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Resnik, D. B. (2019). Stewardship of research resources. Accountability in Research, 26(3), 246–251. https://doi.org/10.1080/08989621.2019.1585819


Most accounts of research ethics focus on the importance of a handful of ethical and epistemological norms for the conduct of science, such as honesty, integrity, transparency, accountability, objectivity, collegiality, fairness, social responsibility, but have little to say about another, less well-known norm that also deserves attention: stewardship of research resources. Many of the behaviors and practices that are widely regarded as unethical or ethically questionable involve wasting or misusing money, time, and other resources. While good stewardship of resources may not be as crucial to the ethics of science as other norms, it is an important consideration that scientists should keep in mind when managing their own resources or mentoring students and trainees in the responsible conduct of research. Additional investigation into the ethics of stewardship may help us better understand how this norm interacts with other research norms and guides scientific conduct.