Tiju Thomas

Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Sardar Patel Road, Chennai 600036, Tamil Nadu, India


ph. no: +91 8056456442
email id: tt332@cornell.edu or tijuthomas@iitm.ac.in

Our Research Group

Applied Nanostructures Engineering and Nanochemistry (ANEN) Research Group

ID6020 Panel Discussion notes (28 Sep., 2017)

Academic integrity

All those whom I teach or write papers with are expected to know professional ethics, and develop a strong work culture. Academic integrity is of highest importance to a scientist. In academic circles, it is totally unacceptable for a person to claim a work that is not his or her own. This standard holds for any one who is creating and reporting scientific knowledge. Whether it is a paper that you may have written as part your coursework, or an article you wish to publish in a journal, you are expected to uphold principles of academic integrity.

While writing a paper, to determine who your co-authors are, you must think carefully about all those people who contributed significantly to the evolution of the theme(s) you talk about. If a person, contributed to the idea (even if it was through a casual coffee table discussion), s/he owns part of your idea and must be credited accordingly. A strong work ethic within the academia will ensure a more open culture, and will encourage free exchange of ideas, which will certainly benefit science and the society at large.

While writing papers healthy referencing practices must be followed. Every statement you make that is based on a previous report you have read, should be suitably referenced. Like wise, you cannot "copy and paste" even from your own previous publication. You will need to re-write sentences carefully, and reference that previous paper suitably.

While taking a course in a university, your homework submissions must be done while upholding professional ethics as well. Your solution set should not be a duplicate of your friend's submission. Of course discussions are encouraged, but you are expected to present your solutions in a step wise manner, so that you understanding (or lack thereof) of the subject is clear to the instructor. This will enable your instructor to assist you in the best possible manner as well.

Academic integrity is a very serious issue, and cannot be over-emphasized. Violation of ethical practices have negatively impacted the careers of several people both in academia and industry. Many bridges are burnt, and our culture gets tarnished when integrity is not part of our professional practice. For our own sake, let us resolve to be ethical professionals. It is helpful to create a culture wherein we can trust one another with our knowledge and ideas.