Asee peer logo

Framework to Address Ethical Issues in Multiple-authored and Mentor-supervised Engineering Publications

Download Paper |


2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Professional Issues in Ethics Education

Tagged Division

Engineering Ethics

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.650.1 - 25.650.22



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Islam H. El-adaway Mississippi State University

visit author page

Islam H. El-adaway is Assistant Professor, civil and environmental engineering, Mississippi State University, 501 Hardy Road, 235C Walker Engineering Building, P.O Box 9546, Mississippi State, MS 39762. Email:

visit author page


Marianne M. Jennings Arizona State University

visit author page

Marianne M. Jennings is professor, legal and ethical studies, Department of Management, Arizona State University, Main Campus, P.O. Box 874006, Tempe, AZ 85287. Email:

visit author page

Download Paper |


Framework to Address Ethical Issues in Multiple-Authored and Mentor-Supervised Engineering Publications By Marianne Jennings and Islam H. El-adawayABSTRACTThis paper proposes a three-fold ethical framework for evaluating and analyzing the ethical norms forauthorship status. This paper explore: (1) the ethical issues related to publication, authorship, andmentoring with the goal of better defining co-authorship standards as well as encouraging research ethicsdiscussion and education within the academic civil engineering research community, and (2) examinesthe current factors affecting the academic research environment and describe some of the unspoken butethically questionable practices in the academic community. Graduate students, junior and tenuredfaculty, technicians and administrators, and field practitioners in the engineering research communityneed to address the evolving ethical issues in multiple-authored and mentor-supervised publications.Most tangible rewards are based on a faculty member’s or researcher’s publication record and theresulting increasing pressure to produce publications earlier and more often in the academic’s careerexacerbate the problem of a lack of clarity in ethical standards for multi-authored publications. The timingand frequency standards associated with publications for tenure and promotion and continuing researchfunding opportunities result in academics’ maximization of the number of research efforts taken topublication with the number of authors per scientific publication steadily increasing. Further, as thenumber of authors has increased, the level of contribution of each co-author to the research project andpublication decreases. It is the authors’ hope that their thought-paper stirs the waters of this importantissue to maintain the solidarity and integrity of engineering research activities and publications.

El-adaway, I. H., & Jennings, M. M. (2012, June), Framework to Address Ethical Issues in Multiple-authored and Mentor-supervised Engineering Publications Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21407

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015