Ethics Statement

The Long Island Science and Engineering Fair Inc. is an affiliate of the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), and as such upholds the following ISEF Ethics Statement (ISEF Guidelines 2024, pgs. 3):                                                              

ISEF Ethics Statement

Student researchers, as well as adults who have a role in their projects, are expected to maintain the highest ethical standards.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Integrity.  Honesty, objectivity, and avoidance of conflicts of interest are expected during every phase of the project. The project should reflect independent research done by the student(s), and be free of fraudulent data and/or plagiarism and represent only one year’s work.
  • Legality.  Compliance with all federal, state and local laws and regulations is essential.  In addition, projects conducted outside the U.S. must also adhere to the laws of the country and jurisdiction in which the project was performed.  All projects must be approved by a Scientific Review Committee (SRC), and when necessary must also be approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), and/or Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC).  It is recommended that students reference their local, state or national laws and regulations.
  • Respect for Confidentiality and Intellectual Property.  Confidential communications, as well as patents, copyrights, and other forms of intellectual property must be honored.  Unpublished data, methods, or results may not be used without permission, and credit must be given to all contributions to research.
  • Stewardship of the Environment.  It is the responsibility of the researcher and adults involved to protect the environment from harm.  Introduction or disposal of native, genetically-altered, and/or invasive species, (e.g. insects, plants, invertebrates, vertebrates), pathogens, toxic chemicals or foreign substances into the environment is prohibited.  It is recommended that students reference their local, state or national regulations and quarantine lists.  
  • Acknowledgement of Risks. All projects involve some amount of risk.  Everyone is expected to recognize the hazards, assess the risks, minimize the risks, and prepare for emergencies.
  • Animal Care. Proper care and respect must be given to vertebrate animals.  The use of non-animal research methods and alternatives to animal research are strongly encouraged and must be explored before conducting a vertebrate animal project.  The guiding principles for the use of animals in research includes the following “Four R’s”: Replace, Reduce, Refine, Respect.
  • Human Participant Protection. The highest priority is the health and well-being of the student researcher(s) and human participants.
  • Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents (PHBAs).  It is the responsibility of the student and adults involved in the project to conduct and document a risk assessment, and to safely handle and dispose of organisms and materials.

Scientific fraud and misconduct are not condoned at any level of research or competition.  This includes plagiarism, forgery, use or presentation of other researcher’s work as one’s own and fabrication of data.  Fraudulent projects will Fail to Qualify for competition in affiliated fairs and ISEF.  Society for Science reserves the right to revoke recognition of a project subsequently found to have been fraudulent.