pected to play a more active role in ensuring that the activities performed by researchers are within the governance mechanisms of their institutions. The need for more explicit forms of institutional accountability and oversight is one price of the growth and success of the academic research enterprise.
The growth and diversity of modern research call for institutions to accept explicit responsibility for fostering the integrity of the research process and for handling allegations of misconduct. In encouraging this acceptance, the panel is not suggesting that institutions assume responsibility for the correctness and accuracy of research results reported by their scientists or students. However, in recognizing that their faculty and research staff are responsible for maintaining the integrity of the research process, institutions should retain and accept certain explicit obligations. Principal among these is providing a research environment that fosters honesty, integrity, and a sense of community. Institutions should strive to attain a research enterprise that emphasizes and rewards excellence in science, quality rather than quantity, openness rather than secrecy, and collegial obligations rather than opportunistic behavior in appointment, promotion, tenure, and other career decisions. Research institutions should also recognize the risks that are inherent in self-regulation and strive to involve outside parties, when appropriate, in investigating or evaluating the conduct of their own members. Steps toward achieving these goals are discussed in Chapter 6.
The increased size, specialization, and diversity of research groups, and other changes in the social relationships of their members, have stimulated personal conflicts and misunderstandings, including disputes within and between research groups about fairness and allocation of credit. These disputes may be prevented by positive efforts to foster responsible research practices and by taking preemptive actions, such as prior discussion and agreement on allocation of credit, to promote a harmonious work environment that encourages collegiality, collaboration, and productivity. Frank discussions, both formal and informal, possibly aided by outside mediators, are additional tools to use in addressing these disputes.
The issues associated with conflict of interest in the academic research environment are sufficiently problematic that they deserve thorough study and analysis by major academic and scientific organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences. Disclosure, either public or institutional, is essential to controlling conflict of interest, and some universities and scientific journals prohibit certain forms of commercial contractual arrangements by their members or