All projects need to be approved for judging; this means that it is checked for compliancy to the rules of Eskom Expo and it does not violate any ethics.
Scientific fraud and misconduct are not condoned at any level of research or competition. Such practices include plagiarism, forgery, and use of presentation or other research’s work as one’s own and fabrication of data. Fraudulent projects will fail to qualify for competition at any Eskom Expo events.
What is plagiarism? It can be defined as follows:
To use another person’s words or ideas and to pretend that they are your own. The following are considered as plagiarism:
- To steal or borrow another person’s work.
- To pay another person to write your assignment.
- To copy directly from a source without referencing the original source and without permission from the author(s).
- To use another person’s ideas and build in them without giving credit to the original ideas.
- To paraphrase another person’s work word-for-word.
- To present false data (fabricated, altered or borrowed without permission).
The worst form of plagiarism is to do it intentionally.
Plagiarism can also occur unintentionally: when you rewrite another person’s ideas or words in your own words, or use small sections of another person’s writings without acknowledging it as a source.
Fraudulent projects will be disqualified at all Eskom Expo events.
It is compulsory that every learner has a signed copy of the plagiarism declaration in their file.
Ethics is concerned with what is right or wrong, good or bad, fair or unfair, responsible or irresponsible. Research on micro-organisms, human or animal subjects, including surveys, needs a letter signed by a supervising scientist and your teacher giving approval for the project to be done. Any surveys (questionnaires) need another form giving consent or permission by parents or schools. Both forms need to be filed in the report file in the appendix.
Make sure the project is safe and ethical
Before starting a project, it’s important to know the rules – especially when thinking of using ANY animals, human subjects, hazardous equipment or materials, recombinant DNA or other biotechnological materials. (By the way, “animals” include pets and livestock and “humans” include family members and learners from a school). It’s heart-breaking to have projects disqualified at any Eskom Expo events because the rules have been broken – or maybe even the law! Any research or experiments on potentially hazardous biological agents, animal or human subjects must be done under the supervision of a qualified scientist/laboratory. A signed letter or form from the qualified scientist and/or laboratory will be required before participating at any Eskom Expo events.
Ethics: Safety and Patents
Learners are encouraged to check for ethical infringements before exhibiting projects at any Eskom Expo events. Please note that the following are not allowed at any Eskom Expo event:
- Living organisms including animals, fish, insects and plants
- Agar plates and other growth mediums for microbiology studies
- Human or animal parts including tissues and body fluids (for example blood, urine, hooves, skins etc.)
- Dangerous chemicals: Poisons, drugs, medications, controlled substances, hazardous substances and devices (for example firearms, weapons, ammunition, reloading devices, knives and any sharp instruments).
- Flammable substances.
- Photographs or other visual presentations depicting humans or vertebrate animals in surgical techniques, dissections, necropsies or other lab procedures, or belittle people in any way, or show animals being harmed in any way.
- Brand names or any branded products.
- Food substances that are not in completely sealed containers (plastic wrap is not acceptable as it can be easily removed).
- Water except if in sealed apparatus. No water is allowed in any experimental apparatus
- Any apparatus deemed unsafe by the Eskom Expo organisers.
NB: Photographs will be sufficient for judging but it must state who took the photos, and, has permission been given to display them?
All electrical work must conform to the National Electrical Code and Exhibit Halls Regulations. Fire regulations will be strictly enforced. The on-site electrician may be requested to review any electrical work on any project. The safety guidelines here are general ones and other rules may apply to specific configurations.
Some participants display projects that show innovative thinking and provide new products. Expo encourages the development of entrepreneurial products which may lead to the marketing of these products.
Learners are advised to obtain legal advice about patent applications before entering projects at any Eskom Expo. Once a design or product has been on public display, it cannot be patented. However, if any exhibit is displayed for judges only, no patent rights should be lost.
Refer to the following website for more information on how to patent a project: http://patentsearch.cipc.co.za