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A commentary article titled "Ethics for the Next Generation" written by Philip J. Langlais, ODU vice provost for graduate studies and research, was published in the Jan. 13 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Langlais makes a case in the article for campus initiatives to better educate graduate students about ethical obligations and professional standards.

He heads an ODU task force working on one of 10 pilot projects sponsored nationally by the Council of Graduate Schools and the federal Office of Research to establish "best practices" for ethics training. The overall project goal, he writes, is better training for university students and faculty members in professional standards, ethics, and the skills necessary to identify and make decisions about such issues as conflicts of interest, authorship, ownership and use of data, plagiarism, and mentor relationships.

The article notes research done by the ODU task force into ways that gender, ethnicity, culture and fields of study can affect perceptions of ethical and scholarly standards. Preliminary results, he notes, suggest that male and female graduate students in various fields differ in their understanding of ethics. Full results of the research are to be released later in 2006.

Langlais focuses on ethics training for graduate students because they will train tomorrow's educators. "Their knowledge of professional standards and their ability to be aware of and deal with ethical issues will promote integrity in our workplace and enhance the stability of our social fabric for many generations," he writes.

The Chronicle of Higher Education is a weekly publication of news and comment from and for the world of academia. It has about 85,000 subscribers.

This article was posted on: January 11, 2006

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