About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1905-1911
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.0585

Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain

STRESS AND UNETHICAL BEHAVIOUR IN THE RESEARCH OF UNTENURED UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS

O. Parlangeli1, M. Bracci1, S. Guidi1, E. Marchigiani1, P. Liston2

1University of Siena (ITALY)
2The University of Dublin (IRELAND)
The relationship between stress, uncertain work contracts and the incidence of unethical behaviour in research have not yet been investigated. This is surprising considering that on the one hand the job of a researcher is increasingly “insecure" and on the other research outputs are under increased media and professional scrutiny regarding their adherence to the ethical principles of truth, honesty, respectful collaboration, and accurate reporting.

The present study seeks to bridge this gap in knowledge on this complex phenomenon. An online survey is currently being administered - already completed by over 390 untenured researchers. The survey is designed to assess the risk of stress to this growing category of researcher – something considered important to establish given the increasing role these researchers are playing in the production of research outputs in national and international contexts. The survey is composed of standardized sections aimed at assessing
(1) the perceived stress level (PSS-4),
(2) the stress risk factors (HSE) and
(3) unethical research behaviours (bespoke items developed for this study).

The data collected so far highlight a significant risk of stress related to several factors and a clear relationship between these, the level of insecurity of job contracts, and the occurrence of unethical behaviours. In addition, regarding misconduct, respondents have rated others as more “unethical”, than themselves. Although, on the basis of this analysis, it is difficult to say whether the perception of others is more correct compared to the results reported for oneself, we can highlight how the behaviour least frequently cited in reference to oneself was "not to mention the sources of funding for research" (as reported by 3.5%). While, again in reference to oneself, the most frequently reported behaviour was "adding the names of authors who have participated in the research to a publication"(80.5%). For many other types of misconduct, the percentages are equally perturbing.

These data provide a glimpse of a grim picture of the world of research. Immediate and decisive interventions are needed, which are not simply aimed at putting in place more checks or additional ethical codes. This study highlights the structural causes that result in psychological discomfort at work and which undermine not only the professional and private lives of so many people who perform research, but which can also be detrimental to the advancement of knowledge and scientific endeavour.
@InProceedings{PARLANGELI2017STR,
author = {Parlangeli, O. and Bracci, M. and Guidi, S. and Marchigiani, E. and Liston, P.},
title = {STRESS AND UNETHICAL BEHAVIOUR IN THE RESEARCH OF UNTENURED UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS},
series = {10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-6957-7},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2017.0585},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2017.0585},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {1905-1911}}
TY - CONF
AU - O. Parlangeli AU - M. Bracci AU - S. Guidi AU - E. Marchigiani AU - P. Liston
TI - STRESS AND UNETHICAL BEHAVIOUR IN THE RESEARCH OF UNTENURED UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS
SN - 978-84-697-6957-7/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2017.0585
PY - 2017
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2017
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2017 Proceedings
SP - 1905
EP - 1911
ER -
O. Parlangeli, M. Bracci, S. Guidi, E. Marchigiani, P. Liston (2017) STRESS AND UNETHICAL BEHAVIOUR IN THE RESEARCH OF UNTENURED UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS, ICERI2017 Proceedings, pp. 1905-1911.
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