falsification of data, and plagiarism) and careless science. The latter does not reflect breaches of integrity as such and can often be remedied by improved training and better supervision.
The environment in which science is carried out is in many ways a part of the scientific process and plays an important role in ensuring integrity. Students working in research laboratories can often provide important perspectives in this regard.
Research directors must take responsibility for integrity within their teams. To this end, they have special responsibilities for mentoring junior scientists.
The issue of authorship is frequently linked both to productivity and to integrity. In this regard, the number of publications is not necessarily the best way to judge the productivity of a researcher. The quality of results set forth in papers is probably a better indicator than simply the number of papers. Also, there may be questions concerning multiple authors of papers. A good practice adopted by some journals is to specify the responsibility of each author in footnotes to papers. At the same time, the lead authors must take responsibility for the integrity of the entire paper.
In a complex paper involving many researchers, individual researchers may not comprehend the scope of the entire paper. Special efforts may be needed to help the entire team understand how individual contributions are interrelated. Such efforts help ensure that breaches of integrity in any part of the process will be recognized by some or all of the participants.
The following observations reflect different perspectives and experiences of the participants from the United States and those from Iran.
The Iranian members considered ethics to be based on absolutes from which standards of conduct are derived for particular activities. The quality of the “will” of researchers is the basis of all choices. There was no consensus among the Iranians, however, as to what are the absolutes. The Americans noted that baselines for judgments are not precise and therefore they have not adopted this approach.
In the United States, the higher education system is considered effective in instilling ethical values in students. However, if the students are then employed in laboratories that cut corners, their perspectives on integrity change considerably. In Iran, there has not been a comparable focus on the transition from education to practice.
The issue of whistleblowers is dealt with more explicitly in the United States than in Iran, which does not have rules concerning whistleblowers.