HONESTY AND GOOD PRACTICE IN SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

  • Jože Trontelj

Abstract

In the field of science, we see cases of misconduct ranging from relatively minor departurefrom good manners and practice to more severe dishonesty and even criminal behaviour.Unethical experiments on human beings are among the worst abuses in scientific researchin medicine. Unethical research is usually also worthless from the scientific point of view.The commonest types of offence, however, include mismanagement of data, conscious misinterpretation,wrongful authorship, biased citation of work by others, plagiarism, misquotationor suppression of findings for the interests or upon the request of the sponsor or In the field of science, we see cases of misconduct ranging from relatively minor departurefrom good manners and practice to more severe dishonesty and even criminal behaviour.Unethical experiments on human beings are among the worst abuses in scientific researchin medicine. Unethical research is usually also worthless from the scientific point of view.The commonest types of offence, however, include mismanagement of data, conscious misinterpretation,wrongful authorship, biased citation of work by others, plagiarism, misquotationor suppression of findings for the interests or upon the request of the sponsor or In the field of science, we see cases of misconduct ranging from relatively minor departurefrom good manners and practice to more severe dishonesty and even criminal behaviour.Unethical experiments on human beings are among the worst abuses in scientific researchin medicine. Unethical research is usually also worthless from the scientific point of view.The commonest types of offence, however, include mismanagement of data, conscious misinterpretation,wrongful authorship, biased citation of work by others, plagiarism, misquotationor suppression of findings for the interests or upon the request of the sponsor or even a senior scientist in the team. Every case of misconduct and fraud may causedamage: it may undermine confidence of the public, but also mutual trust among scientiststhemselves. Moreover, false results and conclusions may mislead other scientists and usersof scientific achievements.European incentives have been launched to encourage awareness of ethical dimensionsof science, to accept and follow rules of good practice in scientific research and scholarship,and to set up mechanisms for investigating cases of alleged violation of good practice,misconduct and fraud. Most countries have codes of good scientific practice or otherwritten ethical standards of scientific research.Advantages of such codes include educational and preventive effects, they can increaseethical sensitivity of the individual researcher. On the other hand, a code of good scientificpractice can provide useful guidelines in evaluating complex situations. Finally, theknowledge that such codes exist and are used may increase public confidence in science.Complete prevention of dishonesty is equally impossible in science as it is in other walks oflife. However safeguards can and must be established. What is necessary is that not onlyevery individual scientist and scholar, but especially institutions of science – universities,research institutes, learned societies, scientific journals, funding organizations – developa consciousness of good scientific practice and apply it in their day-to-day work. On theother hand, environment fostering moral integrity in science should be created. An importantpart of this should be development of an evaluation system which is not based onquantity but rather on quality of scientific achievements. A national code of conduct andgood practice in scientific research is needed. A system of efficient handling cases of allegedmisconduct should be put in place. Special attention must be devoted to the education ofyoung scientists towards responsible research.

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Published
2008-01-01
How to Cite
1.
Trontelj J. HONESTY AND GOOD PRACTICE IN SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH. ZdravVestn [Internet]. 1Jan.2008 [cited 18Apr.2019];77(1). Available from: https://vestnik.szd.si/index.php/ZdravVest/article/view/438
Section
Editorial