An evaluation of postgraduate social science students' knowledge of conducting research responsibility in a South African university.
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Conducting research responsibly is an essential part of ethical research (Steneck & Bulger, 2007). When research is not conducted responsibly, the result is often research misconduct, which may cause harm to research participants (Aita & Richer, 2005). Although numerous methods and policies have been developed, both to prevent and to deal with research misconduct, such effects are ongoing (Howard Stone, 2001). A study conducted in the United States of America (USA) by Heitman, Olsen and Anestidou (2007) suggested that postgraduate biomedical students did not have sufficient knowledge of conducting research responsibly. This study aimed to adapt Heitman et al.’s (2007) study to social science postgraduate students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Although findings indicated that the participants had adequate knowledge of conducting research responsibly, the variables hypothesised to have an impact on the results – such as age, research experience, and research training – did not produce any significant findings.