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Scientific Misconduct:

What’s the problem?


 Fabrication: defined as recording or
presenting (in any format) fictitious data
 Falsification: manipulating data or
experimental procedures to produce a
desired outcome or to avoid a
complicating or inexplicable result
 Plagiarism: using someone else’s words,
ideas, or results without attribution
Scientific Misconduct:
What’s the problem?
 For an action to be considered misconduct,
it must be:
1. A serious deviation from serious
accepted practices of the relevant
research community
2. Committed intentionally, or knowingly, or
recklessly
3. Proven by a preponderance of evidence
Data Fabrication
and Falsification
 Most obvious examples of scientific misconduct
 Represented over half of the new allegations
reported to the ORI in 2002
 Falsification of data encompasses fabrication, to
deceptive selective reporting of findings and
omission of conflicting data, or willful
suppression and/or distortion of data
 can include anything from throwing out an
unwanted piece of data to just making it up
Data Fabrication
and Falsification
 Problematic for many reasons:
1. Dilutes the integrity of other scientific
research, both from that author(s) and from
others in the field
2. If left undiscovered, it could waste other
researcher’s time and energies attempting to
replicate or build on the data presented in a
falsified paper
3. Jeopardizes the public trust in the scientific
enterprise
Redundant Publication
 Publication of copyrighted material
with additional new or unpublished
data

 Republishing of a part or parts of an


already published article, but not the
entire article
Redundant Publication :
Why unethical?
1. Infringes international copyright law

2. Duplication of data with additional new


data wastes the valuable time of expert
peer reviewers

3. Needlessly expands the already extensive


body of published literature
Redundant Publication :
Why unethical?
4. Confounds scientific communication by
dividing rather than combining closely
related data from a single group
5. Unduly overemphasizes the importance of
the findings by having them appear more
than once
6. Interferes with subsequent meta-analysis
by apparently boosting patient or
experimental numbers
Duplicate Publication
• Publication of an article that is identical or
overlaps substantially with an article
already published elsewhere, with or
without acknowledgment
• • Self-plagiarism
Duplicate Publication
• Why do scientists attempt to republish the
same article?
• to survive in the highly competitive
field, individuals are required to
achieve voluminous curriculum vitae
• Guidelines on good publication practice
state that the authors can only submit
their manuscript to a single journal at a
time

Review and Publication Process
Ethical Concerns
 Use of animals
Department of Agriculture Administrative Order No.40 Series of 1999,
Rules and Regulation on the Conduct of Scientific Procedures Using
Animals, pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 8485 “Animal Welfare Act of
1998”

 Use of human subjects


Committee on ethics; awareness

 Use of indigenous people knowledge


Executive Order 247 Bioprospecting Law
RA 9147 Wildlife Act
RA 8371 “The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997
and other relevant regulations;
Mendoza, 2012
Ethical Concern: Authorship
 Authors should have made substantial
intellectual contribution to overall study
 Origin or conceptualization
 Design of studies and experiments
 Completion, analysis, interpretation
 Modeling data, writing up for publication
 Answering reviewers, revision and finalization
of paper for publication

Mendoza, 2012
Ethical Concern: Authorship
• Should agree to be co-author!
• Should accept responsibility for paper’s
content
• Input should be beyond general supervision or
instruction
• Must have understanding of methodology and
implications of work
• Must be able to defend work against challenge

Mendoza, 2012
Ethical Concern: Authorship
 What is ”guest” or “honorary authorship” ?
 Including the name of a person in the authorship
because of his/her rank or position to “improve” the
“credibility or impact” of the paper is not ethical.
 Inclusion of a person as co-author should be based on
only his/her substantial contribution to the paper.
 the agreement of all authors should be obtained. At
times, the guest or honorary author does not even know
his/her name has been included as co-author of a
paper.

Mendoza, 2012
Ethical Concern: Multiple Authorship
 In general, for student's thesis, the senior is first author
 Exceptions:
○ when several students contributed to paper
○ when adviser thinks student is not deserving
○ when it is the professor’s culture to be senior author in papers
 Corresponding author is project leader and is ultimately
responsible for paper.
 See guidelines of various universities and professional
associations regarding authorship
 Contributions of each of the authors should be substantial;
some journals require information on authors’
contributions.
Mendoza, 2012
Ethical Concern:
Responsibilities of Reviewers
 Accept only when paper is in his/her field of
expertise
 Keep review in confidence
 Be objective, fair, avoid bias
 Do not use materials in reviewed paper until
published or permission from authors is obtained
(complicated if subject of paper is patented!)
 Complete and submit review to editor within a
reasonable period of time
Mendoza, 2012
References
 Montano, M.N. (2012). Ethics in
Publication of Research. Lecture
delivered during NAST-DOST Seminar
Workshop on Upgrading the Quality of
Science Journals, November 28-29,
2012, Alabang, Muntinlupa.
 Mendoza, (2012). Ethics in Research
and Publications. National Academy of
Sciences and Technology.