Research Ethics: Conduct and Misconduct

In research, as in other sectors in society, some individuals conduct sloppy work, act recklessly, or deliberately cheat. This is not a new phenomenon. At the beginning of the 19th century, the mathematician and engineer Charles Babbage warned against what he called the forging, trimming, and cooking of data. But it has generally been believed that the scientific community would automatically find and correct fraudulent work and that in this way science would be self-correcting. However, during the 1970s and 1980s, a number of spectacular cases questioned whether the scientific community was always capable of dealing adequately with misconduct. Many agencies, institutions, and countries have therefore introduced regulations concerning scientific misconduct and/or questionable research practices and started requiring that researchers receive special training in responsible ...

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