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RESPONSIBLE SCIENCE: Ensuring the Integrity of the Research Process
the efforts of those who participate in misconduct proceedings, canbe invaluable in preserving the integrity of the research process.When necessary, serious and considered whistle-blowing is an actof courage that should be supported by the entire research community.
Scientific societies and scientific journals should continue toprovide and expand resources and forums to foster responsible research practices and to address misconduct in science and questionable research practices.
1. Government funding for U.S. basic research increased in current dollars from $5.4 billion in FY 1982 to an estimated $12.5 billion in FY 1991. See p. 53 in American Association for the Advancement of Science (1991a). Academic research investigators are also increasingly supported by nonfederal funds provided by a diverse mix of industrial sponsors, state, and local funds, foundations, and intramural support. For example, the industrial share of academic R&D funding grew from 3.9 percent in 1980 to an estimated 6.6 percent in 1989. Some specialized academic research centers now receive over 20 percent of their funding from industry. See p. 106 in National Science Board (1989).
2. The term “allegation” here refers to complaints of misconduct in science that have resulted in a government case file. An analysis of these allegations is provided in Chapter 4. As of December 1991, about half of these allegations had been resolved.
3. It is possible that some extreme cases of noncontributing authorship may be regarded as misconduct in science because they constitute a form of falsification. These would include only cases in which an individual who has made no identifiable contribution to a research paper is named, or seeks to be named, as a co-author.
4. See Bailar (1986).
5. See, for example, the discussion in the DHHS's OIG report (DHHS, 1989d), which notes that although all “large grantee institutions considered [misconduct] investigations their responsibility, only 54 percent of the small institutions shared this view, and most of these institutions would support a more active NIH role in investigating allegations” (p. 11).
6. See the statement by Rep. John Dingell in U.S. Congress (1989b): “The apparent unwillingness on the part of the scientific community to deal promptly and effectively with allegations of misconduct is unfair to both the accuser and to the accused” (p. 1). See also Weiss (1991b) and the commentary in Dong (1991).
7. See, for example, testimony by academic officials and scientists in hearings convened by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (U.S. Congress, 1990b).