To make misconduct more difficult, the scientific community should ensure that it is impossible to lie by omission, argues Daniele Fanelli.
Against an epidemic of false, biased and falsified findings, the scientific community’s defences are weak. Only the most egregious cases of misconduct are discovered and punished. Subtler forms slip through the net, and there is no protection from publication bias.
Delegates from around the world will discuss solutions to these problems at the 3rd World Conference on Research Integrity (wcri2013.org) in Montreal, Canada, on 5–8 May. Common proposals, debated in Nature and elsewhere, include improving mentorship and training, publishing negative results, reducing the pressure to publish, pre-registering studies, teaching ethics and ensuring harsh punishments.