Rachel Aga (Committee Chair), Ioana Sizemore (Advisor), Sarah Twill (Committee Member)
Master of Science (MS)
Cheating in America has become an epidemic, which has unfortunately spread to academia. Researchers have long been interested in the trends in cheating behavior and the factors that influence these trends among undergraduate college students. Though cheating can take on many forms, in science, there is a deep concern about scientific misconduct related to research. Because training for future scientists begins in undergraduate courses, this study investigated the use of scientific integrity writing strategy in General Chemistry I at Wright State University. The goal of the study was to determine if providing scientific integrity and ethics training, while teaching students to write journal article-like laboratory reports, reduced the number of ethical violations committed in General Chemistry I. The investigation was composed of three main parts: 1) Pre-intervention data collection, 2) Intervention Presentations and 3) Post-intervention data collection. Pre-intervention data included a pre-test on the Integrity Principles and Ethics in Scientific Publications and a pre-intervention laboratory report on Paper Chromatography. The intervention was a training on the Integrity Principles and Ethics in Scientific Publications during a laboratory period. Post- intervention data included post-tests and the evaluation of the Analysis of Hydrated Copper Sulfate laboratory report. The evaluation of the laboratory reports was completed using an ethics rubric that focused on six facets of plagiarism. The results showed a statistically significant increase in students' scores on the pre-and post-tests on the Integrity Principles and Ethics in Scientific Publications. When the laboratory reports were evaluated with the ethics rubric, it was found that there was a decrease in the number of ethical violations related to plagiarism. The study also found that students who earned A grades on the laboratory reports had the least number of ethical violations post-intervention. Finally, it was determined that females were less likely to plagiarize than males. Though the results of this study are encouraging, it is clear that additional training is needed in the area of ethics and scientific integrity at WSU.
Department or Program
Department of Chemistry
Year Degree Awarded
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