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Research and Sponsored Programs

East Tennessee State University

Research Ethics


East Tennessee State University recognizes that maintenance of the highest standards of ethics in research is essential to the advancement of knowledge and to retaining public trust in the research and scholarly activities conducted by its faculty, students and staff. To this end all faculty, staff and students engaged in research and scholarly activities are strongly encouraged to read the documents linked from this page, especially the ETSU Guidelines on the Responsible Conduct of Research and the ETSU Policy on Misconduct in Research and Scholarship (see below). The former provides the context for ethical conduct of research at ETSU and every person conducting research at ETSU should be familiar with the Policy on Misconduct in Research and Scholarship.

CITI Course in the RCR

ETSU also provides the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Course in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). All individuals involved in research and scholarly activity at ETSU are encouraged to take the appropriate CITI course. Note that those who are personnel on some types of grants funded by the federal government (e.g. NIH center and training grants) are required to complete this or some other form of formal training in RCR.   For those of you who have been certified for use of human or animal research subjects, this is a companion course and the format is very similar to CITI training in those areas. 

You do not have to complete the entire course at one sitting.  A certificate is available to print/save upon completion. The directions are self-explanatory, but if you have difficulties or questions please contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (439 6000).

The basic CITI RCR course includes the following topics:

  • Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Research Misconduct
  •  Data Acquisition and Management
  • Responsible Authorship
  • Peer Review
  • Mentoring
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Collaborative Research

The other RCR options include:

  • CITI Biomedical Sciences RCR Course
  • CITI Social and Behavioral Sciences RCR Course
  • CITI Physical Sciences and Engineering RCR Course
  • CITI RCR Course for Students and Investigators in the Humanities
  • CITI Course for IACUC Members
  • Review the CITI Health Information Privacy and Security (HIPS) Course

Research students, staff and faculty are encouraged to complete the CITI Course in the Responsible Conduct of Research and other RCR training options in the area of specific interest or expertise. The course is flexible enough that classroom instructors of research methods courses can use this online tutorial as an adjunct to class instruction.

For training, please go to:
CITI  RCR  Training  Module

ETSU Guidelines on the Responsible Conduct of Research

PREAMBLE A central responsibility of a university is to promote, encourage, enable, and conduct high quality research.  East Tennessee State University is committed to quality research, and to the responsible conduct of that research.  The university expects everyone working here individual researchers, lab managers, technicians, and students to embody the highest standards of research excellence, to exhibit exemplary moral behavior as researchers. However, It is not enough to hold employees and students to high ethical standards.  The institution will actively seek ways (a) to encourage careful thought about our ethical responsibilities as researchers, (b) to reward exemplary behavior and to censure questionable behavior, and (c) to promulgate these expectations to all students and everyone within the universitys employ.

For full text, please see :
ETSU Guidelines on the Responsible Conduct of Research (PDF)

ETSU Policy for Misconduct in Scholarship and Research

Maintenance of the utmost integrity in scholarship, research, and teaching is fundamental to successful accomplishment of the mission of East Tennessee State University.  Furthermore, the privilege of academic freedom intrinsic to scholarship and research can only continue if public trust in the integrity of these activities is maintained.

For full text, please see:
Misconduct in Scholarship & Research ETSU Policy

ETSU Policy for Interactions with Pharmaceutical Companies

The relationship between industries and the medical profession is under increased scrutiny.  While pharmaceutical and medical device companies make many meaningful contributions to medical education, there is potential for abuse and inappropriate benefit to the medical profession.  It is important to address the public perception of this relationship, especially in graduate medical education.

For full text, please see:
Ethical Guidelines Policy for Interactions with Pharmaceutical Companies

Other Helpful Information:

A Guide to the Determination of Authorship

On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct of Research

AAAS Resource Site - a website for students, researchers, administrators, and policymakers. bringing together a diverse array of resources, including authorship, use of research animals, peer review, data sharing, protection of human subjects, conflict of interest and responsible conduct in research education

University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) webiste for RCR Materials.  includes a video-driven illustration with lessons showing students how to anticipate the issues that would arise in a case of possible misconduct and to think ahead about what to do. 

The UAB Ethics for Authors website explores ethical issues for students, researchers and faculty writing for publication.  The site includes FAQs on citing and writing for research, e-tools and activities, and several handouts.

The Office of Research Integrity

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