The panel concluded that subjects such as data management, publication practices, authorship, peer review, and training and supervision should be considered in any efforts aimed at developing educational discussions or guidelines for the responsible conduct of scientific research. This set of subjects suggests particular topics and examples of “best scientific practice” that should be considered in formulating statements on research conduct.
Ensuring the integrity of the research process requires that scientists and research institutions give systematic attention to the fundamental values, principles, and traditions that foster responsible research conduct. In considering factors that may affect integrity and misconduct in science, the panel formulated twelve recommendations to strengthen the research enterprise and to clarify the nature of the responsibilities of scientists, research institutions, and government agencies in this area.
Individual scientists in cooperation with officials of research institutions should accept formal responsibility for ensuring the integrity of the research process. They should foster an environment, a reward system, and a training process that encourage responsible research practices.
Scientists and research institutions should integrate into their curricula educational programs that foster faculty and student awareness of concerns related to the integrity of the research process.
Adoption of formal guidelines for the conduct of research can provide a valuable opportunity for faculty and research institutions to clarify the nature of responsible practices, but adopting guidelines should be an option, not a requirement, for research institutions.