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Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: An International Journal
SJR: 0.123

ISSN Print: 2151-805X
ISSN Online: 2151-8068

Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: An International Journal

DOI: 10.1615/EthicsBiologyEngMed.2019032972
pages 1-7

Fostering Ethical Conduct of Research

Adil E. Shamoo
University of Maryland School of Medicine, 108 N. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

ABSTRACT

Researchers, like other professionals, commit misconduct in the performance of their research due to the pressure to publish, notoriety seeking, stress in the workplace, and many other reasons. Current understanding indicates that the prevalence of misconduct varies 1%−2% and can be as high as 14%. More than half of retracted papers are due to misconduct. There are many consequences of committing misconduct/scandal, but the most important one is the public's loss of confidence in the profession and its research results. Unethical research is an enormous waste of both funds and public trust. Efforts to prevent/contain misconduct have not been very successful. Estimates of the prevalence of misconduct demonstrate either no change or an increase. Current methods to prevent/contain misconduct, vague, ineffective, insufficient, or poorly implemented, include voluntary compliance with ethical norms, regulations, and standards; education and training; data validation (audit); and whistleblowing. In this paper, these five methods are combined in an individualized tool, the Research Misconduct Risk Factor Index (RMRFI).

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