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Case 60. Dissemination of Research Findings


Darlene Johnson, a sociologist, had conducted a study of relationships between children and parents after divorce. She interviewed custodial, non-custodial, and joint custodial parents and their children over a period of three years. Darlene conducted this work on her own while teaching at a small college. She had completed analysis of her data and written a preliminary draft of her findings, when she changed positions and joined a survey research firm which conducts national surveys for the U.S. government.

She has been working at this firm for two years. Darlene works very long hours and often travels in connection with her new job. She has not found any time to complete work on her study of divorce. Periodically she hears from colleagues interested in the findings of her study. Darlene is reluctant to send her preliminary draft of results because it is incomplete. However, she realizes that as long as she remains at her current job, she will not have the time to finalize her paper on the study.


  1. Is Darlene obligated to write-up and disseminate the results of her study of divorce?
  2. Are there ways that Darlene could complete and disseminate her results? Should she send the existing draft to colleagues who request it?

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