Is This an Honor?


A scenario meant to stimulate discussion about ways of responding to a suggestion from a researcher who has a reputation of freely taking others' ideas.


A colleague from another (non-English speaking) country asks you for help in preparing an article for a U.S. journal. After you offer comments that are mostly editorial in nature, the colleague insists that you should be a co-author. You do not think your contribution warrants co-authorship. You are too junior to be well known, but you are at a prestigious university. You do not want to seem rude.

What can and should you do?


Caroline Whitbeck introduced methods and modules for discussing numerous issues in responsible conduct of research at a Sigma Xi Forum in 2000. Partial funding for the development of this material came from an NIH grant.

You can find the entire sequence on the OEC at Scenarios for Ethics Modules in the Responsible Conduct of Research. Some information in these historical modules may be out-of-date; for instance, there may be a new edition of the professional society's code that is referred to in an item. If you have suggestions for updates, please contact the OEC.

Caroline Whitbeck. . Is This an Honor?. Online Ethics Center. DOI:.