Friday, June 10, 2005


One-third of scientists admit to research violations

`A third of the scientists in a nationwide survey admitted to violating some of the bedrock rules of scientific research, according to a report by a team of Minnesota researchers.

The survey, of more than 3,200 U.S. scientists, found that hardly anyone admitted to falsifying data outright.

But a surprising 33 percent confessed to other kinds of misconduct — such as claiming credit for someone else’s work, or changing results because of pressure from a study’s sponsor. [..]

Among the findings: only three-tenths of 1 percent admitted to “falsifying or cooking research data.” Slightly more, 1.4 percent, said they had potentially improper relationships with students or subjects. The survey did not define improper, but researchers said it could include such things as hiring relatives or having an affair.

A significant number –15 percent — said they had changed the design, methods or results of a study in response to pressure from a financial sponsor.

In addition, 7 percent admitted ignoring “minor” rules for protecting human subjects. And 6 percent said that they failed to report data that contradicted their previous work.’

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