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2016, Cilt 6, Sayı 2, Sayfa(lar) 242-251
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DOI: 10.5961/jhes.2016.160
Ethical Principles and Violations in Academy: A Qualitative Study
Dilek BAŞERER1, Zeynep BAŞERER2, Aysel TÜFEKÇİ AKCAN3
1Atatürk University, Institute of Educational Sciences, Department of Social Sciences and Turkish Language Education, Erzurum, Turkey
2Gazi University, Institute of Educational Sciences, Department of Social Sciences and Turkish Language Education, Ankara, Turkey
3Gazi University, Gazi Faculty of Education, Department of Preschool Education, Ankara, Turkey
Keywords: Ethics, Academic ethics, Ethical principles, Ethical violations
Abstract
The research was conducted in order to understand views of academics on ethical responsibilities, principles and violations in academia. The research was carried out with 14 academics. Data were collected by using a structured interview form composed of five questions. Content validity, internal validity and external validity were checked for the validity of the research while external and internal reliability was checked to ensure the research reliability. Data were analyzed by using a qualitative method ‘content analysis'. The findings were presented under three sections: (a) ethical principles and violations in scientific research and publications, (b) ethical principles and violations in social relationships, and (c) ethical principles and violations in respect to social responsibility. As a result of the study, it was found that academics were aware of the ethical principles. In addition, given the example that they provided from their surroundings, it was discovered that ethical principles were being violated in scientific research and publication process as well as in social relationships in academia.
  • Top
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Disscussion
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Introduction
    Ethics has established itself throughout the history of mankind as a complement to existence, which philosophy has the most basic problems with, to knowledge, and logic and as a significant element of life. Ethics leads the one who attempts to resolve the questions of which acts should be performed and which ones cannot, what should be requested and what cannot, and what can be possessed and what cannot. (Aydın, 2002) Playing an important role in people's performing moral acts; ethics also have an important place in their professional life. The main motivation behind it is that occupations provide the activities of professional needs of a community. Thus professionals should pay attention to professional ethics consisting of moral rules and ethical principles in order to exercise such activities completely and properly (Cevizci, 2011). In this regard, the responsibility falls especially under those universities that have a fundamental role in the production of science and to academics working in these institutions. Because universities, and academics working in these institutions constitute the basic premise on one hand to convey these truths with an understanding of professional ethics and on the another to discover them in order to reach an ideal academic life. Academic ethics would be at the forefront to reach this ideal academic life. “Moreover, the academic ethics are the core values which should be carefully applied by the members of the team that the academics establish, in which social and scientific responsibilities are defined in the framework of freedom of science” (Büken, 2006:167). An academic should work within the scope of trust and honesty, apply ethical codes regarding science, education, its organization and social service and fulfill the responsibilities that he/ she should have in order to hold these values (Arıkan & Demir, 2009). An academic should initially perform his/her own responsibility for his/her own self. This self-responsibility is to protect those values based upon science and trust, to hold highest professional standards in the layout of a study and its implementation, to do self-criticism throughout a study, to be open and honest, to be respectful to those researchers who have worked and continue to work on the same topic (Ertekin, Berker, Tolun, Ülkü, Aksan, Ercan, Güriz, & Öztürk, 2002).

    Academics have responsibilities for their colleagues as well as themselves. These include treating them fairly and respectfully, defending the rights and freedoms of them and being impartial in evaluation of their academic studies, not revealing their confidential and personal information, assisting them in their professional development, not discriminating against language, religion, age, gender, ethnicity, disability, or political, arbitrary and personal reasons and not compelling or oppressing them to influence their professional decisions (Gerçek, Güven, Özdamar, Yelken, & Korkmaz, 2011).

    Academics also have responsibility towards their workplace, that is, the university. These cover following the rules regarding university's administration and proper implementation of its acts, not dealing with professional activities incompatible with university's duties and responsibilities, being objective and fair while conducting recruitment, assessment, promotion or dismissal processes, treating support staff with respect and equity, using university's financial resources genuinely, not demanding payments (extra hours- travel allowance- daily wages etc.) that they do not merit (Aydın, 2002; Gerçek et al., 2011). In addition to this, academics also bear a number of responsibilities towards the students who are their mostly engaged audience group in their workplace. These responsibilities embody not engaging in humiliating behaviors towards students, not pretending as if they have graded the examination papers without reading them, not charging an assistant with lecturing, not having students prepare assignments related to their own studies, not establishing emotional intercourse with their students, being rational while assessing students' success, regarding the benefits of the students while suggesting any text book, being attentive to course hours, not trying to infuse their individual views into students, following the latest innovations in their courses, not treating students with prejudice regarding their age, gender, language, religion, race etc., not taking benefits from the students outside their courses and avoiding any self-interest with a student (Yılmaz, 2007). Academics have responsibilities to their society as far as to themselves, to their colleagues, to their workplace and to their students. These responsibilities, according to Arıkan and Demir (2009) are to inform the society timely and properly concerning the results of scientific studies, to prioritize humanity's benefits in their research, educate the society accurately on “knowledge”, to serve as a model to the society and students with their lifestyle and behaviors, to reintegrate young, welleducated scientists into society, to take the lead in enhancing the quality of life and not abusing their professional specialty to manipulate people.

    However, in academic life, it is a well-known fact that these ethical principles have been violated from time to time and those ethical responsibilities mentioned above have not been fulfilled. This is also revealed in the academic studies that academics conduct. Regarding this subject, the unethical behaviors that appear in scientific studies in literature can be summarized as follows (Arda, 2010; Ertekin et al., 2002; İnci, 2009; Kahya, 2014; Kargı, 2003; Kibler, 1993; Ruacan , 2005; Stearns, 1998; TÜBİTAK, 2006; Von Dran, Callahan, & Taylor, 2001):

    • Piracy, stealing, looting, theft (“plagiarism”): It is an act of using others' words, ideas, claims, data or figures and denying it. (Brennecke, 2006; Okoro, 2011). Regarding this subject Günbayı et al. (Günbayı, Kasalak, & Özçetin, 2013) determine unauthorized ownership of ethical violations in scientific research (copy-paste), getting others do their scientific research (assignments, projects, etc), refusing to verify the truthfulness of the information, distorting and altering data.

    • Authorship rights issues (irresponsible authorship)-unfair signature: In scientific publications, it is an act of simulating persons' names as authors without any contribution or as denying their names from the publications despite their efforts for the work (Arda, 2010; İnci, 2009; Ongun, 2006).

    • Falsification, fabrication, deception (“dry-lab”, “fabrication”): It is a case in which scientific data is altered on a voluntary basis, and the data that does not exist is fabricated (Butler, 2014; Kansu, 1994).

    • Distortion or deflection: It is to produce false materials by interpreting an available research data with false research methods, and results with a purpose of distortion by making changes in research records and in their processes (Ertekin et al., 2002; Israel & Hay, 2006; İnci, 2009, TÜBİTAK, 2006).

    • Multicast, broadcast repetition (“duplication”): It is to publish or to send the results of an original study that is published for the first time, or the name of its publication, its authors or its data without asserting a footnote to multiple journals for publication. This raises ethical violations in scientific researches. The same situation applies to the publication of the same article in different languages (Kargı, 2003; Ruacan, 2005; Ongun, 2006; Odabaşı, Birinci, Kılıçer, Şahin, Akbulut, & Şendağ, 2007).

    • Salami slicing, by splitting the publishing (“salamization”): It refers to the practice of creating several short publications of the results of a research by splitting them up into smaller parts which leads to disrupting its integrity (Odabaşı et al., 2007; Ünal, Toprak & Başpınar, 2012).

    • Disrespecting human-animal ethics: It refers to the practice of using human or animals as test subjects, that is, violating universal ethical rules of experiments on human and animals (Ongun, 2006; İnci, 2009).

    • Denying contributors and absence of acknowledgement: It refers to denial of acknowledgement of a person who provides support in the publication of ongoing studies, an institution or organization in the context of their contribution to research (İnci, 2009: 79).

    • Biased selection of resources: It refers to the absence of citation and denying acknowledgement of other studies that are contrary while quoting only from articles supporting their results in the “Resources” section of the articles (Ruacan, 2005; İnci, 2009).

    • Conflict of interest: It refers to the practice of creating a piece of academic work with illegitimate ways when it is produced under various personal, financial, political, and academic concerns (Israel & Hay, 2006; Kahya, 2014).

    It is witnessed that essential ethical values can be ignored due to increasing pressure of making publication in recent years, inadequacy of criteria regarding the production of scientific knowledge, employment of academics impartially by doing favoritism. (İnci, 2009) This study is carried out to understand academics' vision of ethical responsibilities, principles and violations. It is of vital importance within the context of remembering and reminding ethical values in academic life.

  • Top
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Disscussion
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Methods
    In this study, a qualitative research model has been employed aiming at examining the role of ethical approach which has an important place in everyday life in the academic field. It is also a qualitative research on account of researching social phenomena within their environment, giving precedence to comprehension, re-modeling the research process according to collected data, following an induction-based approach both in terms of research design and analysis of collected data, and regarding how people interpret their experiences, what meanings they attach to these experiences and the act of revealing how they build their worlds (Merriam, 2013; Şimşek & Yıldırım, 2013).

    SAMPLING PROCESS
    Qualitative researches are carried out with limited samples usually chosen intentionally, even sometimes with a single sample in a detailed way. “The logic of purposive selection of a sample is to select cases rich in information to conduct the study thoroughly… Investigating the cases rich in information provides the opportunity of in depth- understanding rather than empirical generalizations of the phenomenon” (Platton, 2014: 230). In this study, maximum diversity sampling in purposive sampling method was applied. Maximum diversity sampling is to create a relatively limited sample and to select and investigate the mutual patterns and cases in a wide variety by reflecting the maximum degree of the diversity of individuals who are potentially able to become a party to the problem analyzed in this sample (Şimşek & Yıldırım, 2013; Glesne, 2014). For this purpose, the study was conducted with 14 participant academics, including those holding administrative positions, working at different departments in various faculties at private and public universities in the province of Ankara. The frequencies of the details of the participants are given in Table 1.


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    Table 1: Details of the Participants

    COLLECTING DATA
    The data of this research were collected using a structured interview form. Structured interview or standardized openended interviews that requires each question to be built carefully and fully and of whose questions are determined prior to the interview are the interviews in which the same questions including the questions at the end as well are asked in the same order and in the same manner to all participants (Platton, 2014). Firstly, a literature review was made and an opinion of an expert was taken to establish the structured form used for the study. The principles of those in which questions are off multidimensional, directive and comprehensive were taken into consideration in the preparation of interview questions developed with the opinion of researchers and the expert. In this context, five questions were composed. The intelligibility of questions was checked with four people under pilot scheme in terms of being faithful to these principles. In accordance with the answers from the questions, the alterations were made to the questions to improve their clarity and they took their final shape:

    1. In your opinion what are the basic ethical principles that should be considered in the publication and scientific study process?
    2. In your opinion what are mostly violated principles to be considered in the process of publication and scientific study?
    3. What do you think about academics- student relations in accordance with ethical principles and violations in academics' social relations?
    4. What are your views concerning ethical principles in inter academics relationships?
    5. What do ethical behaviors of academics while fulfilling their social responsibilities mean to you?

    The interviews were carried out at the institution where participants work, and in a quiet environment that they favored. Prior to the interviews, the interview process was explained to the participants by giving informed consent form and a personal information form that should be filled by using a code name in order to keep their identity confidential. The code names Goncagül, Suat, Maraş, Güneş, MAD, Orhan, Selma, Sevgi, Mustafa, Yasemin, Direnç, Hümeyra, Yunus ve Mavi.

    For were used for participant academics in line with their own preferences. Interviews lasted about 40-45 minutes and were recorded with a voice recorder under academics' permissions.

    A STUDY ON VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY
    Content validity, internal validity and external validity were checked for the validity of the research. The content validity of the structured interview form concerning academia and ethics was attempted to be achieved with the alterations to the questions in accordance with the answers that were obtained by checking interview questions in the result of pilot scheme, with the related literature review and with expert opinion. In addition, internal validity was attempted to be ensured in terms of receiving participant confirmation regarding the questions asked during the interview, providing interaction by holding interviews' period in certain intervals. The consistency of the findings obtained from the data was checked to increase the credibility of the data. In this respect the compatibility of findings with conceptual framework applied in the development of interview form was tested and the credibility of the research was attempted to be raised by direct quotations. The external validity (transferability) was attempted to be increased with research process and explanation of detailed procedures in this process. External and internal reliability was checked to ensure the research reliability. In providing the research internal reliability (consistency) grouping the findings over common answers and in the form of direct quotations without any comment was taken into consideration.

    External reliability (confirmation) was aimed to be achieved by the facts in the personal information form, specifying the time and place where the interview took place, the conceptual framework applied in the analysis of the data, involving detailed explanations of the analysis methods.

    External validity was intended to be raised by storing the raw data in case of any similar study to be conducted in the future or to be compared with this study.

    DATA ANALYSIS
    Interview records were converted into written documents by transcribing before proceeding to the analysis of the data. Mnemonic notes were used for the problematic parts in audio recording. Similar answers to the questions in the interview form were grouped in itself with content analysis method (Merriam, 2013) focusing on the frequency of a speech pattern or phrase and the frequencies were calculated by watching these answers prevalence by the participants.

  • Top
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Disscussion
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Results
    The findings which aim to understand the views of academics in relation to ethical responsibilities in academia, principles and violations were presented under three main sections: (a) academics' opinions regarding ethical principles and violations in scientific research and publications, (b) academics' opinions regarding ethical principles and violations in their social relationships, and (c) academics' opinions regarding ethical principles and violations in respect to social responsibility.

    ACADEMICS' OPINIONS REGARDING ETHICAL PRINCIPLES AND VIOLATIONS IN SCIENTIFIC STUDY AND PUBLICATIONS
    The questions that investigate what are the ethical violations in scientific studies and publications and which ethical violations are practiced frequently in these fields were posed to the participants in the interview.

    The frequency distribution regarding their responses to basic ethical principles to be taken into consideration during the scientific study and publication process was included in Table 2.


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    Table 2: The Frequency Distribution Regarding Basic Ethical Principles to be Considered During the Scientific Study and Publication Process

    As it can be understood from Table 2, the most fundamental principle for the academics in the study and publication process is “originality of the study”. 5 out of 14 academics emphasized that it is essential. In addition, from the principles to be considered in the scientific study and publication process as a result of the study, “paying attention to provide references” and “paying attention to participants' being voluntary in the study” were viewed as significant by 4 academics out of 14. Güneş who particularly focused on the principle “paying attention to participants' being voluntary in the study” revealed her opinions as follows:

    ...“It is definitely essential to get permission from the families of students in the studies carried out in private education. But sometimes we cannot reach the family and we conduct the study with the student by taking permission from the teacher or the principal for the sake of carrying on the study without the consent of the family. I think the families should be informed and asked for their consent regarding this issue”…

    “Benefiting from the original study” arose as a principle to be considered thoroughly as a result of the interviews. Orhan presented his views regarding this principle:

    ...“Instead of giving reference at second hand I think it is essential to present it as cited. Therefore, either the original source should be cited or it should be directly indicated…since the information obtained from the original source is cited in the second hand source by adding comments and this violates its originality”…

    Two out of 14 academics asserted that being transparent in scientific study and publication process, making literature review in accordance with the study, ensuring confidentiality (participants' identity, gender, degree, their institutions etc.) in the studies and informing about the study require to be considered as the basic ethical principles in scientific study and publication process. However, Maraş, Yunus and Suat approached the principles to be considered in scientific study and publication process from a different aspect. While Maraş approached the issue;

    “… The point that requires special emphasis in scientific study and publication process is original problematic. For instance, it becomes a problem when it is stated like Ziya Gökalp's views on education, but you shall not directly present Ziya Gökalp's views on education, you shall come up with new ideas from that view on education. That is, the subject shall become authentic and then you shall achieve further authenticity within the same subject…”

    Yunus expressed his views on the basic principle to be noted in scientific study and publication process as;

    “I can say that, disallowing any practice that will hurt human dignity. Bearing human and conscientious responsibilities in mind during the studies”…

    Other than these two participants, Suat added new dimension to the topic by pointing out;

    …”I think internal validity of the study should be ensured. That is, specific criteria exist while determining the dependent and independent variables, and these should be respected. At this point, it is essential to check intervening and external variable. These are vital in terms of ethical principles.”

    Table 3 introduces the frequency distribution of the ethical violations in scientific study and publication process in accordance with participants' views.


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    Table 3: The Frequency Distribution of the Ethical Violations in Scientific Study and Publication Process

    As Table 3 illustrates, plagiarism is the most frequent violation in scientific study and publication process. 10 out of 14 academics mentioned plagiarism during the interviews. Maraş quoted his ideas regarding this subject as:

    “The most frequent violation is deliberate or indirect plagiarism. Deliberate plagiarism, theft…I believe indirect plagiarism is to lift the cited quotation directly from a text without presenting the original text though one acknowledges its source…In Turkey, when one needs to write a text book, the copy- paste method is used pretending that they are creating something original. But one needs to think over and endeavor seriously to write a book”…

    On the other hand, according to the results of the interviews it is revealed that academics affirm that “making the assistants write articles and denying their contributions by not acknowledging their names” is also regarded as a violation of ethical principles in scientific studies and publication process. Hümeyra contemplated her ideas on the subject:

    “The student carries out the study and entitles the teacher's name to it. The teacher does not have any effort; he/she has done nothing. It is definitely against scientific ethics.”

    Furthermore, Yasemin presented her thoughts about this matter as;

    “Having research assistants work tremendously in hierarchical order, excluding the acknowledgment of their names from the article or, involving their names in second, third, fourth order is a generally experienced phenomenon. That is, the study is organized in line with the degree of those rather than the contributions of the one conducting the study. It is substantially a disturbing case…”

    According to the results of the interviews three out of 14 academics declared that “falsification and fabrication of the statistical results obtained” is an act of ethical violations as well. Furthermore, two out of 14 academics regarded translating articles from other languages and presenting them as their own, getting experts to do survey and assessment sections in practical studies, ignoring the principle of volunteerism, ignoring the principle of confidentiality, publishing by offering bribe as violations of ethics in scientific study and publication process. On the other hand, Orhan and Suat viewed ethical principles violated in scientific studies and publication process from a different perspective. Orhan:

    “There is a problem especially about translation. You need to acquire certain level of English in order to be an academician. But it is enough to get a passing grade from foreign language exam for some academics. They do not develop themselves. They believe that they know English or any foreign language properly depending on their passing grades. In fact translation is a different matter of fact. Because they think they do not possess that level or fail to hold necessary qualifications, they submit the articles that they wrote and publish an article in foreign language practically”…

    Suat interpreted ethical violations in scientific study and publication process as;

    “Suppose a study with four concepts. It is pathetic that each concept needs to appear in different publications. Because its single version is published as well. In that case, the publication appears five times with this violation though there should be one.”

    ACADEMICS VIEWS ON ETHICAL PRINCIPLES AND VIOLATIONS IN SOCIAL RELATIONS
    The questions that investigate what are their opinions of academics- student relation in accordance with ethical principles and violations in academics' social relations and what they think of the inter-relations of academics concerning ethical principles and violations were posed to the participants in the interview. Table 4 includes the frequency distribution of academics viewpoints about academics-student relationships in accordance with ethical principles and violations in their social relationships.


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    Table 4: The Frequency Distribution of Viewpoints about Academics-Student Relationships in Line with Ethical Principles and Violations

    As it is demonstrated in Table 4, according to seven out of 14 academics the most fundamental principle in academics student relationships is “A limitation between academics and student with due regard”. However four academics pointed out that it can be violated both by the academics and by the student. Suat, Selma, Hümeyra and Direnç who were disturbed by the personalization of the relation between academics and students discussed this issue according to their experiences at university:

    Suat: “There should be a limit between academics and student. Because the basic exchange here is information. I believe personal relations should be established. I witnessed a few case regarding this matter. I experienced that male academics were more intimate with female students. While this situation was not witnessed between female academics and male students, it was obvious between male academics and female students. I believe that those academics that violated ethical principles had personality disorders.”

    Selma: “There are situations in which female student and male lecturer transgress the limits of academics- student relations and it is very disturbing…”

    Hümeyra: “I find the intense intimacy between the undergraduate student and the lecturer quite outrageous. Some are sincere and the students behave intimately from their experience. But there is a difference between intimacy and immorality. That is, it is quite immoral of forty-year old lecturer to have feelings for a student at his/her sibling's age. Sometimes the student is quite gullible and he/she does not notice it. Or because he/she is so poor that he/she cannot risk failing his/her classes, he/she tolerates it. Sometimes the student is immoral and he/she can behave intimately”…

    Direnç: “Unfortunately there are humiliating intercourse especially between female students and male lecturers under the guise of increasing grades. This fact occurs in the majority of society not just in academia”…

    On the other hand, Mustafa interpreted this issue from a different angle by regarding the situation as quite natural and said:

    “I consider this situation as natural in each department of each university as I witness it quite many times. I can tolerate the case in which the woman is single, the man is single and it is tolerable on the condition that the one who is an academician is not given privilege over the other. This is my personal opinion. I do not care their affair; nobody should care. We witness that some lecturers working in our university flirted with their wives when they were research assistants, married after graduation”…

    Furthermore, two out of 14 academics regarded “exchanging information between academics and students” and “academics' guiding students” as ethical principles in academics- student relations. On the other hand, three academics submitted that “regarding the student as a slave” and “being prejudiced against the student who hold other views” and two academics “avoiding mentioning the course contents to the students” ”threatening the students by grades” “avoiding lecturing” are among basic ethical principles in academics- student relationships. In contrast, MAD and Maraş regarded ethical principles in academics- student relationships from a different perspective.

    MAD: “The ethical principles and violations arise regarding the prevention of the manipulation of students' rights. The students are not very enthusiastic about their rights as well. That is they do not pursue their rights. Thus, both the academician continues to behave in the same way and the student does not voice his/her complaint and trouble. That is why we assume that there is nothing wrong about this situation”…

    Maraş: “We generally come across with single problems. I witnessed it among the complaints as an administrator. It does not fit to the principle of human relations. But I know that there are inhumane, immoral, illegal practices. The lecturers approach to the students negatively. The students' manipulating the good intentions of their lecturers with their specific false attitudes is witnessed in academia. Failing to be objective regarding exams, preferring one to the other, that is favoring some are among the examples observed in academia. And, one lies if he/ she denies it”.

    Table 5 allows the frequency distribution of participants' views regarding ethical principles and violations in inter-academics relations.


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    Table 5: The Frequency Distribution of Participants’ Views Regarding Ethical Principles and Violations in Inter-Academics Relations

    As Table 5 reveals three out of 14 academics acknowledged “helping one another”, “showing love and respect within limits” and “respecting one another's studies” as ethical principles that are necessary in their relationships. On the contrary five academics regarded “stealing roles in collaborative studies” (plagiarism, including the name of someone who is does not have contributions in the work etc.), three academics “constant questioning and criticizing qualifications of academics working in the same area” “inhumane rivalry” and, two academics “spreading gossips to block the study” by witnessing it among academics as violations in academia. In this regard Mustafa, MAD, Goncagül, Orhan, Mavi, Güneş and Yasemin reflected their views respectively:

    Mustafa; “What I learned about relationships is that firstly, you shall not talk about politics if you want to establish a relationship within ethical basis. Secondly, being a listener is always the most ethical. Because everyone is right in his/her own way. I have never listened to anybody who thinks he/she is not right… I think possessing a mild-tempered personality is the most ethical thing.”

    MAD: “I want to give an example. 5 doctors from the faculty of medicine come for associate professorship jury of a friend who studies on visually handicapped education. And it is weird. These people choose this assignment from YÖKSİS website. And they ask the structure of eye to this person studying on visually handicapped…Consequently we have a real problem regarding such interferences in other's field of study or about our limitations.

    Goncagül: … “The most distinct violations are factionalisms and prioritizing the major group's financial, administrative and academic benefits.”

    Orhan: … “There are academics who involve in ethical violations to get promotion. For example you talk about the topic that you plan to study in an environment and this is the same environment in which the one that has intentions of promotion and troubles in publishing for that reason. This person can steal your opinions just for his/her profit; do studies on the same topic that you come up with beforehand by taking advantage of your thoughts. This problem is not only true for writing articles but it also arises in projects, practices that will be implemented, the classes that are opened for you and even in the contents of the courses.

    Mavi: “The violations that arise from jealousy, gossip, disguised relationships.”

    Güneş: “The violations among academics are related to hierarchy. My friend experienced such situation. His/her lecturer took the money of the award-winning work of him. Or you think over study and your lecturer makes it his/her own study.”

    Yasemin: “Suppose that I wrote an article and sent it; it was sent to the lecturer, Levent, an arbitrator, this person is also my next-door neighbor. This lecturer could inform that this article was sent to him. This is actually an example of ethical violation. That is, individuals confuse occupational organizations with their different roles in the institutions where they work”…

    ACADEMICS VIEWS ON ETHICAL PRINCIPLES REGARDING SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
    Finally, the questions regarding ethical principles while fulfilling social responsibilities were posed to the participants. Table 6 reveals the frequency distributions of participants' views regarding academics' ethical principles to hold while fulfilling social responsibilities.

    Five out of 14 academics considered “doing studies for the benefit of society (projects, publications, conferences etc.), three academics “being a role model in society”, two academics “avoiding impartial treatment”, “raising qualified students”, ”creating authentic works” and, “lecturing in accordance with scientific data” as ethical principles of academics while fulfilling social responsibilities. On the other hand, some academics discussed these principles from a different angle. Mad who thinks that academics should give priority to the individual that they raised and regarding it as a social responsibility voiced his thoughts as:

    “One needs to think of the parameters concerning the benefits of society, the country, the function of the university, its mission and vision while discussing social responsibility. We are in a bell jar as academics while fulfilling social responsibilities. We do not have much contact with society. I work in the department of education which is a faculty with 550 lecturers. I know that there are lecturers who have no experience in lecturing. Also, there are lecturers lacking pedagogical formation. I see that there are lecturers who never come to the university and unfortunately, these lecturers raise teachers. This is the most critical violation of social responsibility”…

    Mavi who emphasized that social responsibilities lost their significance in today's world and they are centered upon personal gains, expressed his ideas by adding “…academics only mind the money they earn. They do studies for their own benefits rather that the society”… From a similar perspective, Suat by reporting “some academics do not pay attention to deliver permanent products that would favor social interests while conducting any study. They generally give their own interests prominence. There are some who think that if they deliver more products they will equally gain more respectability in society. In this respect their own interests become much more essential than the society.” asserted that academics do not hold any responsibility to society but they only prioritize their own interests to raise their respectability in society. Maraş who focused on one's being a decent individual stated that:

    “The social responsibilities of academics…are to do science, raise students, and inform the society properly at the right time. These are academics' responsibilities to the society and the government. He shall firstly be a good person while fulfilling them. Because if he/she is not a good person, he/she cannot be a good lecturer”…

    Yasemin viewed this idea from a different perspective:

    “I was not raised by a religious family. We did not have a religious belief but my mother and father taught me; if you sleep with clear conscience it means that there is no problem. I suppose that the same situation is valid in your profession. If I am comfortable conscientiously, if I do not have any suspicion about the information I have given or the things that I have told, for example, if I am truly answering the question of a student rather than pretending, I believe that I fulfill my social responsibility”…

    Sevgi who stressed not deceiving society as an ethical principle while fulfilling academics' social responsibilities believed that academics have an essential role in informing the society and this corresponds to their responsibilities to society:

    “They cannot explain or publish the data they obtained from some researches due to some reasons which can be social, cultural or political since their impact would be tremendous. An academician must not deceive society, also he/she must share if there is something that would lead to panic with relevant department.


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    Table 6: The Frequency Distributions of Views Regarding Ethical Principles to Hold While Fulfilling Social Responsibilities

  • Top
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Disscussion
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Discussion
    We have conducted this study to determine academics views regarding academics' ethical responsibilities, principles and violations. The fundamental findings obtained from the study show that academics hold similar perspectives on core points regarding academic ethics.

    The ethical responsibilities in scientific studies and publications are determined as originality of the study, paying attention to provide references, paying attention to participants' being voluntary in the study, benefiting from the original sources, being transparent in the scientific study and publication process, making literature review in accordance with the study, ensuring confidentiality in the studies and informing about the study” by the academics participating in the study. In addition, the study also reveals that possessing original problematic, avoiding any practice that will hurt human dignity and providing internal consistency of the conducted studies are also discussed as ethical principles that should be considered in scientific studies and publications. These findings which are parallel to the studies of Bülbül (2004) and İnci (2008) show that academics are aware of the ethical principles in scientific studies and publications and they are responsive in this respect. It is discovered that academics mainly complain about plagiarism when we look at the findings regarding the most frequent ethical violation in scientific studies and publications making the assistants write articles and denying their contributions by not acknowledging their names. Moreover, it is also observed that falsification and fabrication of the statistical results obtained, translating articles from other languages and presenting them as their own, getting experts to do survey and assessment sections in practical studies, ignoring the principle of volunteerism, ignoring the principle of confidentiality, publishing by offering bribe are among prevalent ethical violations. In addition it is revealed that assigning translation of the articles to others, doing salami slicing regarding the headings in an article written in foreign language and constantly covering the same topic with different variables are prevalent in academia and each is regarded as ethical violation by the academics participating in the study. Kibler (1993), Stearns (1998), Von Dran et. al., (2001), Ertekin et. al., (2002); Kargı (2003), Ruacan (2005), Uçak & Birinci (2008), İnci (2009), Arda (2010), Ünal et. al., (2012), Uluç (2012), Günbayı et. al., (2013) and Kâhya (2014) conducted parallel studies to these findings by touching upon each violation separately. They asserted that there are violations especially about plagiarism and giving references and new publications are attempted to be done with translations. It is observed that participants are predominantly sensitive concerning ethical violations in scientific studies and publications when their answers are assessed on the whole. Academics' giving examples from their own observations shows that there are many academics who act in violation of ethics in their environment.

    Academics defended that ethical principles between academics and students should be showing love and respect within limits, exchanging information between academics and students, and academics' guiding students regarding ethical principles and violations in academics' social relations. Aydın (2002), Yılmaz (2007) and Gerçek et al. (2011) sharing the same ideas asserted that academics should approach to the students objectively without discrimination, establish bonds based on love and respect within limits. However, they noted that these principles that they advocated are frequently violated particularly between academics and students regarding limitations in their relationships and they are utterly uncomfortable about it. In addition they assessed regarding the student as a slave, being prejudiced against the student who hold other views, avoiding mentioning the course contents to the students, threatening the students by grades, and avoiding lecturing as an indicator or violation of ethical principles in academics student relations.

    Participants presented that helping one another, showing love and respect within limits, and respecting one another's studies are considered as essential ethical principles in inter academics relations within the scope of social relations of academics with other academics concerning ethical principles and violations. Ertekin et al. (2002) indicated that an academician should hold oneself responsible firstly, and then he/she should feel responsible to his/her colleagues. Büken (2006), on the other hand, stated that academics should respect one another within the scope of academic etiquette, be unprejudiced, do studies free from personal concerns and create an environment in which they can share their works with their colleagues without any personal benefits. The findings of our study show parallelism with the studies of Ertekin et al. (2002) and Bülken (2006) in termsof ethical principles. However, we have found out that these ethical principles are violated. Especially, stealing roles in collaborative studies, constant questioning and criticizing qualifications of academics working in the same area, inhumane rivalry, and spreading gossips to block the study are among these violations that are observed among academics. Furthermore, it is also an example of ethical violation when a high ranking academician undertakes a lower ranking academician's study. It is worthy of consideration that academics emphasize that quite many academics violate these principles and that they exemplify these violations from their own experiences. Likewise it is presented that doing studies for the benefit of society, being a role model in society, avoiding impartial treatment, raising qualified students, creating authentic works, lecturing in accordance with scientific data are the ethical principles with regard to serving the public. These findings have parallelism with the studies of Arıkan & Demir (2009) and Erdem (2012) in terms of their serving as a model for future generations and informing the society about “science” properly. However, we also need to point out that the academics' social responsibilities have lost its significance in today's world and personal interest is prioritized in each context. It is worthy of importance that only two academics out of 14 are uncomfortable with this tradition.

  • Top
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Conclusion
    In conclusion, we have sought to figure out academics' viewpoints on academic ethics of participants with this study. The academics are aware of the ethical principles, but it is revealed that these principles are violated in scientific study and publication process, and in their social relationships in the light of the examples that they have given. While academics that take on responsibilities to cultivate society should represent their status, it is obviously alarming that they violate ethical principles they are required to be aware and follow. Yet that the ones who should be a model for generations they raise violate ethical principles constitutes an impediment to the progress of individuals in society. We are of the opinion that the reason behind this problem is that the essence of the ethic that reveals what shall be done, what shall be requested and what shall be possessed is not recognized. The essence of ethic can only be achieved by grasping what is ethic with philosophical infrastructure. Therefore, we assume that we should appreciate what ethic is as a philosophical value. Because the more we internalize this concept, the more we include it to our lives and living conditions. Thus the acquisition of ethical principle in philosophical platform should be achieved. As it was also covered in the studies of Çobanoğlu et al. (Çobanoğlu, Haberal, & Çağlar, 2005), various mistakes occur because of the ignorance of principles in study and publication ethics. Because there will be less mistakes as long as people become conscious of study and publication ethics. Accordingly, more studies should be conducted to fulfill ethical principles both in daily life and scientific fields and in social life.
  • Top
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • References

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  • Top
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References
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