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Responsible Science: Ensuring the Integrity of the Research Process, Volume II
or assessment of significance, the publication of fragments of a study, and the submission of multiple similar abstracts or manuscripts differing only slightly in content. In such circumstances, if any of the work is questioned, it is difficult to determine whether the research was done inaccurately, the methods were described imperfectly, the statistical analyses were flawed, or inappropriate conclusions were drawn. Investigators should review each proposed manuscript with these principles in mind.
The number of publications to be reviewed at the time of faculty appointment or promotion should be limited in order to encourage and reward bibliographies containing fewer but more substantive publications rather than those including many insubstantial or fragmented reports. (It has been suggested, for example, that no more than 5 papers be reviewed for appointment as assistant professor, nor more than 7 for associate professor, and no more than 10 for professor.)
Simultaneous submission of multiple similar abstracts or manuscripts to journals is improper.
Because each research unit addresses different scientific problems with different methods, each unit should develop its own specific guidelines to identify practices that seem most likely to enhance the quality of research conducted by its members. Those guidelines should be provided to the new investigator upon starting work.