• Administrative officials within the research institution also bear responsibility for ensuring that good scientific practices are observed in units of appropriate jurisdiction and that balanced reward systems appropriately recognize research quality, integrity, teaching, and mentorship.

The Changing Research Enterprise

The academic research community, governed by traditions derived from an earlier model of a community of independent scholars who participated equally in academic governance, is challenged by the complexity of today's issues and of the environment in which research is conducted. Still, basic research continues to flourish, and faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students continue to contribute extraordinary research capability to science.

In reviewing changes within the scientific research enterprise, the panel reached the following conclusions:

  • Scientific research is part of a larger and more complicated enterprise today, creating a greater need for individual and institutional attention to matters that affect the integrity of the research process. Scientists themselves and research institutions will be expected to play a more active role in ensuring that the activities performed by researchers are within the governance mechanisms of their institutions.

  • 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 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. 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.

  • 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 about fairness and allocation of credit. These disputes may be prevented by positive efforts to foster responsible research practices and by taking preemptive actions to promote a harmonious and productive workplace. Frank discussions, both formal and informal,

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement