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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Conflict of Interest in Scientific Research: Does Explicit Instruction Increase Undergraduate Knowledge and Recognition of Potential Conflict?
by Perry, Heather Brodie, D.Bibl., Simmons University, 2019, 271; 27742156
Abstract (Summary)

This study included the exploration the expectations of faculty about student understanding of the influence of funding sources on research, questioned the role of information literacy (IL) instruction in addressing faculty expectations, and investigated whether explicit instruction would increase student recognition and evaluation of research with potential financial conflicts of interest (FCOIs). Previous research in the biomedical sciences has indicated that a funding source can influence the conduct, conclusions, publication, and dissemination of research. The Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2016) addressed the complexity of information through a richer curriculum and an emphasis on faculty-librarian collaborations. This study explored the inclusion of FCOI within IL instruction. A model was developed to explain factors influencing student evaluation of research and providing a framework for designing IL instruction on recognizing and evaluating research with potential FCOI. The study employed a mixed-methods approach to triangulate the understanding of FCOI among faculty, librarians, and students. Faculty and librarians participated in a survey and semi-structured interviews to provide a baseline of understanding of the issue. Students participated in a pretest/posttest instruction design with an experimental group and a control group to determine whether explicit instruction increased understanding. The findings revealed modest, statistically significant results that implied that richer instruction could produce more robust results. The qualitative findings provided results supporting the argument that understanding the impact of funding source on the conduct, conclusions, and dissemination of research should be included in IL instruction when relevant. This research suggests that instruction can improve student understanding of FCOI. Future research could further investigate the role of scientific literacy courses as an opportunity for faculty and librarians to collaborate on the instruction of FCOI. This work increases our understanding of the need for students to understand, identify, and evaluate information considering the possibility for bias.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Saunders, Laura
Commitee: Hussey, Lisa, Budd, John M
School: Simmons University
Department: Library and Information Science
School Location: United States
Source: DAI-A 81/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Information science, Library science
Keywords: Conflict of interest, Funding source, Information literacy, Instruction, Undergraduate students
Publication Number: 27742156
ISBN: 9781658451208
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