the current ethical landscape at a private research university in the Midwest. The survey also looked at potential differences between faculty and undergraduate and graduate students’ perceptions in answering these questions. The results indicate that while all community members tended to view issues that can be classified as research misconduct as the most important activities to avoid in STEM-related research, the level of discussion and actual witnessing of these practices was relatively low. The study points to a consensus among students and faculty about the important ethical issues in STEM and the need for more discussion and attention to be paid to communication, collaboration, and interpersonal relationships in the research environment.