An Analysis on the Research Ethics Cases Managed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Between 1997 and 2010.
ABSTRACT The growing emphasis on the importance of publishing scientific findings in the academic world has led to increasing prevalence of potentially significant publications in which scientific and ethical rigour may be questioned. This has not only hindered research progress, but also eroded public trust in all scientific advances. In view of the increasing concern and the complexity of research misconduct, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) was established in 1997 to manage cases with ethical implications. In order to review the outcomes of cases investigated by COPE, a total of 408 cases that had been managed by COPE were successfully extracted and analysed with respect to 7 distinct criteria. The results obtained indicate that the number of ethical implications per case has not changed significantly (p > 0.01) since the year COPE was instigated. Interestingly, the number of ethical cases, and to some extent, research misconduct, is not diminishing. Therefore, journal editors and publishers need to work closely together with COPE to inculcate adoption of appropriate research ethics and values in younger researchers while discouraging others from lowering standards. It is hoped that with a more concerted effort from the academic community and better public awareness, there will be fewer incidences of ethically and scientifically challenged publications. The ultimate aim being to enhance the quality of published works with concomittant public trust in the results.
- Chest 01/2010; 137(1):221-3. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This paper focuses on the infamous case of Hwang Woo Suk, the South-Korean national hero and once celebrated pioneer of stem cell research. After briefly discussing the evolution of his publication and research scandal in Science, I will attempt to outline the main reactions that emerged within scientific and bioethical discourses on the problem of research misconduct in contemporary biosciences. What were the ethical lapses in his research? What kind of research misconduct has been identified? How this kind of misconduct affects scientific integrity? How to avoid it? Focusing on these questions, the paper interprets the Hwang’s case as a case study that might shed light on the worst aspects of highstakes global science. This case presents a group of problems that might endanger scientific integrity and public trust. Regulatory oversight, ethical requirements and institutional safeguards are often viewed by the scientific community as merely decelerating scientific progress and causing delays in the application of treatments. The Hwang’s case represents how unimpeded progress works in contemporary science. Thus, the case might shed light on the often neglected benefits of “the social control of science”.Science and Engineering Ethics 01/2009; · 0.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Among the many forms of research misconduct, publishing fraudulent data is considered to be serious where the confidence and validity of the research is detrimentally undermined. In this study, the trend of 303 retracted publications from 44 authors (with more than three retracted publications each) was analysed. The results showed that only 6.60% of the retracted publications were single-authored and the discovery of fraudulent publications had reduced from 52.24 months (those published before the year 2000) to 33.23 months (those published on the year 2000 and onwards). It appears that with the widely accessible public databases like PubMed, fraudulent publications can be detected more easily. The different approaches adopted by authors who had previous publications retracted are also discussed herein.Science and Engineering Ethics 09/2011; 17(3):459-68. · 0.74 Impact Factor