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Research Misconduct.

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Presentation on theme: "Research Misconduct."— Presentation transcript:

1 Research Misconduct

2 Research Misconduct

3 Examples of Misconduct
Ptolemy may have copied sky charts 2. Paul Kammerer (1920s) faked breeding results in toads using India ink Sponsored Programs

4 + + Examples of Misconduct
3. William T. Summerlin (1970s) faked results of skin transplants on mice with a black felt-tip pen 4. ( ) Dr. Woo Suk Hwang of South Korea was found guilty of research misconduct 5. (2006) Jon SudbØ falsified data in clinical research and reported funding from a non-existent grant + + Sponsored Programs

5 Scientific Fraud There are many examples of published studies or report that have been later found incorrect, misleading, or fraudulent. These are always detected, eventually due to the scientific method and peer review. The net effect is loss of time, resources, and public mistrust. Significant recent examples: MMR Vaccine / Autism study Speed of Himalayan glacier melting Human stem cell cloning study 5




9 What is Research Misconduct?
“Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results” OSTP Definition

10 OSTP The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is an office in the Executive Office of the President (EOP), established by United States Congress on May 11, 1976, with a broad mandate to advise the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs.

11 Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record. Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit

12 Research misconduct does not include honest differences of opinion

13 Be “proven by a preponderance of evidence.”
Legal Parameters Represent a “significant departure from accepted practices” Have been “committed intentionally, or knowingly, or recklessly” Be “proven by a preponderance of evidence.”

14 Not in the OSTP Misconduct Definition, but Sometimes Included in Institutional Definitions
Violation of Federal rules Abuse of confidentiality Authorship or publication violations Failure to report misconduct Obstruction of misconduct investigation Retaliation against whistleblowers

15 Actions That Are Not Misconduct
Sexual Harassment Misuse of funds (financial fraud) Gross negligence of persons in their professional duties Vandalism (including tampering with experiments and instructions Violations of research responsibility (animals, DNA) Whistle-blowing Cover-up of misconduct Malicious allegations

16 Questionable Research Practices (Not Scientific Misconduct)
1. Failing to retain significant research data for a reasonable period 2. Maintaining inadequate research records, especially for results that are published or are relied on by others 3. Conferring or requesting authorship on the basis of a specialized service or contribution that is not significantly related to the research reported in the paper

17 Questionable Research Practices (Not Scientific Misconduct)
4. Refusing to give peers reasonable access to unique research materials or data that could support published papers 5. Using inappropriate statistical or other methods of measurement to enhance the significance of research findings 6. Inadequately supervising research subordinates or exploiting them

18 Questionable Research Practices (Not Scientific Misconduct)
7. Misrepresenting speculations as fact or releasing preliminary research results, especially in the public media, without providing sufficient data to allow peers to judge the validity of the results or to reproduce the experiments

19 Why Does It Occur? Poor supervision Too much work Lack of training
Lack of interest Fame and fortune Prove a held theory Cut corners

20 If…. 1. the data seem too good to be true, they probably are.
2. the author cranks out one publication after another, question his research practices. 3. a researcher says her plagiarism is a one-time indiscretion---check further (it probably isn’t).

21 Whistleblowers NAS: “…someone who has witnessed misconduct has an unmistaken obligation to act”. Protected under the 1st Amendment and the False Claims Act of 1986 Individuals will report misconduct only if their institution has a viable support/protection system in place

22 Whistleblowers (continued)
2/3 of whistleblowers report at least one negative outcome: pressure to drop allegations counter-allegations ostracized by colleagues fired/denied promotions threats of suits/being sued 3/4 of whistleblowers would do it again!

23 Sanctions 1.) Retract articles already in print
2.) Surrender or suspend grants or contracts 3.) Letters of Reprimand 4.) Imposition of Special Requirements Certification Senior PI to oversee work and assure correctness 5.) Rescind privilege of serving as PI 6.) Rescind graduate faculty status 7.) Termination of employment 8.) Students: expulsion

24 Parting Advice Follow the general norms of science and the
specific norms of your discipline. Violations of the public’s trust in science are devastating to all. Do the right thing! If in doubt, don’t!

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