Thursday, June 19, 2008

Research Misconduct

A survey of more than 2,000 scientists reveals that misconduct in research may be far more prevalent than suspected. The results are published in a Commentary in Nature this week.

The authors, based at the US Department of Health and Human Services’s Office of Research Integrity (ORI), surveyed 2,212 scientists at 605 institutions and found that nearly 9% believed they had witnessed potential research misconduct in the preceding three years. Extrapolating to the larger research community supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this suggests that as many as 2,300 observations of misconduct occur each year with roughly 1,000 going unreported.

Do we really think this behavior is confined to the United States?