focus on identifying fundamental principles that guide responsible research practices. Educators and scientists should suggest how these principles can help resolve ethical dilemmas associated with specific research practices; provide information about relevant laws and regulations that govern misconduct in science and other misconduct in the research environment, and discuss the historical development of good scientific practice.
Adoption of formal guidelines for the conduct of research, which can provide a valuable opportunity for faculty and research institu tions to clarify the nature of responsible research practices, should be an option, not a requirement, for research institutions.
Discussion: In principle, guidelines for the conduct of research should be framed to fit local situations, including specific research fields and protocols, and should be formulated by the scientists who conduct research, since they know the specific matters relevant to their work. Guidelines should be actively discussed by all who are affected by them and modified as experience dictates.
Research institutions and government agencies should adopt a common framework of definitions for distinguishing among misconduct in science, questionable research practices, and other forms of misconduct. They should adopt a single consistent definition of misconduct in science that is based on fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism. Accordingly, the panel recommends that federal agencies review their definitions of misconduct in science to remove ambiguous categories such as “other serious deviations from accepted research practices.”
Government agencies should adopt common policies and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in science. The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) should lead the effort to establish government-wide definitions and procedures. OSTP