The Very Interested Reviewer
A scenario meant to stimulate discussion about the moral situations that arise when a scientist gets an idea from an article he/she referees for a journal.
As a recent Ph.D., you receive a journal article to referee. This article provides a proof for a result in your area of study. You become intrigued by the topic, and after a few weeks you come up with a shorter and better proof. You feel clear about your recommendation regarding the publishability of the result submitted to you.
What, if anything, can and should you do or say about your own new proof?
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 Some information in these historical modules may be out-of-date; for instance, there may be a new edition of the professional society's code that is referred to in an item.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.