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Responsible Conduct of Research Lecture Responsibility of Authors and Reviewers What constitutes Plagiarism? Collaboration.

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Presentation on theme: "Responsible Conduct of Research Lecture Responsibility of Authors and Reviewers What constitutes Plagiarism? Collaboration."— Presentation transcript:

1 Responsible Conduct of Research Lecture Responsibility of Authors and Reviewers What constitutes Plagiarism? Collaboration

2 Responsibility of Authors and Reviewers

3 What constitutes authorship?

4 Authors must make a significant contribution to the reported work Authors should have made an experimental, technical or intellectual contribution to the work Authorship should be restricted to those who thought of the study, performed key experiments, or interpreted the results Providing reagents such as antibodies, purified proteins or cell lines or clones, or providing analytical software programs should NOT result in authorship

5 Journal Requirements for Authorship All authors must take responsibility for the contents of the manuscript All authors must consent to the submission of the manuscript All authors must have read the submitted manuscript and agree to its submission Authors must be willing to provide any described reagent such as cell line, mutant, antibody, etc. to the scientific community if requested, once the paper is published

6 Journal Requirements for Authorship Author Contributions. At least two publications—Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, USA (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA) and the Public Library of Science Journals (PLoS) such as PLoS Biology, PLoS One, PLoS Genetics, PLoS Pathogens, etc.– Require that the role of each author be stated in the Acknowledgements under Author Contributions.

7 Example PLoS Pathog 8(3): e March, 2012 Comparative Genomics of the Apicomplexan Parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum: Coccidia Differing in Host Range and Transmission Strategy Adam James Reid, Sarah J. Vermont, James A. Cotton, David Harris, Grant A. Hill-Cawthorne, Stephanie Könen-Waisman, Sophia M. Latham, Tobias Mourier, Rebecca Norton, Michael A. Quail, Mandy Sanders, Dhanasekaran Shanmugam, Amandeep Sohal, James D. Wasmuth, Brian Brunk, Michael E. Grigg, Jonathan C. Howard, John Parkinson, David S. Roos, Alexander J. Trees, Matthew Berriman, Arnab Pain, Jonathan M. Wastling (23 authors) Author Contributions Conceived and designed the experiments: JMW AP AJR AJT JCH MB SKW. Performed the experiments: DH MAQ MS RN SJV SKW SML. Analyzed the data: AJR AS BB DS DSR GAHC JAC JDW JP MEG TM. Wrote the paper: AJR AP JMW.

8 PEER REVIEW  Review of Manuscripts: responsibilities of authors responsibilities of reviewers  Review of Grants: responsibilities of applicants responsibilities of reviewers


10 Reviewers Responsibilities Reviewers should be fair and objective in reviewing manuscripts. Comments should be focused on the quality of the scientific work that is presented and not be personal in nature. Reviewers must keep the contents of unpublished manuscripts confidential. They should not discuss manuscripts they are reviewing with colleagues or members of the laboratory without receiving permission from the Editor for a scientific consultation.

11 Editors and reviewers Reviewers must not use information in unpublished manuscripts for the benefit of their own research programs.

12 Responsibilities of Authors All results and data presented must be accurate to the best of the knowledge of all authors on the manuscript. If any part of the manuscript is fraudulent, all authors are held responsible.

13 For Science's Gatekeepers, a Credibility Gap By LAWRENCE K. ALTMAN, M.D. Published: May 2, 2006LAWRENCE K. ALTMAN Recent disclosures of fraudulent or flawed studies in medical and scientific journals have called into question the merits of their peer- review system. Because findings published in peer-reviewed journals affect patient care, public policy and the authors' academic promotions, journal editors contend that new scientific information should be published in a peer-reviewed journal before it is presented to the public. That message, however, has created a widespread misimpression that passing peer review is the scientific equivalent of the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. Virtually every major scientific and medical journal has been humbled recently by publishing findings that are later discredited.


15 What are some consequences of falsifying and/or manipulating data?

16 MMR Vaccine Composition: Live attenuated viruses Measles, Mumps and Rubella strains Vaccination schedule: at months and again at 4-6 years or before junior high school. Efficacy: 95% lifelong immunization with a single dose and >99% with two doses.

17 Measles signs and symptoms appear days after exposure to the virus. Infection and incubation. For the first 10 to 14 days after infection, the measles virus incubates. No signs or symptoms of measles during this time. Nonspecific signs and symptoms. Measles typically begins with a mild to moderate fever, often accompanied by a persistent cough, runny nose, inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis) and sore throat. This may last two or three days. Acute illness and rash. The rash consists of small red spots, some of which are slightly raised. Spots and bumps in tight clusters give the skin a splotchy red appearance. The face breaks out first, behind the ears and along the hairline. Over the next few days, the rash spreads down the arms and trunk, then over the thighs, lower legs and feet. At the same time, fever rises sharply, often as high as 104 to F. Communicable period. A person with measles can spread the virus to others for about eight days, starting four days before the rash appears and ending when the rash has been present for four days.

18 Complications from Measles: Most people get better within 2 weeks. But measles can sometimes cause dangerous problems, such as lung infection (pneumonia) or brain swelling (encephalitis). In rare cases, it can cause seizures or meningitis.


20 MMR vaccine controversy The MMR vaccine controversy centers on the 1998 publication of a fraudulent research paper in the medical journal The Lancet that lent support to the later discredited claim that autism spectrum disorders are linked to MMR vaccine. The media has been criticized for its naïve reporting and for lending undue credibility to the architect of the fraud, Andrew Wakefield. Andrew Wakefield, the author of the original research paper, had manipulated evidence and fabricated data, and had broken other ethical codes. The Lancet paper was partially retracted in 2004 and fully retracted in 2010, and Wakefield was found guilty by the General Medical Council of serious professional misconduct in May 2010 and was struck off the Medical Register, meaning he could no longer practice as a doctor in the UK. The scientific consensus is that no evidence links the MMR vaccine to the development of autism, and that this vaccine's benefits greatly outweigh its risks.


22 5 Journals with the highest number of retractions Nature Science Cell New England Journal of Medicine Lancet

23 Are retractions becoming more common? Steen, R. G Retractions in the scientific literature: is the incidence of research fraud increasing? J Med Ethics 37: retracted articles were reviewed and this number rose approximately ten-fold from 2001 to 2011, with the greatest increase among those retracted due to misconduct.

24 Data Manipulation Some more subtle examples

25 Journal of Virology A reader noted what appeared to be a duplication of a lane in a figure of a published JVI paper. The reader checked several papers published by the same senior author over the years and noted what appeared to be data tampering or manipulation in four out of seven publications in JVI over a 4 year period, all involving one figure per manuscript.

26 Journal of Virology The reader contacted the Editor. The Editor contacted the senior author, whose laboratory is in Europe, and thus is not subject to US Federal fraud investigations. The senior author launched an investigation.

27 Journal of Virology All four suspect published papers had the same first author and the same senior, corresponding author (last author), but the middle authors were different in all four papers. Three of the papers represented collaborations with scientists from different universities. The first author was a postdoc in the senior author’s lab The senior author launched an investigation on the suspect figures, all of which were experiments that the postdoc performed.

28 Fig. 6, published Case 1 K was deleted and J was duplicated Fig. 6, A-F, original Fig. 6, G-K, original J K

29 Case 4, Published figure 7 Two bands in panel G were duplicated 50 kDa band deleted 25 kDa band duplicated Fig 7, G Original

30 Case 4, new Fig, 7 gL gH + Liposomes- Liposomes gB gD Gradient Fractions A B D F HG E I C IgG

31 ASM Course of Action The senior author was required to publish four Author’s Corrections, one for each paper indicating that a figure had been manipulated and showing both the published version and the un- manipulated new version and state that the overall conclusions of the paper are unchanged. If the conclusions were altered because of the manipulations, the author would have had to retract the paper(s). The postdoctoral fellow was barred from publishing in any ASM journal for a period of 3 years, effective immediately.

32 Another recent case in Journal of Virology A reader contacted the Editor-in-Chief that a paper published in February, 2013 had what appeared to be duplicated bands and bands that were spliced into gels.

33 Pixel by pixel comparison ORI Level and Color Overlay tool was used to highlight any potential splicing and/or background differences within the panels. Identical digital images show up as completely yellow when overlayed, e.g., Fig. 1, panel B, lanes 1 v. 3 and 2 v. 4. The

34 Pixel by pixel comparison Figure 2C: The ORI Level and Color Overlay tool was used to display any splicing and background differences within the panels. In the image, an arrow points to clear splice lines between lanes 3 and 4 of the middle blot in Panel C, and show the right lane was pasted into the image. Figure 2D: The ORI Level and Color Overlay tool was used to display any splicing and background differences within the panels. In the image, arrows point to clear splice lines between lanes 3, 4 and 5 of the right blot in Panel D, and show lane 4 was pasted into the image.

35 Panels in 3 out of 3 multi-paneled figures had been altered by band duplication, splicing of bands into gels or duplication of loading controls. The paper had to be retracted.

36 Tsg101 Interacts with Herpes Simplex Virus 1 VP1/2 and Is a Substrate of VP1/2 Ubiquitin-Specific Protease Domain Activity Martina Caduco, Alessandra Comin, Marta Toffoletto, Denis Munegato, Elena Sartori, Michele Celestino, Cristiano Salata, Cristina Parolin, Giorgio Palù and Arianna Calistri RETRACTION Volume 87, no. 1, 692–696, Pages 692–696: The authors regretfully retract this article at the request of the Journal of Virology. All the authors take responsibility for mistakes made in the final assembly of the figures, including unacceptable digital manipulation of data in panels of Fig. 1, 2, and 3, as follows: 1.In Fig. 1B lower left panel, bands in lanes 1 and 2 were duplicated in lanes 3 and 4 and in Fig. 1B, lower right panel, the band in lane 2 was spliced into the image. 2.In Fig. 2C, middle panel, the band in lane 4 was spliced into the gel image. 3.In Fig. 2D, middle panel, the band in lane 4 was spliced into the gel image. 4.In Fig. 3B, the “tubulin” blot in panel B was copied and pasted from the last three lanes of the “tubulin” blot of panel A and rotated 180 degrees. 5.In Fig. 3C, in the area above the bands in the right panel of the left grouping, a gray rectangle was pasted over the image.

37 The EMBO Journal (2008) 27, 301 Retraction TRiC/CCT cooperates with different upstream chaperones in the folding of distinct protein classes Katja Siegers, Bettina Bolter, Juliane P Schwarz, Ulrike MK Bottcher, Suranjana Guha and F Ulrich Hartl The EMBO Journal (2008) 27, 301. doi: /sj.emboj /sj.emboj Retraction to: The EMBO Journal (2003) 22, 5230–5240. doi: /emboj/cdg483 As corresponding author of the above paper, Dr K Siegers has informed the journal that Figures 1B and 3B of this publication contain inappropriately processed or fabricated data. Although an investigation of this case by the Max Planck Society has indicated that the main conclusions of the study appear not to be affected by these manipulations, both Dr Siegers and her co- authors agree to retract this paper.

38 Cell Volume 149, Volume 149, 30 March 2012, Page 245 Retraction The Chromatin-Remodeling Complex WINAC Targets a Nuclear Receptor to Promoters and Is Impaired in Williams Syndrome Hirochika Kitagawa, Ryoji Fujiki, Kimihiro Yoshimura, Yoshihiro Mezaki, Yoshikatsu Uematsu, Daisuke Matsui,Satoko Ogawa, Kiyoe Unno, Mataichi Okubo, Akifumi Tokita, Takeya Nakagawa, Takashi Ito, Yukio Ishimi,Hiromichi Nagasawa, Toshio Matsumoto, Junn Yanagisawa, and Shigeaki Kato* DOI /j.cell (Cell 113, 905–917; June 27, 2003) Our paper reported that a chromatin-remodeling complex, WINAC, recruited the unliganded vitamin D receptor to promoters in cooperation with the transcription factor implicated in Williams syndrome, WSTF. The findings provided insights into the coordination between chromatin remodelers and sequence-specific transcription factors and pointed to a role of chromatin-remodeling defects in Williams syndrome. We recently identified errors affecting several figure panels in which original data were processed inappropriately such that the figure panels do not accurately report the original data. We believe that the most responsible course of action is to retract the paper.

39 There is no Expiration Date on when a paper can be retracted





44 Why is it fraudulent to re-use loading controls? Without a reliable loading control, it’s impossible to conclude anything from any assay. If the loading controls have been tampered with, one has every reason to question the entire figure, if not even the key messages of the publication itself.

45 Selective adjustment of brightness and contrast



48 Data must be reported directly, not through a filter based on what you “think they should” illustrate to your audience. Data beautification: > a term that comes from an editorial in Nature is defined as the digital manipulation of properly acquired data for the purpose of making a figure clearer, more perfect and more consistent with the best images yielded in such experiments. Removing dust from a digitized photo with the erasure tool, cropping bands from gels, and playing with fluorescence micrographs to enhance a particular effect are all attempts to show better results than were actually achieved in that run. In all these cases the data are legitimately acquired but then processed to yield an idealized, manipulated image. Nature 439, (23 February 2006)

49 Molecular & Cellular Biology Pilot Study MCB Figure check from 1/14/2013 to 4/23/2013 Total Accepted manuscripts: 108 Manuscripts with figure manipulation: 16 (15%)

50 Grant Review

51 Take Home Message Do not alter or adjust original images in any way. Present the data as it was acquired Repeat experiments in which gels, fluorescence images, etc. are not of publication quality—don’t try to alter the images

52 Grant Review

53 Responsibilities of Reviewers CONFIDENTIALITY The most important responsibility of the reviewer is to keep all aspects of the proposal, the review and the outcome confidential. Proposals may NOT be discussed with colleagues without the permission of the SRO (Scientific Review Officer). No aspect of the review process can be discussed with the applicant before or AFTER the study section meeting.

54 Responsibilities of the Applicant Results discussed in the Preliminary Data/Progress Report of the proposal must be authentic. That is, data cannot be manipulated, over-interpreted, tweaked or fabricated just because the proposal will not be published. Reviewers base their assessments on data presented in the proposal. Data manipulation or fabrication is fraudulent.

55 OFFICE OF RESEARCH INTEGRITY CASE SUMMARIES This section contains summaries of closed investigations only. Institutions are not required to report inquiries to ORI if an investigation is not warranted.

56 Findings of Research Misconduct and Administrative Actions Misconduct Finding: Jennifer Jamieson    ORI found that Respondent engaged in research misconduct by falsifying data that were included in grant application R01 GM A1, in a manuscript submitted for publication to the Journal of Cell Biology, and in several interdepartmental data presentations. Misconduct Finding: Case Summary: Doreian, Bryan W.

57 What is Plagiarism?

58 PLAGIARISM-NIH Working Definition As a general working definition, plagiarism includes both the theft or misappropriation of intellectual property and the substantial unattributed textual copying of another's work. The theft or misappropriation of intellectual property includes the unauthorized use of ideas or unique methods obtained by a privileged communication, such as a grant or manuscript review

59 Significant Verbatim Plagiarism Allegations on the Rise In verbatim plagiarism cases, subjects have inappropriately used text originally appearing in textbooks, journal articles, conference proceedings, scientific proposals, electronic media or other sources. Using text authored by others is appropriate when it is quoted, indented or otherwise highlighted and attributed to the original author. However, when a writer fails to properly attribute the original author's text, s/he violates a basic tenet of the research community by passing the words and composition off as his/her own. Also the direct copying of phrases and sentences from others’ published work violates Copy Right agreements.

60 Self Plagiarism Self-plagiarism is sometimes referred to as redundant publication. While self-plagiarism appears to be an oxymoron (figure of speech that combines contradictory terms), it describes the practice of publishing the same article in more than one journal or recycling sections of text in more than one article.


62 Momiao Xiong, Ph.D., The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston PHS found that Dr. Xiong engaged in scientific misconduct by plagiarizing and fabricating data in National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grant application R01 GM , "Genetics of Human Pigmentation and Skin Response" (Pigmentation Application), on which he was a co-investigator Plagiarized text from another researcher's grant application, which Dr. Xiong had obtained during the NIH confidential review process and used without appropriate citation.

63 Plagiarism and Theft of Ideas A computer program, called Cross-Check, has been developed by the National Institutes of Health to evaluate the extent of plagiarism and look for patterns by attempting to quantify the extent of common use of phrases between two or more questioned documents. The program has been extremely useful for both confirming and disconfirming alleged plagiarism.

64 Take Home Lesson Do Not Copy Phrases, Sentences, or Paragraphs from any source, even unpublished, without crediting the real author. Better yet, DO NOT COPY.

65 Collaboration From: Responsible Conduct of Research Education Consortium (RCREC) by P.D. Magnus and Michael Kalichman, September 2002

66 COLLABORATIONS Collaborations are a frequent source of problems, and this results in part because collaboration can take many different forms. It implies two or more people having joined together for a common purpose, but this might involve almost any arrangement of shared time, work, resources, unique materials, data, ideas, or funds. Once the work is completed, credit and responsibility can then be shared in a number of ways.

67 Rules and regulations The process of collaboration is regulated primarily at the institutional level, not by the public or private research funding agencies. However, the outcomes of collaboration, particularly patents and copyrights, are restricted by both public and private funders of research. Nearly all institutions have rules and guidelines governing collaboration. Most academic institutions have explicit rules governing ownership of the products of work done by employees of the institution, material transfer, and limitations on academic-industrial agreements that might compromise the institution's academic mission.

68 Principles Collaborators should be open about the research. Collaborators should be clear with one another about the research to be undertaken, the methodology, the results, etc. Collaborators should be open and clear about the terms of the collaboration. Collaboration is most likely to succeed if expectations are clearly communicated (and perhaps documented) before commitments are made.

69 Collaborators should be open and clear about the terms of the collaboration. Different research disciplines can be a source of miscommunication. Because of the nature of the work, some disciplines may have very different expectations about: hours to be worked (e.g., many biochemical and molecular biological studies require long hours) standards of proof (e.g., different disciplines have developed different views about the need for statistical methods) the pace of work (e.g., high quality microscopic images can be difficult to acquire and require many days or weeks of searching for acceptable images after a study has been otherwise completed). Similarly, communication across disciplines can be impaired by different understandings about the science, vocabulary, or methods.

70 Guidelines Although guidelines or regulations do not explicitly cover all aspects of collaboration, the goal should be communication to clarify expectations of all those involved. Although it may not be necessary to put everything in writing, attempts should be made to explicitly address relevant issues. Finally, it is important to keep in mind that although collaboration is in the best spirit of science, a collaboration can leave a scientist vulnerable to the actions, or inaction, of collaborators. Therefore, choosing colleagues should be based not only on the science, but also on the likelihood of an amicable relationship in which lines of communication can be kept open

71 COPE Ethics Case: An authorship dispute COPE, the Committee on Publication Ethics. A manuscript was published in journal X, submitted by several co-authors, including one of the editors of journal X, Dr. A (the article was handled by another editor). Another researcher, Dr. B, has claimed that this article should be withdrawn because it contains unauthorized data from him (Dr. B). A few years previously, Drs. A and B worked and published jointly, but at some point there appeared to be a divergence in points of view on the interpretation of results (obtained in a large part by Dr. B and his team) in a manuscript co-written by both Drs. A and B. Dr. A decided that Dr. B and his team must agree to the publication of the manuscript or they would be removed from the co-author list. The paper was then submitted as an appendix in an internal report for their funding agency. Later, a similar paper was published by Dr. A and his team (only) with similar content to the previous disputed paper in journal X. Dr. B and his team are acknowledged in the text but have not been asked or listed as co-authors. The paper contains the results from Dr. B’s team, very important results that people now refer to as from Dr. A’s team. Dr. B thinks this is a violation of the rules of good scientific practice and has asked advice from a third independent party.

72 Advice from COPE The Forum agreed that the current paper cannot stand in its present form—some form of correction of the literature needs to be done. It is clear that the data are the intellectual property of Dr B, but this is essentially an authorship dispute, and it is up to the authors to resolve it. Although the results of the paper are not in dispute, the editor could decide to retract the paper and tell the authors that they must resolve their dispute themselves. As a third party (COPE) is now involved, would both authors agree to abide by the decision of this third party, given that it was author B who asked for advice from this third party? But if the authors cannot come to any agreement, the editor could suggest that author B is allowed to write a letter explaining his interpretation of the results. One other suggestion was to have a revised paper, with all of the authors listed, and with two separate discussions. The readers could then make up their minds which interpretation they preferred. However, the original paper would have to be retracted. The majority agreed that the best way forward was to present the issues to both parties and tell them the journal is prepared to retract the article unless the authors can resolve the case.

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