Friday, April 14, 2017

The National Academy of Sciences Fights Back Against Research Misconduct

The National Academy of Sciences felt it was time for change and combat unethical researchers. The Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine have recently updated their standards based on  the report entitled Fostering Integrity in Research in an effort to curb false research. They want to impact those who willfully mislead their results and cost others a lot of time and money.

 You can set up a free account and get a copy here.

Science has become global and interconnected. False research is on the rise and they are responding to it by setting up a Research Integrity Advisory Board that will help universities handle false research and guide them through what actions they can take. It may not have any official power but it can encourage and foster change.

Research misconduct was originally defined in the U.S. as "fabrication of data, falsification or plagiarism." However, the National Academy of Sciences has come to recognize that there is much more to the story. Some researchers are using poor statistics, false designs, cutting corners and other inventive actions that lead to willful misleading of results.

Misleading research becomes costly when it can't be replicated because results are not based in fact. It misleads people into believing that results were obtained that were never realized. The potential damage to budgets as well as to people who rely on that research often is devastating.

Lets say you have two studies that indicate a certain protein could force cancer in reverse. One study said it didn't work while the false one said it did. Others will try and replicate the study and will not be able to come up with the same results. Because it is important they might try and replicate many times leaving universities and businesses to suck up the costs just because a researcher wants a promotion.

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