Starting with the notion of academic freedom as the leading principle of our research, at all levels, the Sri shakthi institute of Engineering and Technlogy is committed to promoting and maintaining high standards of integrity and accountability in the conduct of academic research and is keen to embed and endorse a culture of honesty and transparency in all its institutional activities. In undertaking this commitment, the Institute emphasizes that academic freedom is a core value to be safeguarded and sustained. The Institute is dedicated to guaranteeing a free academic environment to conduct research, to teach, to speak and to publish, subject to the norms and standards of scholarly inquiry, without interference or penalty, wherever the search for truth, knowledge, scholarship and/or understanding may lead.
SIET is a privately financed institution whose funding enables it to provide essential research resources to its scholarly community. It requires its members to adhere to the terms and conditions governing access to such resources, be they on paper or in digital format.
The Institute invites its members (teaching staff, fellows, research students, visiting students as well as administrative and support staff) to abide by the highest standards of integrity in their conduct of academic research and/or support to academic research activities.
The first part of this document provides recommendations on good practice in academic research at the SIET, the second part defines the tasks and composition of the SIET’s Ethics Committee, while the third part defines academic misconduct and regulates the SIET procedures for investigating such misconduct and determining appropriate sanctions.
GOOD PRACTICE IN RESEARCH:
- academic freedom, Integrity and responsibility:
Academic freedom is the freedom to teach study and pursue knowledge and research without unreasonable interference or restriction from law, institutional regulations or public pressure. Its basic elements include the freedom of scholars to inquire into any subject that evokes intellectual concern, to present findings, to publish data and conclusions without control or censorship and to teach in the manner they consider professionally appropriate
At the same time, integrity, accountability and responsibility in conducting academic research form the cornerstone of any academic enterprise and violations of widely-recognized academic research standards represent serious offences to the entire academic community at the Institute and are considered injurious for its credibility and authority as an institution that promotes excellence in academic research in India.
Academic integrity requires that academic research follows elevated professional standards, including appropriate research design and frameworks, adheres to high levels of research ethics and abides by the requirements set out by professional and regulatory research guidance and research ethics frameworks issued in appropriate areas
Principles and values of academic Integrity:
Academic integrity : It is defined in terms of the commitment to the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, legality and dissemination
Honesty: An academic community should advance the quest for truth, knowledge, scholarship and understanding by requiring intellectual and personal honesty in learning, teaching and research
Trust: An academic community should foster a climate of mutual trust to encourage the free exchange of ideas and enable all to reach their highest potential.
Fairness : An academic community should seek to ensure fairness in institutional standards, practices and procedures as well as fairness in interactions between members of the community.
Respect : An academic community should promote respect among students, staff and faculty: respect for self, for others, for scholarship and research, for the educational process and intellectual heritage.
Responsibility : An academic community should uphold high standards of conduct in learning, teaching and research by requiring shared responsibility for promoting academic integrity among all members of the community.
Legality: An academic community should observe valid legal norms related to the conduct and publication of research particularly in relations to copyright, the intellectual property rights of third parties, the terms and conditions regulating access to research resources and the laws of libel.
Communication : An academic community should seek to make the results of its research as widely and as freely available as possible.
- INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES:
Sri shakthi institute of Engineering and Technlogy is committed to the provision of appropriate direction of research and supervision for researchers. Supervisors are expected to adhere to the Code of Practice for Doctoral Supervision at the SIET, which delineates the supervisory relationship, the assessment of research progress, and the procedures to resolve problems in the supervisory relationship.
- TRAINING :
The Academic Departments should ensure that all researchers undertake appropriate training in research design, methodology, regulatory and ethics approvals and consents, equipment use, confidentiality, data management, record keeping, data protection and publication, the appropriate use of licensed research resources and respect for the intellectual property rights of third parties. The Institute is also committed to preparing its administrative and support staff involved in record keeping and the implementation of SIET Data Protection Policy and expects them to fully respect the principles and rules of the Code of Ethics in Academic Research.
- PUBLICATION PRACTICE AND AUTHORSHIP:
The Sri shakthi institute of Engineering and Technlogy encourages the publication and dissemination of results of high quality research. It also expects that researchers will engage in the process of publishing and dissemination of their work responsibly and with an awareness of the consequences of any such dissemination in the wider media.
Results should be published in a form appropriate to the academic discipline. The Institute requires that all individuals listed as authors accept responsibility for the contents of the publication and can identify their contribution to it. Authors should have participated sufficiently in the research to take public responsibility for the content.
With respect to internal policies for publishing research:
- SIET members should communicate the bibliographical details of their published research to the Institutional Repository (IR) in a timely fashion.
- SIET members are the copyright owners of their research output and are recommended to retain that copyright in dealings with publishers.
- SIET members should deposit a digital copy of their published research for open archiving with the IR insofar as this is compatible with their publishing contracts.
- SIET graduates should deposit a digital copy of their theses with the IR for preservation purposes. This copy will not be made available online without their explicit permission.
- TASKS OF R & D CELL:
- To provide advice and guidance to the SIET academic community on all matters pertaining to academic research ethics.
- To advise the Academic Council on compliance with the ‘Code of Ethics in Academic Research’ of the various academic activities at the SIET.
- To provide guidance and academic support to scholars on ethical issues in respect of teaching, research and other academic activities On an entirely voluntary basis, researchers may ask the Ethics Committee for consultation on ethical aspects of their research.
- To confirm to external parties on behalf of the SIET compliance with ethical standards in respect of research projects undertaken by scholars at the SIET. The Committee is only convened at the explicit request of scholars needing an assessment of the ethical dimensions of a research project.
- To advise the Executive Committee and the Academic Council of any policies that may be required in relation to accepting funds from particular sponsors of research.
- To act as an investigative/consultative body for any disputed matter concerning research ethics and conduct.
- To make recommendations to the internal SIET Disciplinary Committee on what action, if any, should be taken as a result of the investigations.
- ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT IN RESEARCH:
Misconduct in academic research implies (and is not limited to) fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or deception in proposing, carrying out or reporting results of research and deliberate, dangerous or negligent deviations from accepted practice in carrying out research. It includes failure to follow an agreed protocol if and when this failure results in unreasonable risk or harm to persons, the environment, and when it facilitates misconduct in research by collusion in, or concealment of, such actions by others. Misconduct also includes any plan or attempt to do any of these things. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretation or judgment in evaluating research methods or results, or misconduct unrelated to research processes.
Misconduct includes (and is not limited to) the following acts:
- The deliberate copying of ideas, text, data or other work (or any combination thereof) without due permission and acknowledgement.
- The deliberate exploitation of ideas from others without proper acknowledgement
ABUSE OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
- Failure to observe legal norms regarding copyright and the moral rights of authors.
ABUSE OF RESEARCH RESOURCES
- Failure to observe the terms and conditions of institutionally licensed research resources.
- Failure to observe relevant legal norms governing libel and slander.
- The deliberate attempt to represent falsely or unfairly the ideas or work of others, whether or not for personal gain or enhancement.
- The situation where someone other than the person who has submitted any academic work has prepared (parts of) the work;
FABRICATION AND FRAUD
- The falsification or invention of qualifications, data, information or citations in any formal academic exercise.
- Acting to prevent others from completing their work. This includes stealing or cutting pages out of library books or otherwise damaging them; or wilfully disrupting the experiments of others; or endangering institutional access to licensed research resources by wilfully failing to observe their terms and conditions
- Professorial acts that are arbitrary, biased or exploitative
DENYING ACCESS TO INFORMATION OR MATERIAL
- To deny others access arbitrarily to scholarly resources or to deliberately and groundlessly impede their progress.
MISCONDUCT IN FORMAL EXAMINATIONS
- Includes having access, or attempting to gain access during an examination, to any books, memoranda, notes, unauthorised electronic devices or any other material, except such as may have been supplied by the invigilator or authorised by the Academic Department. It also includes aiding or attempting to aid another candidate or obtaining or attempting to obtain aid from another candidate or any other communication and conversations that could have an impact on the examination results.
- IDENTIFYING LEVELS OF VIOLATIONS OF GOOD ACADEMIC PRACTICE
Two levels of violations of good academic practice can be distinguished.
- Minor violations:
Minor violations may occur because of inexperience or lack of knowledge of the principles of academic integrity and are often characterised by the absence of dishonest intent on the part of the person committing the violation. They may result from:
- Weak procedures and methods which may jeopardise the integrity of the research but are not undertaken deliberately or recklessly;
- Weaknesses which present no major risks to either subjects or policies which they may influence.
On the whole, these minor violations can be seen as failings which may reflect only poor, rather than unacceptable practices and therefore mainly require further training and development rather than any formal disciplinary action.
Examples of minor violations include: Minor plagiarism defined as a small amount of paraphrasing, quotation or use of diagrams, charts etc. without adequate citation. Minor plagiarism may result from poor scholarship (i.e. when a student, through inexperience or carelessness, fails to reference appropriately or adequately identify the source of the material which they use)
- Inaccurate claims to experience, qualifications or contributions in a context where the person committing the violation cannot expect major benefits (such as winning a competition for a prize or job); ■ Inaccurate representation of findings without deliberate distortion; ■ Lack of diligence in declaring relevant conflicts of interest.
- Such violations may present no risks to subjects, the wider community or the environment, but they may warrant some penalty or sanction at institutional level.
Major violations are breaches of academic integrity that are more serious in nature or that affect a more significant aspect or portion of the academic work compared with minor violations.
Key examples are:
- Deliberate, reckless or grossly negligent conduct which would clearly pose a significant risk in one form or another to the integrity of the research.
- Conduct that may pose risks to subjects, the wider community, the environment, or to the research reputation of the institution and research in general.
- Major plagiarism defined as:
- Extensive paraphrasing or quoting without proper citation of the source;
- Lifting directly from a text or other academic source without reference;
- The use of papers (or parts thereof) from essay banks, either downloaded from the internet or obtained from other sources;
- Presenting another’s designs or concepts as one’s own;
- Continued instances of what was initially regarded as minor plagiarism despite warnings having been given.
Other examples of major violations are:
- The wilful destruction of data (except where required by the legitimate data provider or where norms of privacy might otherwise be endangered);
- Fabrication or falsification of data;
Falsification of ownership;
- Systematic abuse of the terms and conditions of licensed research resources;
- Other systematic violation of the intellectual property rights of third parties.
SIET is committed to fully investigate serious violations of academic misconduct by any academic member of the SIET community.