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Med Law. 2007 Sep;26(3):465-76.

Fraud and misconduct in scientific research: a definition and procedures for investigation.

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  • 1Saint Mary's University, Canada.


Scientific fraud and misconduct appear to be on the rise throughout the scientific community. Whatever the reasons for fraud and whatever the number of cases, it is important that the academic research community consider this problem in a cool and rational manner, ensuring that allegations are dealt with through fair and impartial procedures. Increasingly, governments have either sought to regulate fraud and misconduct through legislation, or they have left it to universities and research institutions to deal with at the local level. The result has been less than uniform understanding of what constitutes scientific fraud and misconduct and a great deal of variance in procedures used to investigate such allegations. In this paper, we propose a standard definition of scientific fraud and misconduct and procedures for investigation based on natural justice and fairness. The issue of fraud and misconduct should not be left to government regulation by default. The standardized definition and procedures presented here should lead to more appropriate institutional responses in dealing with allegations of scientific fraud and misconduct.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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