Research Integrity and Assurance

Misconduct in Research

Misconduct in research

Advances in research have impact when they are published or shared. To uphold the public’s support of research, it is important for researchers to utilize the most responsible and ethical methods in conducting their work and to be transparent in their actions.

Misconduct in research is defined as:

  • fabrication - making up data or results and recording or reporting them
  • falsification - manipulating research materials, equipment or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that you are not accurately representing the research in the research record
  • plagiarism - the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results or words without giving appropriate credit
  • improper practices - serious deviations from accepted standards in proposing, conducting or reporting research

It is important to note that research misconduct does not include differences of opinions or honest errors

A finding of research misconduct can be devastating and put a scientist’s career at risk. Good scientific practices can minimize the risk of misconduct (Kalichman, 2001):

  • strict adherence to the scientific method
  • clear, detailed recordkeeping
  • meaningful and clear delineation of collaboration
  • shared understanding of authorship roles and responsibilities
  • attentive mentoring for newer members of the research environment
  • encouragement and support for asking questions and open discussion

We cannot emphasize enough how important proper recordkeeping is when allegations of misconduct arise. 
 

References

Kalichman, M. (2001). Resources for Research Ethics Education. Retrieved from http://research-ethics.net/topics/research-misconduct/

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