A number of activities in the plan of work include the following operations:
Page 11 Share Cite Suggested Citation: On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research: The National Academies Press. About a quarter of the papers had images that showed evidence of inappropriate manipulation.
The editors requested the original data for these papers, compared the original data with the submitted images, and required that figures be remade to accord with the guidelines. Researchers who manipulate their data in ways that deceive others, even if the manipulation seems insignificant at the time, are violating both the basic values and widely accepted professional standards of science.
Researchers draw conclusions based on their observations of nature. If data are altered to present a case that is stronger than the data warrant, researchers fail to fulfill all three of the obligations described at the beginning of this guide. They mis- lead their colleagues and potentially impede progress in their field or research.
They undermine their own authority and trustworthiness as researchers. And they introduce information into the scientific record that could cause harm to the broader society, as when the dangers of a medical treatment are understated.
This is particularly important in an age in which the Internet al- lows for an almost uncontrollably fast and extensive spread of infor- mation to an increasingly broad audience. Misleading or inaccurate data can thus have far-reaching and unpredictable consequences of a magnitude not known before the Internet and other modern com- munication technologies.
Misleading data can arise from poor experimental design or care- less measurements as well as from improper manipulation. Some of these methods and tools are used within specific fields of research, such as statistical tests of significance, double-blind trials, and proper phrasing of questions on surveys.
Others apply across all research fields, such as describing to others what one has done so that research data and results can be verified and extended. Because of the critical importance of methods, scientific papers must include a description of the procedures used to produce the data, sufficient to permit reviewers and readers of a scientific paper to evaluate not only the validity of the data but also the reliability of the methods used to derive those data.
If this information is not available, other researchers may be less likely to accept the data and the conclusions drawn from them. They also may be unable to reproduce accurately the conditions under which the data were derived. The best methods will count for little if data are recorded incor- rectly or haphazardly.
The requirements for data collection differ among disciplines and research groups, but researchers have a fun- damental obligation to create and maintain an accurate, accessible, and permanent record of what they have done in sufficient detail for others to check and replicate their work.
Depending on the field, this obligation may require entering data into bound notebooks with sequentially numbered pages using permanent ink, using a computer application with secure data entry fields, identifying when and where work was done, and retaining data for specified lengths of time.
In much industrial research and in some academic research, data note- books need to be signed and dated by a witness on a daily basis. Unfortunately, beginning researchers often receive little or no formal training in recording, analyzing, storing, or sharing data. Regularly scheduled meetings to discuss data issues and policies maintained by research groups and institutions can establish clear expectations and responsibilities.
During the measurements at the national laboratory, Deborah and Kamala observed electrical power fluctuations that they could not control or predict were affecting their detector. When Deborah and Kamala begin to write up their results to present at a lab meeting, which they know will be the first step in preparing a publication, Kamala suggests dropping two anomalous data points near the horizontal axis from the graph they are preparing.
She says that due to their deviation from the theoretical curve, the low data points were obviously caused by the power fluctuations. Furthermore, the deviations were outside the expected error bars calculated for the remaining data points.
Deborah is concerned that dropping the two points could be seen as manipulating the data. She and Kamala could not be sure that any of their data points, if any, were affected by the power fluctuations. They also did not know if the theoretical prediction was valid.
She wants to do a separate analysis that includes the points and discuss the issue in the lab meeting.
But Kamala says that if they include the data points in their talk, others will think the issue important enough to discuss in a draft paper, which will make it harder to get the paper published. Instead, she and Deborah should use their professional judgment to drop the points now.
What factors should Kamala and Deborah take into account in deciding how to present the data from their experiment? Should the new explanation predicting the results affect their deliberations?1 THE STATISTICAL TREATMENT OF EXPERIMENTAL DATA1 Introduction The subject of statistical data analysis is regarded as crucial by most scientists, since.
The statistical treatment in a thesis is a tool. This tool is usedto interpret data in a timely manner. Statistical treatment of data is essential in order to make use of the data in the right form.
Raw data collection is only one aspect of any experiment; the organization of data is equally important so that appropriate conclusions can be drawn.
Chapter 3 RESEARCH AND METHODOLOGY This chapter describes the operational plan of work or strategy. A number of activities in the plan of work include the following operations: a) research design; b) research instruments; c) data gathering procedures; d) samples and samplings technique; e) research locale; f) statistical treatment of data.
The range of a data set is the absolute maximum difference observed in the data. It is calculated as the difference between the maximum, x max, and minimum, x min, values The vertical bars indicate absolute value, i.e., positive values.
Statistical Treatment Of Data. If you use predefined functions to perform statistical data analysis on a calculator, be sure that variance formula uses the correct degrees-of-freedom. Some calculators will divide by N and other will divide by N-1 when calculating .