Responsible Authorship Quick Guide
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This Quick Guide is intended for self-paced learning for novice researchers collaborating in the submission of research proposals or scientific articles for peer review. The objectives of this Quick Guide are to:

  • Increase awareness of common mistakes and dilemmas that novice authors can face while preparing either research proposals or scientific articles.
  • Offer strategies providing constructive criticism to the novice authors of these works.
The purpose of the Quick Guide is to promote education and training in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) covering publication practices and authorship. Users are requested to use the Quick Guide prior to preparing research proposals or articles. The Quick Guide is not meant to be a comprehensive resource on publication practices and responsible authorship but is intended only to be a supplementary resource for self-paced learning. The quick guide is intended as a "just in time' learning" opportunity, to be used as a supplement to other RCR materials.

The content pages of this Quick Guide include sample scenarios that provide users (taking on the role of a novice author) an opportunity to identify and critique common mistake that may be encountered when preparing research proposals or research articles submitted for peer review. Additional scenarios offer users the opportunity to make decisions in the face of challenging dilemmas.

How to Use
This Quick Guide is intended for self-paced learning by individuals who may be novice researchers/authors. This is a "just in time" learning tool and researchers are encouraged to use it as an introduction, refresher, or supplement to other RCR instruction. This tool can be used either prior to preparing research proposals or articles submitted for peer review, or following completion of the process as a checklist.
This Quick Guide can be viewed completely online using a java-enabled web-browser. The Quick Guide does not save any data about individual users. Users can print a "Performance Report" which summarizes their interactions with the Quick Guide.
It is highly recommended:
  1. To view this module with Internet Explorer 8.0 and above
  2. To disable popup blockers
  3. Or add the website address to Trusted Sites
To Begin
To access the material in the Quick Guide, click on the View Common Mistakes or View Dilemmas buttons. Make sure to disable any pop-up blockers before beginning. To navigate the content sections of the Quick Guide, the screens can be resized by moving the mouse cursor over the edge of the screens and clicking and holding the resizing arrows displayed.

Common Mistakes
Users, in their role as a novice researcher/author, select from a list of common mistakes, each with a descriptive title. The initial paragraph(s) establishes background information for either a research proposal or scientific article submitted for peer review. The user will read the presented content and identify the common mistake from among a number of possible choices. The user will then be able to review feedback on the selected choice.

Users, in their role as a novice researcher/author, select from a list of dilemmas, each with a descriptive title. Each dilemma will include an introductory paragraph describing the initial scenario setting, followed by a specific posed dilemma. Users will have to select from a list of four possible actions to take. Each action will offer users four additional choices of actions to take and the associated potential outcomes. A follow-up feedback message will describe the consequences of certain choices, and if appropriate, make a recommendation for better decision-making. Clicking on the 'Restart' button will return the user to the beginning of the selected dilemma.

To exit the Quick Guide, click on the "Exit" button on the navigation bar at the top of each webpage.
Performance Report
The Performance Report allows users to view a summary of their interactions with items from the Common Mistakes section. The Performance Report will include:
  • Each common mistake selected
  • "Test your Knowledge" query
  • User/ correct response
  • Appropriate feedback
Users may also print the Performance Report.
Video Tour
This brief narrated video tour allows users to view essential elements of the Quick Guide including the listing of sample "Common Mistakes" and "Dilemmas" and a simulated walk-through.
The Project team would like to express its sincere gratitude to the Office of Research Integrity (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) for its funding of this project through the RCR Educational Grant awarded to Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center at Northern Illinois University for 2005-2006.

The Project team would like to acknowledge the contributions of the staff from the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center in this effort.

The information presented in this module was organized by the following individuals at Northern Illinois University:
  • Murali Krishnamurthi, Associate Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering; Director, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center
  • Daniel Cabrera, Multimedia Coordinator, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center; Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Allied Health Professions
  • Jason Rhode, Assistant Director, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center
The following Graduate Assistants at the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center contributed to the web design, development and implementation of the Quick Guide:
  • Sathappan Santhanam
  • Vijay Bhaskar Reddy Kancharla
The developers of this website acknowledge that the information presented in this website was compiled from several sources including existing literature, online resources and the Office of Research Integrity's website. The developers do not claim the concepts presented in the website as their own, but have included adequate links and references wherever possible in the module. If appropriate credit has not been assigned to any information presented in the module, please inform the developers (see Contact Us) so that the necessary corrections can be made and appropriate credit can be given where necessary.
Contact Us
Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center
Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, U.S.A.
Phone: (815) 753-0595, Fax: (815) 753-2595, Email:
Copyright 2005 Northern Illinois University. All rights reserved.
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Developed 2006 by the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, Northern Illinois University.