Posted on May 24, 2016 by Micheál Collins
A new initiative from the Irish Economics Association (IEA), the umbrella body for professional research economists in Ireland, is worthy of note. The IEA has set out a series of ‘guiding principles’ for its members. In essence these set out how professional economists should be operating. The principles cover areas including research work and collaboration, empirical analysis, peer review, public engagement, mentoring and publication.
The guidelines are below and also available on the IEA website. The NERI and its staff are members of the IEA.
GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR MEMBERS OF THE IRISH ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION
- Members shall be guided in all their work by the highest standards of honesty and integrity.
- Members shall be responsible for seeking and for stating the truth as they see it. To this end, Members shall devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competence.
- Members shall practice within the limits of their competence and only when qualified by education or experience in the specific technical field involved.
- Members shall deplore all types of professional misconduct, not just plagiarism and data fabrication or falsification.
- Members shall not be influenced in their professional duties by conflicting interests.
- Members shall disclose any material roles or relationships that might pose a real or apparent conflict of interest.
2. Responsibilities in Publications
- Members shall be objective and truthful in professional reports, papers, statements, or testimony.
- Members shall respect and acknowledge the contributions and intellectual property of others.
- Members shall maintain personal responsibility for all work bearing their name; avoid undertaking work or coauthoring publications for which they would not want to acknowledge responsibility. Conversely, accept appropriate authorship or acknowledgment for professional contributions to research and the resulting publications or testimony.
3. Responsibilities to Research Participants
- Members shall protect the privacy and confidentiality of research subjects and data concerning them, whether obtained directly from the subjects, other persons, or administrative records. Anticipate secondary and indirect uses of the data when obtaining approvals from research subjects; obtain approvals appropriate for peer review and independent replication of analyses.
- Members shall know about and adhere to appropriate rules for the protection of human subjects, including particularly vulnerable or other special populations that may be subject to special risks or may not be fully able to protect their own interests.
- Members shall avoid excessive risk to research subjects and excessive imposition on their time and privacy.
- Members shall be aware of legal limitations on privacy and confidentiality assurances.
- Members shall before participating in a study involving human beings or organisations, analysing data from such a study, or accepting resulting manuscripts for review, consider whether appropriate research subject approvals were obtained.
4. Responsibilities to Employers, Colleagues, & Funders
- Members shall have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars.
- Members shall be willing to help strengthen the work of others through appropriate peer review.
- Members shall, in the exchange of criticism and ideas, show due respect for the opinions of others.
- Members shall observe the stated regulations of their institutions, provided the regulations do not contravene academic freedom.
- Members shall guard any confidential information of employers or funders.
- Members shall fulfil all commitments of funders and accept full responsibility for their professional performance.
- Members shall inform colleagues from other disciplines about relevant aspects of ethics within economics.
- Members shall respect the ethical obligations of members of other disciplines, as well as their own.
5. Responsibilities to Students
- Members shall instill in students an appreciation for the practical value of the concepts and methods they are learning.
- Members shall encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students.
- Members shall demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to their proper role as intellectual guides.
- Members shall make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to ensure that their evaluations of students reflect each student’s true merit.
- Members shall respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student.
6. Responsibilities to the Public
- Members shall strive to serve the public interest.
- Members are encouraged to extend public knowledge and appreciation of economics and its achievements.
- Members shall make new economic knowledge widely available in order to benefit society at large.