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ResourcesResearch IntegrityFalse investigators and coercive citation are widespread in academic research – LSE Blog (Al Wilhite | March 2018)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

False investigators and coercive citation are widespread in academic research – LSE Blog (Al Wilhite | March 2018)

Published/Released on March 05, 2018 | Posted by Admin on March 19, 2018 / , , , , , ,
 


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A recent study has revealed widespread unethical behaviour in academic research. Allen Wilhite focuses on two activities in particular; the addition to funding proposals of investigators not expected to contribute to the research, and editors who coerce authors to add citations to manuscripts even though those citations were not part of the scholars’ reference material. Research institutions, funders, rankings bodies, and scholars themselves can and should do more to address such behaviours.

This reports editorial behaviour that is clearly inappropriate but something early career researchers may feel unable to refuse.

In a recent study we found widespread abuses in academic citation and authorship. Two activities seem particularly egregious. The first, labelled false investigators, refers to adding extra investigators to grant proposals even though they are not expected to contribute to the research. The second is coercive citation, referring to editors who coerce authors to add citations to manuscripts even though those citations were not part of the scholars’ reference material.
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We investigated the prevalence of these activities and looked into the reasons academics stoop to such measures by surveying more than 110,000 scholars from disciplines across the academic universe; in physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, ecology, computer science, engineering, accounting, economics, finance, information systems, marketing, management, medicine, nursing, sociology, psychology, and political science. The 12,000+ responses we received document differences in the amount of abuse from discipline to discipline, but every single field reported a significant amount of cheating. In addition, our analysis suggests that abusers are making their decisions deliberately, carefully picking their opportunities to cheat.
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