Assessing the educational literature in the responsible conduct of research for core content

Elizabeth Heitman, Ruth Ellen Bulger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


To determine core content for RCR instruction, content analysis was conducted using key instructional resources for ORI's nine RCR "core instructional areas". Topics discussed in these key RCR resources were identified and their frequency across resources was tabulated. Topics covered most frequently were judged to be core content. Although key educational resources cited a variety of references, specific topics and issues addressed were generally consistent across the materials examined. Nonetheless, key resources varied in organization and depth of coverage for core instructional areas. Recent resources were more systematic and comprehensive than earlier works. This was particularly evident in materials about human participant research, conflicts of interest, and data management and sharing. Key resources presented additional "non-core" issues, such as scientific values, ethical principles, creativity and objectivity, moral reasoning, genetics, epidemiologic issues, and scientists' societal roles, suggesting that ORI's core instructional areas should be reconfigured or expanded. Because educational material available on RCR and professionalism was so comprehensive, we recommend that ORI consider research integrity, not research misconduct, as one core instructional area. We also recommend that compliance with research regulations be restored as a core instructional area to accentuate ethical, financial and legal requirements related to acceptance of federal funding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-224
Number of pages18
JournalAccountability in Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005


  • Research ethics
  • Research integrity
  • Responsible conduct of research education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Library and Information Sciences


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