Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 32 Issue 02

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Volume 32, No. 2
Pages 9 - 9


TOS NEWS • Announcing the TOS Ethics Committee

By Richard W. Murray  and Jennifer Ramarui 
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On December 13, 2018, The Oceanography Society Council adopted a comprehensive Policy on Professional Integrity, Ethics, and Conduct, and Guidelines on Implementation¹. This policy includes establishment of a standing Ethics Committee responsible for investigating reported cases of alleged scientific misconduct by TOS members, attendees at TOS conferences, and other TOS-related activities. The Ethics Committee makes recommendations to the TOS Council and also works with the Council on other matters relating to ethics.

After issuing an open call to the TOS membership for nominations, including self-nominations, the Council selected six committee members and asked former TOS Councillor Richard W. “Rick” Murray to serve as inaugural chair (Box 1).


Box 1. TOS Ethics Committee Members

Richard Murray (Chair), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Emmanuel Boss, University of Maine
Xu Chen, Florida State University
Bethanie Edwards, University of California, Berkeley
Elva Escobar-Briones, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico
Melissa Taylor, Ulster University
Luanne Thompson, University of Washington
Membership Term: February 2019–January 31, 2020


The Ethics Committee has been active since its inception and has taken the following actions:

  1. Recommended the creation of the TOS Ethics Committee web page (https://tos.org/ethics)
  2. Committed to review the Policy on Professional Integrity, Ethics, and Conduct, and Guidelines on Implementation in fall 2019 and suggest changes to the TOS Council. TOS members are encouraged to provide comments on this policy to the Ethics Committee, via the TOS Office ([email protected])
  3. Recommended that the set of principles for professional behavior (Box 2) that governs all TOS members, staff, volunteers, contractors, authors, exhibitors, sponsors, and other participants in TOS activities be prominently featured on the tos.org website, in Oceanography, and as a required check box on the TOS membership and renewal forms


Box 2. Principles for Professional Behavior

• Excellence and honesty in all aspects of research
• Personal accountability in the conduct of research and the dissemination of the results
• Professional courtesy, equity, and fairness in working with others
• Freedom to responsibly pursue science without interference, coercion, or discrimination
• Unselfish cooperation in research
• Good stewardship of research and data on behalf of others
• Legal compliance in all aspects of research, including intellectual property
• Humane approach in evaluating the implications of research on humans and animals


The members of the TOS Ethics Committee are engaged and welcome questions and comments from TOS members. To reach committee members, please email them by clicking on their name on the TOS Ethics Committee web page (https://tos.org/ethics). The TOS Council and Ethics Committee members look forward to working with membership to ensure that TOS remains at the forefront of ethical behavior in all aspects of its activities.

¹ https://tos.org/pdfs/TOS_Ethics_Policy_Approved 12.13.18.pdf

Murray, R.W., and J. Ramarui. 2019. Announcing the TOS Ethics Committee. Oceanography 32(2):9, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2019.204.

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