Academic Honesty / Scientific Integrity Policy

Creative Adventures Consulting
Academic Honesty / Scientific Integrity Policy

At Creative Adventures, ethical practice is a part of our daily work as consultants / dissertation consultants, educators, researchers, professionals, and as scholar-practitioners.

Maintaining the integrity of our work, and the work of those we serve, requires a conscious and conscientious commitment to be vigilant in upholding the standards of the academic, professional, and scientific communities in which we and our clients are members.

Academic Honesty

For us, academic honesty relates most directly to providing proper attribution to the ideas, work, and sources upon which your thesis/dissertation and work is based, and in assuring that that which you present as your own original ideas or work is indeed yours and no one else’s.  Breaches of academic honesty, which can include plagiarism involving presenting other’s ideas without proper attribution or other’s ideas or work as your own, can lead to a student being dismissed from their graduate program or other sanctions against you, whether these are a result of a conscious act on your part, or inattentiveness to the conventions of academic and scholarly writing.

To the extent possible given the limitations of our role as a consulting firm, we will strive to help you understand the nature of academic honesty, how to avoid plagiarism, and how to provide proper attribution to sources, including how to cite and reference sources following APA or other writing style guidelines.

We expect that the work you submit to us is your own original work and that you have not purchased your paper, nor have you copied the work of another and submitted it as your own.  Note too, that we do NOT do your writing for you, and when providing editing services, we adopt an “action editor” approach based on training and coaching you in strengthening and developing your writing (e.g., basic grammar, expository, scholarly, APA, etc.) and proof-reading skills: This assures that the work you submit is yours!

In addition, we may ask that you submit your work to a text-matching service such as Turn-It-In, Safe Assign, or another service used by your University, and provide us with the results so that we may help you learn how to avoid breaches of academic honesty and proper ways to cite and reference other’s work.

Furthermore, we reserve the right to submit your work to a text-matching service on your behalf, and if we do so, we will share the results with you.

We take the matter of academic honesty seriously, as the consequences of a breach of academic honesty can have serious consequences for you academically, professionally, even personally.  Our approach to helping you understand the nature and complexity of academic honesty is very much based on an educational framework, where we recognize that developing the knowledge and skills needed to avoid plagiarism and instead to provide proper attribution are competencies to be developed as part of one’s graduate education, and along with this is the need to develop one’s vigilance and attention to detail when writing, proof-reading, and editing one’s work.

We encourage our clients to ask questions about academic honesty issues and scholarly writing conventions in an open and honest manner in the spirit of continuous learning and professional development.

Professional Conduct

Most graduate students are directly or indirectly members of some professional community of practice, for which there are professional codes of conduct or codes of ethics.  We encourage our clients to identify an appropriate professional code of conduct / ethics related to their project or work, and to gain familiarity with it by reviewing it frequently as part of their professional practice and throughout their graduate program’s capstone project (i.e., thesis or dissertation).

In addition, we recognize that a code of conduct or ethics, including ethical principles related to research, are static entities, and that the real challenges come in the dynamic elements of ethical practice and ethical reasoning when facing a real-world situation that represent potential ethical or moral dilemmas, where one is faced with interpreting some ethical statement or principle.  We encourage our clients to bring forth any situations they are facing that present potential ethical dilemmas related to their thesis or dissertation, and to do so also with their thesis or dissertation chair and their university’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Ethics Committee.

Scientific Integrity

At Creative Adventures, we strive to uphold and protect the integrity of the scientific process and community of scientists and those who use science that includes researchers, scholars, policy-/decision-makers, scholar-practitioners, and other professionals.  For us, scientific integrity encompasses both research ethics as it relates to the protection of Human participants as described in the Code of Federal Regulations (45 CFR 46: http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.html), as well as safeguarding the integrity of the knowledge-building processes of the scientific enterprise.  Central to maintaining the integrity of science as a knowledge-building enterprise is assuring the accuracy (i.e., validity / credibility) of working with data using standardized, systematic and rigorous, and accepted practices for such things as recruiting participants and sampling, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation, and the reporting of the results of research.  Mishandling or falsification of data in any manner including but not limited to the collection, analysis, or interpretation of data, or in reporting the results represents a potential breach of scientific honesty and integrity.  In addition, seeking to support an argument, theory, or belief by selecting only that data or those sources which support said argument, theory, or belief, without consideration of data, sources, or viewpoints that present a scientifically valid alternative, is also considered a potential breach of scientific honesty and integrity (i.e., inappropriate bias, incomplete grounding in the literature).

In addition, a key characteristics of the scientist, researcher, and scholar-practitioner is humility in recognition that rarely if ever does science prove something, and that while current data may “lend support to” or “suggest the validity of” some theory, we recognize that as new data emerges theory can and often does change.  Scientific theory is, after all, Human’s best attempt to describe and explain some observable phenomenon–for the sake of making predictions and control–and as such is subject to the limitations of our own Human processes of understanding complex sensory data; limitations in one’s knowledge-base, reasoning, and critical thinking skills; limitations in current technology to measure certain phenomenon; and inherent limitations in the scientific method itself.

Therefore, we believe that as members of the scientific community, we have an obligation to convey our humility when using or reporting the results of research (e.g., by explicitly discussing limitations and recommendations for future research that address limitations and seek confirmation of the study’s findings elsewhere), convey the fact that science generally does not “prove” something with absolute certainty, and to counter misconceptions about science held by many non-scientists.

Scientists, researchers, and scholar-practitioners should also possess a healthy level of skepticism about claims made by others that suggest absolute proof or truth.  As advocates for evidence-based practice we should encourage and support others in developing methods for collecting both quantitative and qualitative data that can strengthen our understanding of the many complex, pressing, and fascinating issues and phenomenon that are of importance to scientists, other professionals, and those we serve.

We at Creative Adventures will do everything within our respective role to help you develop knowledge about academic honesty and the conventions of scholarly writing; an appropriate professional code of conduct should one exist related to your thesis, dissertation, or professional work; and develop knowledge about scientific integrity and ethical reasoning to the extent possible based on the level of consulting, coaching, or training services you choose to purchase through our company.

Ultimately, however, we have little or no control over your work, behavior, or conduct, and are not liable for any breaches of academic honesty, professional conduct, or scientific integrity.

Words shared by our happy clients...

To those considering Dr. Flor as Dissertation Consultant / Coach / Mentor:

I had had two other mentors prior to Dr. Flor and, while I gained some insights regarding the dissertation process from each of them, neither offered a holistic approach brought by him. He helped me to thoroughly understand and accept the whole dissertation process for what it was and always will be; very challenging but necessary! Early on in our mentor/mentee relationship, Dr. Flor helped me navigate through this incredibly daunting process that is wrought with complicated political and academic perspectives, unknown and ambiguous processes and procedures, uncertain timeframes, and then the arduous intellectual nature of preparing, writing, rewriting, editing, and crafting a dissertation.

Few faculty are able to accomplish this type of coaching and mentoring due in a large part because of their own workload and inability to emotionally and intellectually attach themselves to the work being done by their mentee. This entire research process can be compared to directing a huge movie production – from Titanic to Hurt Locker, depending upon your research approach respectively, qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods. Unfortunately, the dissertation researcher is incredibly alone without any of the bit-players that help support this massive production. It is a lonely time except for your connection with a mentor who cares and can engage with you at the level and in the manner that Dr. Flor is committed to providing to those with whom he works.

What was incredibly helpful was Dr. Flor’s ability to see your work as well as you and understand the relevance it holds for the scholar/practitioner perspective while whole-heartedly cheering you on. His insight and vast knowledge of fundamental and contemporary literature is unsurpassed. As a novice researcher, I was tugged and pushed in multiple directions while easily distracted by other researchers, colleagues, teachers, and the plethora of literature, theories, and sample dissertations that were tossed my way to try to ‘copy’ by others in the program. Dr. Flor provided the subtle nudges to steer me through the mess of conflicting messages to a meaningful and valuable discussion about what made my own research relevant and then how to craft the research process to come to conclusions that made sense. Dr. Flor was my secret weapon to completing my dissertation and it is with heart-felt thanks and appreciation that I recommend to anyone looking to get honest and insightful feedback to consider him as a dissertation coach or consultant.

L.M.

See more Testimonials from Creative Adventures Consulting clients »