Scientist Behaving Badly Essay

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Vol 435|9 June 2005 COMMENTARY Scientists behaving badly To protect the integrity of science, we must look beyond falsification, fabrication and plagiarism, to a wider range of questionable research practices, argue Brian C. Martinson, Melissa S. Anderson and Raymond de Vries. erious misbehaviour in research is important for many reasons, not least because it damages the reputation of, and Top ten behaviours All Mid-career Early-career undermines public support for, science. Historically, professionals and the public have 1. Falsifying or ‘cooking’ research data 0.3 0.2 0.5 focused on headline-grabbing cases of 2. Ignoring major aspects of human-subject requirements 0.3 0.3 0.4 scientific misconduct, but we believe that 3. Not properly disclosing involvement in firms whose products are 0.3 0.4 0.3 based on one‘s own research researchers can no longer afford to ignore a 4. Relationships with students, research subjects or clients that may be 1.4 1.3 1.4 wider range of questionable behaviour that interpreted as questionable threatens the integrity of science. 5. Using another’s ideas without obtaining permission or giving due 1.4 1.7 1.0 We surveyed several thousand early- and credit 6. Unauthorized use of confidential information in connection with one’s 1.7 2.4 0.8 *** mid-career scientists, who are based in the own research United States and funded by the National 7. Failing to present data that contradict one’s own previous research 6.0 6.5 5.3 Institutes of Health (NIH), and asked them 8. Circumventing certain minor aspects of human-subject requirements 7.6 9.0 6.0 ** to report their own behaviours. Our findings 9. Overlooking others' use of flawed data or questionable interpretation 12.5 12.2 12.8 of data reveal a range of questionable practices that 10. Changing the design, methodology or results

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