Major Causes Of Scientific Misconduct. Essay

1546 words - 7 pages

The history of scientific misconduct already started long time ago, where Ptolemy used data from Hipparchos without acknowledging him; Galileo Galilei, the founder of the scientific method but appears to have relied more on thought experiments rather than performing empirical experiments (Werner-Felmayer, 2010). In the modern world, the integrity of scientist and scientific research is jeopardized when the discovery of scientific misconduct made headline news. Headline such as “Korean scientist said to admit fabrication in a cloning study” (Wade, 2005), “Dutch university sacks social psychologist over faked data” (Enserink, 2011), “Harvard psychology researcher committed fraud, U.S investigation concludes” (Carpenter, 2012) and “Top Canadian scientist and award-winning student caught in ‘blatant plagiarism’ of text” (Munro, 2012) really makes we think, why they committed such fraud? Before we go into factors that may contribute to scientific misconduct, we have to understand what is the definition of it and also types of misconduct.

What is the definition and types of scientific misconduct?

Definition of scientific misconduct or research misconduct by ORI (The Office of Research Integrity U.S, 2011) is fabrication, falsification or plagiarism in proposing, performing or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. There are three important keywords stated, which are major types of scientific misconduct;
1) Fabrication – making up data or results of scientific research
2) Falsification – manipulating research materials, equipment or processes or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
3) Plagiarism – appropriation of another’s ideas, processes, results or words without giving appropriate credit.

How often the occurrence of scientific misconducts?

A meta-analysis of 18 surveys was done in different scientific disciplines, which included multi-national respondents, and also respondents from United States, United Kingdom and Australia (Fanelli, 2009). They discovered 1.97% of scientist admitted to have fabricated, falsified or modified data or results for at least once. Meanwhile another 14.12% scientist had observed misconducts or they had personal knowledge of a colleague conducted fabrication or falsification. As the consequence of misconduct, all the paper that involved in misconduct will be retracted. Data courtesy of Thomson Reuters and Times Higher Education had shown that retraction of paper from peer reviewed science journal due to misconduct, had increase approximately tenfold from year 1990 to July 2009 ( Peake, 2010).

A survey among research coordinators of Association of Clinical Research Professionals shown that the common responsible person for the misconduct was the principal investigator/researcher (25.1%), other than that; research coordinators (19.9%), another researcher on the study (16.9%) and 11.3% was another parties including research...


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