College of Economic & Management Sciences

Building a culture of academic integrity

This year, Global Ethics Day will be celebrated from 18 to 19 October 2018 around the theme of ethics in action. The initiative will take a practical approach to the practice of research ethics within a changing environment.

The ethics of peer review

Scientific findings can have far-reaching implications for individuals and society. This is one reason why they undergo a process of quality control known as ‘peer review’ before they are published. Peer review involves subjecting a researcher’s scholarly work to the scrutiny of other experts in the same field to check its validity and evaluate its suitability for publication. There are considerable differences in the level of detail with which papers are evaluated. For example, according to academic publisher Elsevier, some journals make additional use of anti-plagiarism software, organise separate reviews of the author’s methods and statistics, or examine the submitted illustrations to detect whether they have been manipulated.

Peer review has recently faced criticism following cases where reviewers failed to identify and point out errors in the author’s methodology. In some cases, so-called predatory journals, which claim to have implemented peer review, actually carry out superficial assessments, or none at all. The first session of Global Ethics Day focuses on the ethics of peer review and provides researchers with guidelines on how to not only improve their own submissions, but also to improve the overall quality of the peer review system.

Transforming research ethics in an African context

The second session will examine the need for transforming research ethics review in an African context and re-examine research methodology approaches and practices. The following questions will be discussed:

  • Does research focus on national priorities of the African continent?
  • Is there a national research agenda that takes into consideration changing research methodologies?
  • Are research communities involved in identifying research problems, setting research priorities, and developing research protocols?
  • Do research findings make a difference to the targeted beneficiaries within a 21st century African context?

Training sessions and workshops

Staff members can also register for a variety of short workshops such as Turnitin training, facilitated online TRREE training, and an information session on how to apply for ethics clearance. You can find more information here.

Disruptive journeys—ensuring transformed tomorrows…

Why do I have to be ethical? and What am I prepared to sacrifice? are two of the questions that will be addressed at the ethics conference of the Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology (IOP) on 19 October. This is the third ethics conference that the department is hosting. The conference theme is disruptive journeys—ensuring transformed tomorrows…

This offers stakeholders an opportunity to meet, listen to addresses by national experts, and discuss real ethical issues in daily life. Attending the event further offers psychologists an opportunity to earn continuous professional development (CPD) points which they require to maintain their registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

Professor Braam Hoffmann, the chairperson of the TUT Research Ethics Committee and a UNESCO-trained ethics teacher, is the keynote speaker.

The other presenters include Professor Anton Grobler from Unisa’s SBL, Carmen le Grange from Lincoln Advisory, an advisory consulting practice, and Shirleen Titus, the head of the School for Finance, Risk and Governance and Strategic Business Services in the Functional Faculty of Eskom’s Academy of Learning. The programme concludes with a focus group discussion, facilitated by Professor Benny Olivier of IOP.

The event takes place in the Function Hall of Kgorong and the attendance fee is R650.00.

*Submitted by Leona Ungerer

Publish date: 2018/10/08