It?s all in the cards

Added by Branwen Hide on 22 December 2008 13:25

Though academic/research misconduct is rare, a report by Sandra Titus in Nature, found that almost 9% of respondents had witnesses some form of scientific misconduct in the past three years, and 37% of those were unreported.

Those that are reported often are dealt with under the radar and researches themselves often do not know the resulting paper was retracted, unless they read the retraction, and often continue to cite retracted journalarticles. In light of this a group of French research students have developed an online register, Scientific Red cards, to highlight scientific papers that have found to be fraudulent or contain other types of academic misconduct.

The database will contain the full bibliographic reference, a link to the published accounts of misconduct and a discussion board. The website will use a colour coded system (Red, Blue and Green) to allow easy identification of the different types of misconduct. The beta version was launched at the First Workshop of the ESF member Forum on ResearchIntegrity, held in November, and currently contains 30 papers. The draw back of the site I fear is that it relies on individuals to contribute to the site, and therefore will only be as good as the users, but if publishers could get on board and deposit their retracted articles, I think the site would become an extremely important resource.

In the UK, The UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) is an independent advisory body that offers advice and guidance on the good practice of research and how to address research misconduct. Though it was first established to provide support to the health and biomedical science research community, it now offers advice and guidance applicable to all fields of research carried out in universities, NHS Trusts and other research organisations.

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