The Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) program is available to Penn State faculty and students as a means of helping them identify and examine ethical issues relevant to their specific disciplines and research. As of September 2011, all newly hired full-time faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students who are engaged in research and scholarly activities (beyond their coursework) should participate in SARI.
It is the responsibility of the faculty mentor to determine whether or not an undergraduate student’s work meets the university’s definition of “research." This definition takes two forms, the first drawn from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the second from university policy:
- A systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge; and
- Work resulting in the dissemination of findings to a scientific audience including, but not limited to, honor's thesis; presentation at a research exhibition, scientific meeting or conference; submission to or publication in a scientific journal; and Internet postings.
The company that administers SARI for Penn State is the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). Faculty mentors should meet with the student and determine which of the CITI training modules is appropriate for their area of study. To take the SARI-CITI training, visit the CITI Web site.
Registration is quick and easy. While you register, the Web site asks a few questions to direct you to the module that is appropriate for your discipline and interests. After signing up, you can log in at any time (remember your username and password) and complete the course, unit by unit.
There are many reasons why SARI-CITI training is appealing. It is free, informative, and takes a relatively short amount of time (typically three and four hours, total). In addition, it is transferable if and when the student goes to graduate school. Above all, the Office of Research Protections feels that the training is a worthwhile part of the undergraduate educational experience.