Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Let’s Give Student Researchers the Credit They Deserve

The Chronicle of Higher Education
July 20th, 2015

The literature on research ethics is rich with discussions of informed consent, the rights of research participants, and how to work sensitively with vulnerable populations. There is also considerable attention paid to how we work with nonacademic collaborators, such as people who work at community-based organizations. Given the abundance of writing on all of these topics, it is notable how little attention is given to those students with whom we often collaborate.
Just as college students often serve as research samples because they are convenient populations for academic researchers, so too do students routinely serve as research assistants and co-authors. Credit and compensation is typically attributed to student collaborators based on individual negotiations with faculty mentors. In other words, whether the student is listed as a research assistant or a co-author, whether the student is listed as the lead author or a secondary author, or how the student’s contribution is both defined and monetarily compensated (especially with a work such as a book) is based on whatever arrangement the student strikes with the researcher (who is usually the student’s professor).

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