Date of Award

12-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Professional Communication

Advisor

Katz, Steven B.

Committee Member

Fishman , Teresa

Committee Member

Mogull , Scott

Abstract

Over the past 25 years, federal government entities have become involved in defining and regulating misconduct in scientific research. Consistently, these definitions of research misconduct forbid three key actions--falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism--but do not take into account other professional communication issues, mainly authorship. This lack of acknowledgement and regulation of authorship--particularly from the Office of Research Integrity, the nation's highest research ethics body--seems to imply and communicate that the ethics of authorship are not important in science. However, this thesis demonstrates, through rhetorical, historical and interview research, that authorship ethics do matter to scientists; in fact, authorship is a leading concern, even if not defined or regulated by federal oversight bodies. The thesis then recommends how authorship ethics can be better acknowledged by federal oversight boards without slipping into positivistic rules and requirements, and includes a recommendation to integrate ethics instruction into science curricula.

Included in

Communication Commons

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