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Journal Cover Science and Engineering Ethics
  [SJR: 0.372]   [H-I: 31]   [9 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1471-5546 - ISSN (Online) 1353-3452
   Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2355 journals]
  • Mentoring for Responsible Research: The Creation of a Curriculum for
           Faculty to Teach RCR in the Research Environment
    • Authors: Dena K. Plemmons; Michael W. Kalichman
      Pages: 207 - 226
      Abstract: Despite more than 25 years of a requirement for training in the responsible conduct of research (RCR), there is still little consensus about what such training should include, how it should be delivered, nor what constitutes “effectiveness” of such training. This lack of consensus on content, approaches and outcomes is evident in recent data showing high variability in the development and implementation of RCR instruction across universities and programs. If we accept that one of the primary aims of instruction in RCR/research ethics is “to foster a community of social responsibility” (Antes et al. 2009: 398), then it makes sense to consider the research environment itself—where learning one’s science happens where one also engages in social interaction around that science. In order to take the best advantage of that already existing/naturally occurring research environment, the authors, through a deliberative, collaborative, and integrative process, crafted a workshop curriculum meant to arm research faculty with concrete and specific tools to effectively introduce research ethics in the context of the research environment.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-017-9897-z
      Issue No: Vol. 24, No. 1 (2018)
  • Continuing Medical Education: A Cross Sectional Study on a Developing
           Country’s Perspective
    • Authors: Syed Arsalan Ali; Shaikh Hamiz ul Fawwad; Gulrayz Ahmed; Sumayya Naz; Syeda Aimen Waqar; Anam Hareem
      Pages: 251 - 260
      Abstract: To determine the attitude of general practitioners towards continuing medical education (CME) and reasons motivating or hindering them from attending CME procedures, we conducted a cross-sectional survey from November 2013 to April 2014 in Karachi. Three hundred general practitioners who possessed a medical license for practice in Pakistan filled a pre-designed questionnaire consisting of questions pertaining to attitudes towards CME. Data was entered and analyzed using SPSS v16.0. 70.3% (n = 211) of the participants were males. Mean age was 47.75 ± 9.47 years. Only 67.33% knew about CME and only 52% had attended a CME session. Reasons for attending CME procedures reported were: need for updating knowledge, skills and competencies (67.30%), opportunity to meet colleagues (18.58%) and presenting scientific papers (8.97%). Mean Likert score was 1.67 (±0.667) for those who thought CME is worthwhile and 1.44 (±0.686) for those who consider their clinical duties as the major hurdle in attending CME procedures. Most common cause for not attending CME was lack of knowledge (32.66%) followed by time constraint (24%). Most physicians were not sufficiently informed about the potential benefits of CME and had never attended a CME session. Most common reason for attending CME procedures reported was need for updating knowledge, skills and competencies while reasons hindering physicians from attending CME were lack of knowledge and time constraint.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-017-9900-8
      Issue No: Vol. 24, No. 1 (2018)
  • Should Authors be Requested to Suggest Peer Reviewers'
    • Authors: Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva; Aceil Al-Khatib
      Pages: 275 - 285
      Abstract: As part of a continuous process to explore the factors that might weaken or corrupt traditional peer review, in this paper, we query the ethics, fairness and validity of the request, by editors, of authors to suggest peer reviewers during the submission process. One of the reasons for the current crisis in science pertains to a loss in trust as a result of a flawed peer review which is by nature biased unless it is open peer review. As we indicate, the fact that some editors and journals rely on authors’ suggestions in terms of who should peer review their paper already instills a potential way to abuse the trust of the submission and publishing system. An author-suggested peer reviewer choice might also tempt authors to seek reviewers who might be more receptive or sympathetic to the authors’ message or results, and thus favor the outcome of that paper.
      Authors should thus not be placed in such a potentially ethically compromising situation, especially as a mandatory condition for submission. However, the fact that they do not have an opt-out choice during the submission process—especially when using an online submission system that makes such a suggestion compulsory—may constitute a violation of authors’ rights.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-016-9842-6
      Issue No: Vol. 24, No. 1 (2018)
  • Identity Theft in the Academic World Leads to Junk Science
    • Authors: Mehdi Dadkhah; Mohammad Lagzian; Glenn Borchardt
      Pages: 287 - 290
      Abstract: In recent years, identity theft has been growing in the academic world. Cybercriminals create fake profiles for prominent scientists in attempts to manipulate the review and publishing process. Without permission, some fraudulent journals use the names of standout researchers on their editorial boards in the effort to look legitimate. This opinion piece, highlights some of the usual types of identity theft and their role in spreading junk science. Some general guidelines that editors and researchers can use against such attacks are presented.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-016-9867-x
      Issue No: Vol. 24, No. 1 (2018)
  • Clarivate Analytics: Continued Omnia vanitas Impact Factor Culture
    • Authors: Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva; Sylvain Bernès
      Pages: 291 - 297
      Abstract: This opinion paper takes aim at an error made recently by Clarivate Analytics in which it sent out an email that congratulated academics for becoming exclusive members of academia’s most cited elite, the Highly Cited Researchers (HCRs). However, that email was sent out to an undisclosed number of non-HCRs, who were offered an apology shortly after, through a bulk mail, which tried to down-play the importance of the error, all the while praising the true HCRs. When Clarivate Analytics senior management was contacted, the company declined to offer an indication of the number of academics who had been contacted and erroneously awarded the HCR status. We believe that this regrettable blunder, together with the opacity offered by the company, fortify the corporate attitude about the value of the journal impact factor (JIF), and what it represents, namely a marketing tool that is falsely used to equate citations with quality, worth, or influence. The continued commercialization of metrics such as the JIF is at the heart of their use to assess the “quality” of a researcher, their work, or a journal, and contributes to a great extent to driving scientific activities towards a futile endeavor.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-017-9873-7
      Issue No: Vol. 24, No. 1 (2018)
  • Economic, Environmental and Moral Acceptance of Renewable Energy: A Case
           Study—The Agricultural Biogas Plant at Pěčín
    • Authors: Marek Vochozka; Anna Maroušková; Petr Šuleř
      Pages: 299 - 305
      Abstract: The production of renewable energy in agricultural biogas plants is being widely criticized because—among other things—most of the feedstock comes from purpose-grown crops like maize. These activities (generously subsidized in the Czech Republic) generate competitive pressure to other crops that are used for feeding or food production, worsening their affordability. Unique pretreatment technology that allows substitution of the purpose-grown crops by farming residues (such as husk or straw) was built 6 years ago on a commercial basis in Pěčín (Czech Republic) under modest funding and without publicity. The design of the concept; financial assessment and moral viewpoint were analyzed based on practical operating data. It showed that the apparatus improves economic, environmental and moral acceptance as well. However, according to the government’s view, public funding for this type of processing was shortened, “because waste materials represent a lower cost”. The impact of such governance was analyzed as well.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-017-9881-7
      Issue No: Vol. 24, No. 1 (2018)
  • Reflection on the Fazlul Sarkar versus PubPeer (“John Doe”)
    • Authors: Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva
      Pages: 323 - 325
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-016-9863-1
      Issue No: Vol. 24, No. 1 (2018)
  • Who, What and Where (WWW) Problems in Scientific Communities
    • Authors: Hong Gao; Wei Liu; Jinlan Nie
      Pages: 327 - 330
      Abstract: The results of the National Higher Education Entrance Examination (Gaokao, in Chinese) have a life-long effect on most Chinese by labeling them clever or not. Some of the following rules of the Gaokao enhance the damage, for example, the rule of Who, What and Where. In general, Who you are and What you have done are of secondary importance, but Where you graduated from, especially the college of first-record is the most important, but discriminatory criterion in the recruitment courses of most of scientific communities and social organizations in China.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-016-9843-5
      Issue No: Vol. 24, No. 1 (2018)
  • Effect of Unprofessional Supervision on Durability of Buildings
    • Authors: Javad Yahaghi
      Pages: 331 - 332
      Abstract: The durability of buildings which depends on the nature of the supervisory system used in their construction is an important feature of the construction industry. This article tries to draw the readers’ attention to the effect of untrained and unprofessional building supervisors and their unethical performance on the durability of buildings.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-017-9871-9
      Issue No: Vol. 24, No. 1 (2018)
  • Business Ethics for Mobile Network Operators
    • Authors: Shahryar Sorooshian
      Pages: 333 - 334
      Abstract: The letter is highlighting a case of Business Ethics for Mobile Network Operators based on the recent news.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-017-9878-2
      Issue No: Vol. 24, No. 1 (2018)
  • Italian Adagio: Every Law has Its Loophole
    • Authors: Maria Pina Dore; Giovanni M. Pes; Fabrizia Faustinella
      Abstract: The Italian law of December 2010 establishes new criteria and parameters for the evaluation of faculty members. The parameters are represented by the number of articles published in journals listed in the main international data banks, the total number of citations and the h index. Candidates with qualifications at least in two out of three parameters may access the national competitions for associate or full professor and apply for an academic appointment. This system developed with the aim to fight nepotism and promote meritocracy, progressively led to the deterioration of the Italian university system. Since promotion in academia is strictly dependent on publications the faculty members found the solution to get over this system by organizing themselves into large consortia or small groups with the purpose of sharing authorship in scientific publications. In this way parameter thresholds may be easily reached and even surpassed. An Italian adagio says: “Fatta la Legge, Trovato l’Inganno”; “Every law has its Loophole”. However, there is no science without ethics and researchers must stay away from any kind of compromise.
      PubDate: 2018-02-15
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-018-0031-7
  • Relationship Between Declarations of Conflict of Interests and Reporting
           Positive Outcomes in Iranian Dental Journals
    • Authors: Maryam Alsadat Hashemipour; Sepehr Pourmonajemzadeh; Shahrzad Zoghitavana; Nader Navabi
      Abstract: Conflict of interests is a situation when someone is in need of other people’s trust on one the hand and has personal or general interests on the other hand, resulting in conflict with the given responsibility. In this research work, an attempt was made to find the relation between declarations of conflict of interests and reporting positive outcomes in the dental journals in Iran (2000–2016). In this analytical/cross-sectional study, first Health and Biomedical Information was searched and all the Persian and English dental journals published in Iran were collected. Then, all the papers published in the journals from December 2000 to December 2016 were collected and categorized in terms of the year of publication, author or authors’ affiliations, Persian and English journal, type of the substance or the drug used (including the manufacturing company), declarations of conflict of interests and the positive or negative conclusion of the report. Data were analyzed with the Fisher’s exact test and Chi squared test, using the program SPSS 18. In numerical analysis, the significance was set at P < 0.05. Seventeen dental journals in Persian and English were analyzed: 10 in English and 7 in Persian. Reviewing these studies showed that of 1021 articles in Persian, in 128 cases there was no mention of a declaration of conflict of interests and in 11 cases, the COI had been stated. In addition, from 1220 articles in English, in 825 cases there was no mention of declarations of conflict of interests and in 45 cases, the declarations of COI had been mentioned. There was no significant relation between the COI and ‘no’ COI and the reporting of positive outcomes in papers in Iranian dental journals in terms of the journal type, year of publication and the journals’ guarantee form (P = 0.25, P = 0.41 and P = 0.09). A total of 83% of studies with declarations of COI had one positive outcome, with a significant relationship in this field; however, in 73% of studies with no COI, there was one positive outcome, too. In general, the society expects that doctors would not consider any incentives except the health of the patients in the efforts made by them. The severity of the consequences of COI is of higher value when the patients’ health is endangered due to it. In addition, COI might change the attitude and approach of other doctors and peers.
      PubDate: 2018-02-13
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-018-0022-8
  • Promoting Ethics and Integrity in Management Academic Research: Retraction
    • Authors: Freida Ozavize Ayodele; Liu Yao; Hasnah Haron
      Abstract: In the management academic research, academic advancement, job security, and the securing of research funds at one’s university are judged mainly by one’s output of publications in high impact journals. With bogus resumes filled with published journal articles, universities and other allied institutions are keen to recruit or sustain the appointment of such academics. This often places undue pressure on aspiring academics and on those already recruited to engage in research misconduct which often leads to research integrity. This structured review focuses on the ethics and integrity of management research through an analysis of retracted articles published from 2005 to 2016. The study employs a structured literature review methodology whereby retracted articles published between 2005 and 2016 in the field of management science were found using Crossref and Google Scholar. The searched articles were then streamlined by selecting articles based on their relevance and content in accordance with the inclusion criteria. Based on the analysed retracted articles, the study shows evidence of ethical misconduct among researchers of management science. Such misconduct includes data falsification, the duplication of submitted articles, plagiarism, data irregularity and incomplete citation practices. Interestingly, the analysed results indicate that the field of knowledge management includes the highest number of retracted articles, with plagiarism constituting the most significant ethical issue. Furthermore, the findings of this study show that ethical misconduct is not restricted to a particular geographic location; it occurs in numerous countries. In turn, avenues of further study on research misconduct in management research are proposed.
      PubDate: 2018-02-13
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-017-9941-z
  • Uterine Transplant: A Risk to Life or a Chance for Life'
    • Authors: Alankrita Taneja; Siddhartha Das; Syed Ather Hussain; Mohammed Madadin; Stany Wilfred Lobo; Huda Fatima; Ritesh G. Menezes
      Abstract: Being inherently different from any other lifesaving organ transplant, uterine transplantation does not aim at saving lives but supporting the possibility to generate life. Unlike the kidneys or the liver, the uterus is not specifically a vital organ. Given the non-lifesaving nature of this procedure, questions have been raised about its feasibility. The ethical dilemma revolves around whether it is worth placing two lives at risk related to surgery and immunosuppression, amongst others, to enable a woman with absolute uterine factor infertility to experience the presence of an organ enabling childbirth. In the year 2000, the first uterine transplantation, albeit unsuccessful, was performed in Saudi Arabia from where it has spread to the rest of the world including Sweden, the United States and now recently India. The procedure is, however, still in the preclinical stages and several ethical, legal, social and religious concerns are yet to be addressed before it can be integrated into the clinical setting as standard of care for women with absolute uterine factor infertility.
      PubDate: 2018-02-08
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-018-0018-4
  • Teaching Responsible Research and Innovation: A Phronetic Perspective
    • Authors: Niels Mejlgaard; Malene Vinther Christensen; Roger Strand; Ivan Buljan; Mar Carrió; Marta Cayetano i Giralt; Erich Griessler; Alexander Lang; Ana Marušić; Gema Revuelta; Gemma Rodríguez; Núria Saladié; Milena Wuketich
      Abstract: Across the European research area and beyond, efforts are being mobilized to align research and innovation processes and products with societal values and needs, and to create mechanisms for inclusive priority setting and knowledge production. A central concern is how to foster a culture of “Responsible Research and Innovation” (RRI) among scientists and engineers. This paper focuses on RRI teaching at higher education institutions. On the basis of interviews and reviews of academic and policy documents, it highlights the generic aspects of teaching aimed at invoking a sense of care and societal obligation, and provides a set of exemplary cases of RRI-related teaching. It argues that the Aristotelian concept of phronesis can capture core properties of the objectives of RRI-related teaching activities. Teaching should nurture the students’ capacity in terms of practical wisdom, practical ethics, or administrative ability in order to enable them to act virtuously and responsibly in contexts which are often characterized by uncertainty, contention, and controversy.
      PubDate: 2018-02-07
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-018-0029-1
  • Compliance with National Ethics Requirements for Human-Subject Research in
           Non-biomedical Sciences in Brazil: A Changing Culture'
    • Authors: Karina de Albuquerque Rocha; Sonia M. R. Vasconcelos
      Abstract: Ethics regulation for human-subject research (HSR) has been established for about 20 years in Brazil. However, compliance with this regulation is controversial for non-biomedical sciences, particularly for human and social sciences (HSS), the source of a recent debate at the National Commission for Research Ethics. We hypothesized that for these fields, formal requirements for compliance with HSR regulation in graduate programs, responsible for the greatest share of Brazilian science, would be small in number. We analyzed institutional documents (collected from June 2014 to May 2015) from 171 graduate programs at six prestigious Brazilian universities in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the states that fund most of the science conducted in Brazil. Among these programs, 149 were in HSS. The results suggest that non-compliance with standard regulation seems to be the rule in most of these programs. The data may reflect not only a resistance from scientists in these fields to comply with standard regulations for ethics in HSR but also a disciplinary tradition that seems prevalent when it comes to research ethics in HSR. However, recent encounters between Brazilian biomedical and non-biomedical scientists for debates over ethics in HSR point to a changing culture in the approach to research ethics in the country.
      PubDate: 2018-02-06
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-018-0028-2
  • Journals Can Persuade Authors to Learn Publishing’s Ethics
    • Authors: Marzieh Maghrouni; Omid Mahian; Somchai Wongwises
      Abstract: Some researchers, even professors in universities, sometimes do unethical actions unintentionally due to lack of a mentor in their academic life. In this opinion piece, we aim to show that journals and publishers can play the role of a mentor for authors of scientific articles, especially young M.Sc. and Ph.D. students, to teach them the ethics in research and publishing. In this way, both journals and researchers will benefit from such a plan.
      PubDate: 2018-02-05
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-018-0021-9
  • Correctable Myths About Research Misconduct in the Biomedical Sciences
    • Authors: Barbara K. Redman
      Abstract: A recent National Academy report on research integrity noted that policies are not evidence-based, with no formal entity responsible to attend to this deficit. Here we describe four areas of research misconduct (RM) regulations governing Public Health Service funded research that are empirically and/or ethically questionable. Policies for human subject protection, RM and conflict of interest are not harmonized, making it extremely difficult to deal with complex cases which often contain allegations in all of these areas. Second, detection of RM has depended entirely on whistleblowers in spite of evidence of significant under-reporting. Third, the scientific record is far from cleansed of the effects of falsified/fabricated work through current mechanisms of retraction. Finally, lack of fairness in the regulations may reflect lack of a Belmont Report-like document to guide ethics of RM policy. These issues are likely common in other countries. RM regulations should be harmonized with related regulations and their effectiveness tracked, open access to data for independent replication and improved statistical tests are an essential supplement to whistleblowers, correction of the scientific record will require a major effort, and further ethical analysis and guidance are as important as is empirical study for the improvement of RM regulations. Further consideration should be given to assigning current regulations for human subjects protection, RM and conflict of interest to a single authority and to the further development of a Belmont-like report of essential principles, for RM.
      PubDate: 2018-02-05
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-018-0027-3
  • Productivity of CNPq Researchers from Different Fields in Biomedical
           Sciences: The Need for Objective Bibliometric Parameters—A Report from
    • Authors: Jean Paul Kamdem; Daniel Henrique Roos; Adekunle Adeniran Sanmi; Luciana Calabró; Amos Olalekan Abolaji; Cláudia Sirlene de Oliveira; Luiz Marivando Barros; Antonia Eliene Duarte; Nilda Vargas Barbosa; Diogo Onofre Souza; João Batista Teixeira Rocha
      Abstract: In Brazil, the CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development) provides grants, funds and fellowships to productive scientists to support their investigations. They are ranked and categorized into four hierarchical levels ranging from PQ 1A (the highest) to PQ 1D (the lowest). Few studies, however, report and analyse scientific productivity in different sub-fields of Biomedical Sciences (BS), e.g., Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Biophysics and Physiology. In fact, systematic comparisons of productivity among the PQ 1 categories within the above sub-fields are lacking in the literature. Here, the scientific productivity of 323 investigators receiving PQ 1 fellowships (A to D levels) in these sub-fields of BS was investigated. The Scopus database was used to compile the total number of articles, citations, h-index values and authorship positions (first-, co- or last-listed author) in the most cited papers by researchers granted CNPq fellowships. We found that researchers from Pharmacology had the best performance for all of the parameters analysed, followed by those in Biochemistry. There was great variability in scientific productivity within the PQ 1A level in all of the sub-fields of BS, but not within the other levels (1B, 1C and 1D). Analysis of the most cited papers of PQ 1(A–D) researchers in Pharmacology revealed that the citations of researchers in the 1C and 1D levels were associated with publications with their senior supervisors, whereas those in the 1B level were less connected with their supervisors in comparison to those in 1A. Taken together, these findings suggest that the scientific performance of PQ 1A researchers in BS is not homogenous. In our opinion, parameters such as the most cited papers without the involvement of Ph.D. and/or post-doctoral supervisors should be used to make decisions regarding any given researcher’s fellowship award level.
      PubDate: 2018-02-05
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-018-0025-5
  • A New Method for a Virtue-Based Responsible Conduct of Research
           Curriculum: Pilot Test Results
    • Authors: Eric Berling; Chet McLeskey; Michael O’Rourke; Robert T. Pennock
      Abstract: Drawing on Pennock’s theory of scientific virtues, we are developing an alternative curriculum for training scientists in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) that emphasizes internal values rather than externally imposed rules. This approach focuses on the virtuous characteristics of scientists that lead to responsible and exemplary behavior. We have been pilot-testing one element of such a virtue-based approach to RCR training by conducting dialogue sessions, modeled upon the approach developed by Toolbox Dialogue Initiative, that focus on a specific virtue, e.g., curiosity and objectivity. During these structured discussions, small groups of scientists explore the roles they think the focus virtue plays and should play in the practice of science. Preliminary results have shown that participants strongly prefer this virtue-based model over traditional methods of RCR training. While we cannot yet definitively say that participation in these RCR sessions contributes to responsible conduct, these pilot results are encouraging and warrant continued development of this virtue-based approach to RCR training.
      PubDate: 2018-02-03
      DOI: 10.1007/s11948-017-9991-2
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