May 21, 2008

EDITORIAL - Research Integrity and Scientific Misconduct

Anthony J. (Tony) Smith, Editor
J Dent Res 87(3):197, 2008

Most institutions have policies and guidelines for research integrity and misconduct, but I wonder how many of us have read these? The fact that some countries have set up organizations to regulate research integrity perhaps reflects the level of concern about this issue. Our own regulatory controls—through IRB and ethical review committee approvals, national legislation, and peer review at the research publication stage—are clearly insufficient to prevent some researchers contemplating misconduct. Scientific journals now ask authors to make several declarations at submission about the integrity of their research, but nevertheless concerns remain. Many journals will have experienced plagiarism at some stage, and this highlights the differing attitudes to such misconduct (Brumfiel 2007; Yilmaz 2007). Collaborations with other researchers require a level of trust on both sides, and we should remember that when collaborative research is published, responsibility lies with all of the authors to ensure that the research has been conducted with the highest standards of integrity, and that all authors have had access to the primary data. Dual publication of data is also unacceptable, unless the previously published work is fully acknowledged, and similar caveats hold for the re-analysis of previously reported data.>>>


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