RCR Blackboard Course


The content of these Research Ethics pages was originally developed by the RCR Education Committee (RCREC), a special interest project administratively housed with the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE). Content is derived from courses taught by Dr. Michael Kalichman at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and Dr. Francis Macrina at Virginia Commonwealth University; this content is available for UAF's use through our institutional membership in the RCREC.  Additional UAF specific references and information have been added by the Office of Research Integrity.

Designed to promote the integrity of the university’s research community, this self-directed tutorial program offers modules addressing the core issues for both responsible conduct of research and for maintaining the integrity of the research record. Everyone engaged in research activities, irrespective of discipline, is expected to have a reasonable understanding of these topics. This includes administrators and research support staff as well as faculty, post-docs, students, and technicians. Some sponsors require formal documentation that investigators and their research team have received this training. This course is intended to meet most training grant requirements; however, it is up to the individual Program Director and his/her funding agency to determine whether this form of instruction is sufficient. 

UAF is currently developing campus-wide guidelines for Post Doctoral Mentoring Plans and Responsible Conduct in Research Training to meet the America COMPETES Act requirements, implemented by the National Science Foundation in 2009.  UAF considers completion of this course sufficient for NSF funded undergraduate research students and support staff.  This course alone is not considered sufficient training for graduate students, post doctoral researchers, or faculty.  UAF graduate students funded by NSF must complete LAS 697/601 (2 credits), Responsible Conduct in Research, during their first year of funding.  Graduate students are encourage to take the course for credit but enrollment is not required to participate.  Students who choose not register for the course will be given a certificate indicating the sections they completed at the end of the semester.

How to Enroll

Graduate students can enroll in LAS 697/601 through the normal course registration process.  Graduate students wishing to participate without enrolling should contact the Office of Research Integrity to sign up.

NSF funded undergraduate students, support staff, and other individuals needing to document a basic understandaing of RCR topics should contact the ORI and request to be enrolled in the UAF Blackboard Course so they can take the quizzes covering the material presented on these pages.

Course Objectives

The purpose of this course is to engage researchers and research trainees in reading about, considering, and discussing the responsible conduct of science. It is our hope that this material will help initiate discussions on RCR topics between graduate students and their advisers, between research collaborators, and within research groups.

UAF faculty and course instructors are welcome to use this course and any of its components in their courses or workshops.

Course Format

Presently the course is offered as a self-directed tutorial. UAF faculty and instructors are welcome to use this course or any of its components. If you feel that UAF should offer this as a "for credit course" please let us know and tell your department head, dean or supervisor.

Course Topics

Credit for completion of the Responsible Conduct of Research course is based on completion of quizzes on the following topics:

  • Research Misconduct
  • Data Management
  • Use of Animal Subjects
  • Use of Human Subjects
  • Conflicts of Interest and Commitment
  • Authorship
  • Publication and Peer Review
  • Collaboration and Mentoring

Recommended Texts

  1. Barnbaum DR, Byron M (2001): Research Ethics: Text and Readings. Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

  2. Bulger RE, Heitman E, Reiser, SJ (2002): The Ethical Dimensions of the Biological and Health Sciences. Cambridge University Press, New York.

  3. Cheney D (1993): Ethical Issues in Research. University Publishing Group, Maryland.

  4. Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy. 1994. On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research. National Academy Press, Washington D.C.

  5. Macrina FL (2000): Scientific Integrity: An Introductory Text With Cases. American Society for Microbiology Press, Washington, DC.

  6. Resnik DB (1998): The Ethics of Science: An Introduction (Philosophical Issues in Science). Routledge, New York.

  7. Shamoo AE, Resnik DB (2002): Responsible Conduct of Research. Oxford University Press, New York.