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ResourcesResearch IntegrityScientific Integrity: Dropping Points – EUROSCIENTIST (Michel Morange | May 2017)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Scientific Integrity: Dropping Points – EUROSCIENTIST (Michel Morange | May 2017)

 


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Scientific integrity starts with integrity at the data gathering stage

Scientific integrity has become a major issue in scientific research. Academies of science and national research institutions have published recommendations to raise awareness among scientists. The debate about scientific fraud, plagiarism, and other forms of scientific misconduct has its origin in some highly publicised cases of eminent scientists accused of publishing fake data. This is fuelled by the increasing number of scientific results which cannot be replicated. Besides, anonymous researchers surveys have revealed an unexpectedly high frequency of misconduct among early career and mid-career scientists.

As part of such misconduct, a common situation involves deliberately dropping points to eliminate “aberrant” points in a curve. This approach is the same kind of misconducts as eliminating an entire experiment because its results are too different from those of previous experiments. Or it is like discarding cells exhibiting an “aberrant” pattern of labelling from a photograph of immunostained cells.

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