Responsible Conduct of Research

Responsible conduct of research and other activities is expected of The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) employees, and UTIA takes seriously its obligation to implement and support best practices in research. See UTIA’s Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Institutional Plan.

As detailed in the Plan, training in RCR is required for some federal grant opportunities, including USDA NIFA*, and is available and encouraged for the entire UTIA community.
*USDA NIFA requires program directors, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and any staff participating in the research project receive appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research.
RCR training is available through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) (see CITI registration information) or the UTIA for-credit course Research Ethics for the Life Sciences. When training other than CITI is appropriate, it should be documented as specified in the Plan, on the UTIA RCR Training Record.

Plagiarism-detection software - iThenticate

The University of Tennessee Knoxville Office of Research and Engagement has invested in an institutional license with iThenticate to assist faculty and student researchers in avoiding common pitfalls of plagiarism in their draft documents.

iThenticate software scans for and displays similarities between a submitted document against the internet and an extensive database of published and unpublished works. It is important to point out that iThenticate does not determine whether a particular instance of similarity constitutes plagiarism, rather It is up to the user to interpret whether any detected similarity is considered acceptable. UTIA faculty and staff are highly encouraged to evaluate their draft research manuscripts for plagiarism risks using iThenticate prior to submission for publication. Authors can then be assured that they have sufficiently cited appropriate sources that may have been inadvertently missed prior to submission, which can significantly reduce the potential for research misconduct and increase the research integrity of UTIA. Principal Investigators should also consider using iThenticate to check their proposals prior to submission, as some sponsoring agencies now use plagiarism detection software to check grant proposals.

The Graduate Council and Faculty Senate have also instituted a policy requiring that all theses and dissertations be scanned with university-approved plagiarism detection software before the student’s defense. The Graduate School website has information to guide students and faculty through the process of using iThenticate for their theses and dissertations. https://gradschool.utk.edu/thesesdissertations/using-ithenticate/

Signing into iThenticate is done through your NetID. Select “University of Tennessee” as your institution if asked for that information: https://research.utk.edu/ithenticate/

To learn how to use iThenticate http://www.ithenticate.com/training/getting-started

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) http://www.ithenticate.com/products/faqs

Individual Development Plans (IDPs)

Individual Development Plans are tools to help graduate students and postdoctoral researchers set career goals and establish action plans to meet their goals. Faculty members can use IDPs to help them mentor and meet their Responsible Conduct of Research responsibilities. More information about IDPs can be found at PEER and myIDP.

Please contact Jane Burns with any questions.




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