focus of this report is on integrity. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Assessing Integrity in Research Environments, which prepared this report, does not discuss or draw conclusions about current or proposed regulations or definitions relating to misconduct. The committee’s goal was to define the desired outcomes and set forth a set of initiatives that it believes will enhance integrity in the research environment. The committee considered approaches that can be used to promote integrity and methods that can be used to assess the effectiveness of those efforts. The majority of these approaches and methods can and should be initiated as soon as feasible and administered by research institutions themselves so that government regulation will not be required.
In January 2001, IOM, in collaboration with the National Research Council’s Division on Earth and Life Studies, formed the Committee on Assessing Integrity in Research Environments, in response to a request from the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS). In general, the committee was charged with addressing the need of DHHS to track the state of integrity in the research environment. More specifically, the committee was asked to do the following:
define the concept “research integrity”;
describe and define the concept “research environment”;
identify elements of the research environment that promote research integrity;
indicate how the elements may be measured;
suggest appropriate methodology for collecting the data;
cite appropriate outcome measures;
make recommendations regarding the adoption and implementation by research institutions, government agencies, scientific societies, and others (as appropriate) of those elements of the research environment identified to promote integrity in research; and
convene a public meeting to discuss the IOM report, its recommendations, and potential strategies for their implementation.
To respond to the charge, the committee explored various data sources in its effort to provide ORI with a means for tracking the state of integrity in the research environment. In addition to reviewing the professional literature, the committee also reviewed numerous reports, regulations, and guidelines of the federal government and articles and editori