Fabrication, Falsifaction and Plagiarism in Research
A series of needs: not only is there need to assure ethical treatment of human subjects in medical studies, there is also the need to assure honesty in the reporting of the results of those studies. As I have noted previously, bad research is in part related to the researcher’s ego-needs rather than the need for scientific honesty.
A current news story by Martha Mendoza of the Associated Press and available on many newspapers including the Miami Herald titled “Fake research allegations reach new highs” details the statistics and some personal stories of researcher misconduct. Ms Mendoza writes “In a survey published June 9 in the journal Nature, about 1.5 percent of 3,247 researchers who responded admitted to falsification or plagiarism. (One in three admitted to some type of professional misbehavior.)”
It is clear that fabrication, falsification and plagiarism can,besides representing dishonesty on the part of the researcher, also represent abuse of any human subjects in the study by diminishing the benefit of the risks they took to participate. In addition, it might put patients at unneeded risk who later would be subjected to the results of the faulty study.
And is the academic/pharmaceutical system also at fault here? Would there be some pressures that institutions are applying to scientists, like “publish or perish” or drug companies who want to be sure their product gets FDA approval and sells? What do you think? ..Maurice.