. "3 The Research Environment and Its Impact on Integrity in Research." Integrity in Scientific Research: Creating an Environment That Promotes Responsible Conduct. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2002.
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Integrity in Scientific Research: Creating an Environment that Promotes Responsible Conduct
ognition often is believed to be the best path to attracting high-quality trainees to a program. The organizational challenge is to help researchers develop competitive programs while maintaining a high level of commitment to integrity in research.
Journal Policies and Practices Journal editors can be more or less rigorous in their implementation of the review process and the extent to which they insist on high levels of adherence to scientific standards. Furthermore, journals may have specific policies in such areas as authorship practices, disclosure of conflicts of interest, duplicate publication, and reporting of research methodologies. The scientific community receives an important message about integrity in research when journal policies and practices regarding these practices are clear and are required as a condition of publication—and when the most prestigious journals adopt such practices. For example, members of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors recently revised their submission policies related to industry-sponsored research. Authors are now required to sign a statement accepting full responsibility for the conduct of a clinical trial, and they must confirm that they had access to the original data and had full control over the decision to publish (Davidoff et al., 2001).
Policies and Practices of Scientific Societies Scientific societies are in a position to influence the behaviors of their members in ways that could promote integrity in research4 (AAAS, 2000). The societies vary extensively, however, in their development of codes of conduct, their enforcement of such codes, and their socialization of members with regard to these standards of behavior. To aid in this process, the Association of American Medical Colleges has published a guide to help societies in the development of ethical codes (AAMC, 1997). Other associations develop standards for accreditation—for example, standards for science education programs, research laboratories, and programs for the protection of human and animal research subjects. These accreditation standards generally have specific statements regarding the responsible conduct of research and stipulate the structures within the organization that must be in place to ensure compliance with the standards. Scientists who are part of such accredited programs will be subject to the influences of these external controls.
See Chapter 6 for further discussion of the role professional and scientific societies can play in fostering an environment that promotes integrity in research.