Accountability in Research

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Journal description

Accountability in Research: Policies and Quality Assurance is devoted to the examination and critical analysis of systems for maximizing integrity in the conduct of research. It provides an interdisciplinary, international forum for the development of new procedures, standards and policies to encourage the ethical conduct of research for enhancing the validity of research results. The journal publishes original empirical, methodological, policy and theoretical papers, cases studies, conference reports and book reviews that address issues of integrity and accountability in research. Book reviews are published periodically on topics relevant to the journal's scope. Accountability in Research seeks to serve a broad range of scientists and administrators in academia, industry and government. While relevant to any discipline, the journal focuses in particular on biotechnology, chemistry, medicine, pharmacology, toxicology, pathology, environmental science, and clinical trials.

Current impact factor: 0.72

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2015
2013 / 2014 Impact Factor 0.717
2012 Impact Factor 0.756
2011 Impact Factor 0.618

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 0.00
Cited half-life 6.40
Immediacy index 0.09
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 0.00
Website Accountability in Research: Policies and Quality Assurance website
Other titles Accountability in research (Online), Accountability in research
ISSN 0898-9621
OCLC 49941205
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Taylor & Francis

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Some individual journals may have policies prohibiting pre-print archiving
    • On author's personal website or departmental website immediately
    • On institutional repository or subject-based repository after either 12 months embargo
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • On a non-profit server
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Set statements to accompany deposits (see policy)
    • The publisher will deposit in on behalf of authors to a designated institutional repository including PubMed Central, where a deposit agreement exists with the repository
    • STM: Science, Technology and Medicine
    • Publisher last contacted on 25/03/2014
    • This policy is an exception to the default policies of 'Taylor & Francis'
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • Accountability in Research 05/2015; 22(3):198-199. DOI:10.1080/08989621.2014.922381
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical research studies in children are classified by risk into three major categories. These are as follows: a) minimal risk studies, b) more than minimal risk studies but with benefit, and c) studies with minor increase over minimal risk but with no benefit. Pediatric Phase I oncology trials, which are conducted in a highly vulnerable population of severely ill children with cancer, are designed to establish safety and to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), as well as establish dose limiting toxicity (DLT). These types of studies can be associated with significant risk. The research design of such high- risk studies, which comprise short-term treatments with varying doses, is generally not associated with any clinical benefit. Classification of the research category in these pediatric studies poses a special problem for the Institutional Review Board (IRB) with major implications for the consenting process. The challenges associated with the classification of such studies are discussed in this article.
    Accountability in Research 05/2015; 22(3):139-147. DOI:10.1080/08989621.2014.919229
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    ABSTRACT: Ethical codes of conduct exist in almost every profession. Field-specific codes of conduct have been around for decades, each articulating specific ethical and professional guidelines. However, there has been little empirical research on researchers' perceptions of these codes of conduct. In the present study, we interviewed faculty members in six research disciplines and identified five themes bearing on the circumstances under which they use ethical guidelines and the underlying reasons for not adhering to such guidelines. We then identify problems with the manner in which codes of conduct in academia are constructed and offer solutions for overcoming these problems.
    Accountability in Research 05/2015; 22(3):123-138. DOI:10.1080/08989621.2014.955607
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    ABSTRACT: Around 2% of the investigators admit to have falsified or fabricated data at least once. Also, 34% report to have been guilty to one or more questionable research practices, such as doing many statistical analyses and to publish only what fits their theoretical framework. Prevention of questionable research practices is very important. Universities should ensure that the training is in order and the research culture is adequate, and they should critically look at perverse incentives, such as a too high publication pressure, but also by ensuring proper guidelines, and by having a fair and transparent procedure for suspected violations of scientific integrity. This article is based on my inaugural lecture (in Dutch) formally starting my chair on Methodology and Integrity, which was presented at VU University Amsterdam on May 2, 2014. The Dutch version of the lecture was distributed as a booklet among the audience and is submitted for publication to the Dutch and Flemish journal for management in higher education Thema. The original Dutch text and the English translation of the inaugural lecture were made available as PDF in the repository of VU University Amsterdam.
    Accountability in Research 05/2015; 22(3):148-161. DOI:10.1080/08989621.2014.950253
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    ABSTRACT: Of 188 government-monitored air toxics, diesel particulate matter (DPM) causes seven times more cancer than all the other 187 air toxics combined, including benzene, lead, and mercury. Yet, DPM is the only air toxic not regulated more stringently under the Clean Air Act, as a hazardous air pollutant (HAP). One reason is that regulators use flawed standards of scientific evidence. The article argues (1) that DPM meets all six specified evidentiary criteria, any one of which is sufficient for HAP regulation and (2) that regulators' standards of evidence for denying HAP status to DPM (no DPM unit-risk estimate, inadequate dose-response data, alleged weak mechanistic data) err logically and scientifically, set the evidence bar too high, delay regulation, and allow 21,000 avoidable DPM deaths annually in the U.S.
    Accountability in Research 05/2015; 22(3):162-191. DOI:10.1080/08989621.2014.956867
  • Accountability in Research 03/2015; 22(2):120-1. DOI:10.1080/08989621.2014.882781
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    ABSTRACT: Data and Safety Monitoring Boards (DSMBs) have become an increasingly common feature of clinical trial oversight, yet a paucity of legal or ethical frameworks govern these Boards' composition or operation, or their relationship with other actors with monitoring responsibilities. This paper argues that prevailing structural gaps are impeding harmonized systems for monitoring the ongoing ethical acceptability of clinical trials. Particular tensions stem from DSMBs' sweeping discretion in deciding whether and when to recommend that a trial should be terminated or amended based on safety and efficacy information. This discretion becomes especially challenging in light of DSMBs' monopoly over emerging trial data, which prevents Institutional Review Boards, sponsors, and investigators from participating in certain pivotal and ethically charged decisions. To address these disconnects, I advocate for strengthened pre-trial and post-trial communication in addition to innovative strategies to support DSMB decision making through the life of a trial.
    Accountability in Research 03/2015; 22(2):81-105. DOI:10.1080/08989621.2014.919230
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    ABSTRACT: The planned reform of the regulation of clinical trials in Spain has reopened the debate over how to regulate research-related injuries. Act 29/2006 and Royal Decree 223/2004 regulate the insurance of research-related injuries, and they include a general clause requiring mandatory insurance and imposing a no-fault compensation system; they also contain an exception clause enabling clinical trials to be carried out without insurance under some conditions, and an exclusion clause excluding compensation when there is no causal connection between injuries and a clinical trial. National legislation is under review, affecting the requirement of mandatory insurance and paving the road to a liability system based on negligence, which will affect the level of protection of the persons enrolled in clinical trials because it would not ensure compensation. Regulatory texts on individuals' participation as research subjects should include not only mandatory insurance, but also a no-fault compensation system for cases when voluntary research subjects are injured, irrespective of negligence.
    Accountability in Research 03/2015; 22(2):106-19. DOI:10.1080/08989621.2014.928210
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    ABSTRACT: Cooperation between a journal editor and the federal Office of Research Integrity (ORI) in addressing investigations of research misconduct, each performing their own responsibilities while keeping each other informed of events and evidence, can be critical to the professional and regulatory resolution of a case. This paper describes the history of one of ORI's most contentious investigations that involved falsification of research on Parkinson's disease patients by James Abbs, Professor of Neurology, University of Wisconsin, published in the journal Neurology, which was handled cooperatively by the authors, who were the chief ORI investigator and the Editor-in-Chief of Neurology, respectively.
    Accountability in Research 03/2015; 22(2):63-80. DOI:10.1080/08989621.2014.901894
  • Accountability in Research 01/2015; 22(1):61. DOI:10.1080/08989621.2013.877349
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical vaccine trials have been lacking in the pediatric population due to lower consent rate of the parents. We assessed characteristics of the parents, and motives and barriers underlying the decision process. The results of the questionnaire were evaluated by multivariate analysis. Parents who opted in were younger and more often employed than the parents who opted out. The most important motives were receiving detailed information about trial and benefits to human health. The qualified education of medical community and public about the rationale and benefits of trials is essential for opt-in.
    Accountability in Research 01/2015; 22(1):1-13. DOI:10.1080/08989621.2014.882779
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    ABSTRACT: Science affects multiple basic sectors of society. Therefore, the findings made in science impact what takes place at a commercial level. More specifically, errors in the literature, incorrect findings, fraudulent data, poorly written scientific reports, or studies that cannot be reproduced not only serve as a burden on tax-payers' money, but they also serve to diminish public trust in science and its findings. Therefore, there is every need to fortify the validity of data that exists in the science literature, not only to build trust among peers, and to sustain that trust, but to reestablish trust in the public and private academic sectors that are witnessing a veritable battle-ground in the world of science publishing, in some ways spurred by the rapid evolution of the open access (OA) movement. Even though many science journals, traditional and OA, claim to be peer reviewed, the truth is that different levels of peer review occur, and in some cases no, insufficient, or pseudo-peer review takes place. This ultimately leads to the erosion of quality and importance of science, allowing essentially anything to become published, provided that an outlet can be found. In some cases, predatory OA journals serve this purpose, allowing papers to be published, often without any peer review or quality control. In the light of an explosion of such cases in predatory OA publishing, and in severe inefficiencies and possible bias in the peer review of even respectable science journals, as evidenced by the increasing attention given to retractions, there is an urgent need to reform the way in which authors, editors, and publishers conduct the first line of quality control, the peer review. One way to address the problem is through post-publication peer review (PPPR), an efficient complement to traditional peer-review that allows for the continuous improvement and strengthening of the quality of science publishing. PPPR may also serve as a way to renew trust in scientific findings by correcting the literature. This article explores what is broadly being said about PPPR in the literature, so as to establish awareness and a possible first-tier prototype for the sciences for which such a system is undeveloped or weak.
    Accountability in Research 01/2015; 22(1):22-40. DOI:10.1080/08989621.2014.899909
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    ABSTRACT: For 6,000 years, humans have known about smelter hazards. Yet these metals threats continue. Why? This commentary provides one preliminary answer. It (1) summarizes the history of smelter pollution and (2) suggests that at least 3 problems-especially flawed smelter-polluter science-allow continuing health threats. It (3) illustrates this flawed science by using one of the most dangerous of U.S. former smelters, in DePue, Illinois. There polluters are avoiding violating the law yet trying to minimize smelter-caused health threats, thus clean-up costs, by using two questionable scientific claims. The causality-denial claim denies that smelter metals cause neurodegenerative diseases. The biomagnification-denial claim denies that food-chain biomagnification of smelter metals can put citizens at risk. The commentary shows both claims err, and (4) suggests ways to address flawed smelter science and resulting health harms.
    Accountability in Research 01/2015; 22(1):41-60. DOI:10.1080/08989621.2014.939746
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    ABSTRACT: The case-based approach to learning is popular among many applied fields. However, results of case-based education vary widely on case content and case presentation. This study examined two aspects of case-based education-outcome valence and case elaboration methods-in a two-day case-based Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) ethics education program. Results suggest that outcome information is an integral part of a quality case. Furthermore, valence consistent outcomes may have certain advantages over mixed valence outcome information. Finally, students enjoy and excel working with case material, and the use of elaborative interrogation techniques can significantly improve internally-focused ethical sensemaking strategies associated with personal biases, constraints, and emotions.
    Accountability in Research 03/2014; 21(5):265-299. DOI:10.1080/08989621.2013.848803
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    ABSTRACT: Citation indexes such as journal impact factor are increasingly used to evaluate the quality of a scholarly work and/or assess one's scientific contributions. However, this simplistic approach has increasingly been refuted with publication gaming and incorrect applications to rank one's academic significance. These indexes are being game not only by researchers but also subtly by journal editors. Although the attention drawn from the public pertaining to such misbehaviors from editors is limited, the associated implications cannot be undermined. In this article, the focus will be on the motivations, impacts, and lessons learnt from how single highly cited article can have on the reactions from and the reputation of two academic journals: Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica and Acta Crystallographica Section A. For the former, it adopted an unconventional approach to improve its prominence in the field while the latter reiterates the correct and the original intent of citation indexes, as well as the importance of good editorial governance. From these incidents, few considerations are proposed to assist in minimising the recurrence of possible publication gaming in the editorial process. However, the inherent ethical values of an individual should still take precedence of any preventive measure.
    Accountability in Research 02/2013; 20(2):93-106.
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    ABSTRACT: Studies have indicated that academic research has become increasingly complex and multidisciplinary. There seems to be an increasing trend of multiple author articles published across most journals. As the field of biomedical engineering also encompasses multidisciplinary-based knowledge, it is interesting to understand the authorship trend over time. In this study, six journals were carefully chosen from the Journal Citation Report of the Thomson Scientific based on predefined criteria (year 1999 to 2008). The data pertaining to authorships for the articles published in these journals were then acquired from the PubMed database. The results show that there is a general upward trend for the number of author per article, but it is not significant (p > .01) despite a 64.5% increase in the total number of article published in the six chosen journals. Thus, the expected increase is not observed in this field, and it may be due to the stringent guidelines by journals in defining the contributions of an author. Particularly, contributing factors like the impact of authorship irregularities is discussed herein.
    Accountability in Research 03/2011; 18(2):91-101. DOI:10.1080/08989621.2011.557299.
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    ABSTRACT: For academic research outcomes, an important bibliometric scoring termed as the journal impact factor (JIF) is used when assessment of the quality of research is required. No known study has been conducted to explore the bibliographical trends of 'Medicine, General & Internal' journals indexed by the annual Journal Citation Reports. Data from the Journal Citation Reports and Web of Science database were extracted to formulate a comprehensive analysis. In this study, the trends of 15 journals (5 top ranked and 10 low ranked; 5 English and 5 non-English based) were selected and analysed over a 9-year period (starting from year 1999 to 2007). Using the year 1999 as the base year, the results showed that the JIF rose significantly for the selected top ranked journals (up to 180.9%) while the low ranked ones slipped in their JIF value (down to -44.4%). The observed upward or downward trend was caused by a combination of other bibliographical measures like citations, number of citable, and total items published. It is postulated that changes in bibliographical trends can be classified as editorial and non-editorial influences. The impacts of these influences on the 15 selected journals over the 9-year period were also discussed retrospectively.
    Accountability in Research 06/2009; 16(3):127-152. DOI:10.1080/08989620902984080.
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    ABSTRACT: The simplest and widely used assessment of academic research and researchers is the journal impact factor (JIF). However, the JIF may exhibit patterns that are skewed towards journals that publish high number of non-research items and short turnover research. Moreover, there are concerns as the JIF is often used as a comparison for journals from different disciplines. In this study, the JIF computation of eight top ranked journals from four different subject categories was analyzed. The analysis reveals that most of the published items (>65%) in the science disciplines were nonresearch items while fewer such items (<22%) were observed in engineering-based journals. The single regression analysis confirmed that there is correlation (R(2) > or = .99) in the number of published items or citations received over the two-year period used in the JIF calculation amongst the eight selected journals. A weighted factor computation is introduced to compensate for the smaller journals and journals that publish longer turnover research. It is hoped that the approach can provide a comprehensive assessment of the quality of a journal regardless of the disciplinary field.
    Accountability in Research 02/2009; 16(1):1-12. DOI:10.1080/08989620802689516