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Account Res. 2014;21(1):9-25. doi: 10.1080/08989621.2013.822264.

Evaluating U.S. medical schools' efforts to educate faculty researchers on research integrity and research misconduct policies and procedures.

Author information

1
a Department of Health and Human Services , Office of Research Integrity , Rockville , Maryland , USA.

Abstract

This paper examines how well U.S. medical school institutions are doing to promote research integrity. It is an important question to ask in order to determine whether there are sufficient and adequate protections in place to protect the U.S. Public Health Service's (PHS) resources devoted to medical research. This paper focuses on 5,100 medical school researchers' knowledge of what constitutes research misconduct as well as their willingness to report it to the research integrity officer (RIO) and educate their Ph.D. trainees. We learned that 5.6% of researchers could correctly distinguish seven or more of the nine scenarios that depicted likely research misconduct, as defined by the PHS regulations, from scenarios describing other ethical issues. Instead, researchers had expansive definitions and often inappropriately identified infractions such as conflicts of interest, Institutional Review Board (IRB) violations, and other breaches in ethical standards to be research misconduct. In addition, researchers who correctly identified four instances of likely research misconduct in the test items were highly unlikely to report their observations to a RIO. Researchers also provided insight on the factors they believe influence their decision making process of whether to report research misconduct. In addition, this paper also reports on the guidance that faculty said they provided their trainees on research misconduct issues. We conclude with a discussion and recommendations on what institutional leaders might consider doing in order to enhance their research integrity efforts and protect their institution's reputation.

PMID:
24073604
DOI:
10.1080/08989621.2013.822264
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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