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RESPONSIBLE SCIENCE: Ensuring the Integrity of the Research Process
data derived from systematic evaluation of experiences in fostering responsible research practices. See also in Volume II of this report the background paper on this topic prepared for the panel by Nicholas Steneck.
14. A discussion of the dimensions of integrity in science is included in chapters 1 and 12 in Holton (1988).
15. Discussions focused initially on “scientific fraud” but encountered difficulties with the legal definition of the word “fraud.” Government regulations and institutional policies have adopted terms such as “research misconduct,” “scientific misconduct,” and “misconduct in science,” but these terms are subject to a variety of interpretations.
For early discussions about the relationship between fraud and misconduct in science, see Andersen (1988). See also the discussion on “fraud ” and “misconduct” on p. 32447 in Department of Health and Human Services (1989a).
Some scientists object to the terms “scientific fraud” or “misconduct in science” because the fabrication and falsification of research results are deceptive acts that are not in themselves science. However, the social, political, and legal framework in which scientists must operate requires that we admit to the possibility of deliberate falsehoods that may masquerade as science.
16. Some institutional policies make intention or deception an explicit part of their definition of misconduct in science, whereas other policies assume, implicitly, that intention is part of the common understanding of actions, such as falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism, that constitute misconduct in science. See, for example, the definitions in the policies for addressing allegations of misconduct in science included in Volume II of this report.
17. Another approach considered by the panel in defining behaviors that violate the integrity of the research process was to deal only with misconduct in science and questionable research practices and to omit “other misconduct” as a category for a framework of definitions. Although the panel chose to focus on behaviors that directly compromise the integrity of the research process, it also wanted to recognize the public dimensions of discussions about misconduct in science. Thus the panel concluded that issues such as conflict of interest, mismanagement of funds, and the harassment of colleagues on the basis of race or gender must necessarily be recognized in a framework of definitions intended to categorize behavior that adversely affects the conduct of scientific research. These forms of “other misconduct” deserve serious and sustained analysis on their own merits, but such an examination was beyond the resources and scope of this particular study.
18. 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.
19. See Bailar (1986).
20. The fourth report of the NSF inspector general (NSF, 1991a) describes a misconduct case involving tampering with other researchers' experiments. This type of case would not constitute misconduct in science under the panel's definition. An allegation of this type of incident should be addressed under regulations governing vandalism or destruction of property.
21. As noted in Bechtel and Pearson (1985), several leading figures in the scientific community have advocated the “disturbed individual ” theory.
For discussions of the impact of reward systems and social controls on deviant behavior in science, see the analysis by Zuckerman (1977). For a historical perspective, see Gaston (1978).