Research ethics and good scientific practice

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Research ethics and
good scientific practice
08.09.2011
National Advisory Board on Research Ethics in
Finland (TENK)
Eero Vuorio, ex-chair
Biocenter Finland
Contents
Terminology
Ethical evaluation of research in Finland
Good scientific practice (=code of conduct
for researchers); violation of good scientific
practice; guidelines for investigating alleged
misconduct
Special cases: authorship, curriculum vitae,
portfoliot, confronting media
Internationalization
Research ethics = Research
integrity
Good scientific practice =
Reponsible conduct of research
-
Researchers' own code of conduct
Also different professional ethical codes
Ethical evaluation of Research in
Finland – legal framework
Research on human beings
Medical Research Act (2004); EU Directives,
UNESCO, WMA etc
Research using experimental animals
Act on Animal Experimentation (2006)
Gene technology
Act on Gene Technology
------
Research ethics
Decree (1991); Int'l Journal Editors' Guidelines
Ethical evaluation of research
in Finland
The Advisory Board on Health Care Ethics (ETENE)
(Sub-)Committee on Medical Research Ethics (TUKIJA)
Ethics Committees of Hospital Districts
Institutional Ethics Committees
Cooperation Group for Laboratory Animal Sciences
(KYTÖ)
Committee(s) on Animal Experimentation
National Advisory Board for Biotechnology (BTNK)
Board for Gene Technology (GTLK)
National Advisory Board on
Research Ethics (TENK)
•
•
•
•
Founded 1991
Nominated by the Ministry of Education
Three year terms (1.2.2010-31.1.2013)
Office situated at the Federation of
Finnish Learned Societies
TENK Guidelines
• Good scientific practice and
procedures for handling misconduct
and fraud in science
• Signatories:
- Universities
- Polytechnics
- Research Institutes
- Others
Good scientific practice
1. Integrity, meticulousness and accuracy
•
research, recording and presenting results ,
evaluating
2. Ethically sustainable data-collection,
research and evaluation methods and
openness in publishing
3. Taking due account of other
researchers
4. Planning, conducting and reporting
according to standards set for scientific
knowledge
Good scientific practice (GSP)
5. Status, rights, co-authorship, liabilities
and obligations of the research team
are determined and recorded in an
acceptable way
•
ownership of data, storage, updates
6. Sources of funding and other
associations are made known to those
participating in research and to public
7. Good administrative practice and
personnel and financial management
are observed.
Responsibility for maintaining GSP
•
First and foremost it is the responsibility of
the researcher him/herself to maintain
GSP, but also
–
–
–
–
–
research team
supervisor
head of unit/research organisation
learned societies and editors of scientific
publications
financing organisations.
Professional competence
1. Command of professional knowledge
and methodology in the relevant field
2. Professional ethics
• area of specific focus in the Finnish
guidelines
• lack of knowledge, inexperience or
(minor) carelessness does not necessarily
amount to a violation of good scientific
practice
• requires gross negligence or intentional
action
Violations of GSP
• Misconduct in science (gross
negligence)
• Fraud in science (intentional)
–
–
–
–
fabrication
misrepresentation (falsification)
plagiarism
misappropriation
Misconduct in science
• Examples:
–
–
–
–
–
Understatement of other researchers
Negligence in referring to earlier findings
Careless and misleading reporting
Publishing old results as new
Misleading the public and the research
community
Fabrication
• Presentation of fabricated data or
results to the research community
– Fabricated data have not been
obtained in the manner or by the
methods described in the report
– Fabricated results are not based on the
data
Misrepresentation/Falsification
• Intentional alteration or presentation
of original findings in a distorting way
– Scientifically unjustified alteration or
selection of data or results
– Omission to present results pertinent to
conclusions
Plagiarism
• Presentation of someone else’s
research plan, manuscript, article or
text, or parts thereof, as one’s own.
Misappropriation
• Illicit presentation or use of an
original research idea, plan or
finding disclosed to him/her in
confidence, under his/her own
name
– E.g. manuscript in peer review or
research plan under evaluation for
funding
Procedures
• Handled at the first instance in the
research organisation itself:
–
–
–
–
written notification to the rector/director
inquiry
investigation
final report (and a copy to TENK)
• National Advisory Board on Research
Ethics can be requested for an opinion on
the matter
– based on written material
Procedures
• Principles for the handling
– fairness and impartiality
– hearing of all parties
– swift process
Violations of good scientific practice in
Finland 1998-2005
25
20
lkm
15
10
5
0
1998
1999
2000
2001
Kysely 1
Epäilyt
Esiselvitykset
2002
2003
2004
2005
Kysely 2
Tutkinnat
Todetut
Violations by category
Kysely 1: 1998-2002
Kysely 2: 2003-2005
25
20
20
15
15
lkm
lkm
25
10
10
5
5
0
0
Plag.
Epäilyt
Anast.
Sepitt.
Esiselvitykset
Väär.
Tutkinnat
Piitt.
Muu
Todetut
Plag.
Epäilyt
Anast.
Sepitt.
Esiselvitykset
Väär.
Tutkinnat
Piitt.
Muu
Todetut
Proportion of violations of good scientific
practice in 2003-2005 by category in
Universities (Univ) and Polytechnics (Pol)
%
plagiarism
misappropriation
fabrication
falcification
misconduct
others
Univ
25
12
0
0
38
25
Pol
85
0
0
0
0
15
Consequences of scientific
misconduct
The actions and sanctions warranted by the findings
are decided on by the Rector or the Director of
the Institution.
Depending of the severity and possible recurrence of
misconduct the sanctions may range from oral or
written warning to failure to approve master's,
licentiate's or doctoral thesis, to more severe
punishments as set in the Universities act (and
other laws)
Special emphasis should be made to retract or correct
any publication containing information judged to
contain fraudulent material, and to publish the
findings of the investigation in the same forum.
Also legal consequences are possible.
Special issues: authorship
and
ownership of research materials and data
According to TENK Guidelines:
" questions relating to the status, rights, coauthorship, liabilities and obligations of the
members of a research team, right to research
results and the preservation of material are
determined and recorded in a manner
acceptable to all parties before the research
project starts or a researcher is recruited to the
team;”
Authorship
Editorial boards of scientific journals have
published detailed instructions for
authors.
Criteria for authorship; other categories for
contributing to a scientific publication
(other contributors); senior author taking
overall responsibility for the publication
(guarantor).
International Committee of
Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)
www.icmje.org
Vancouver guidelines
ICMJE
Authorship credit should be based on
1) substantial contributions to conception
and design, or acquisition of data, or
analysis and interpretation of data;
2) drafting the article or revising it critically
for important intellectual content; and
3) final approval of the version to be
published.
Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.
Committee on Publication Ethics
(COPE)
www.publicationethics.org.uk
additional guidelines for authorship in
scientific publications
Problems encountered
Several disputes about whose contribution
is sufficient for authorship
Honorary authorship
Large collaborations – who can truly
become a guarantor?
Ownership issues of large sampla and data
collections?
Extending the requirement for
good scientific practice to c.v.’s and
portfolios?
Self-made c.v.’s, publication lists and
portfolios – not covered by the current
guidelines, but several mistakes,
sometimes real misconduct have been
discovered
Translation of degrees and positions into
English (c.f. docent – adjunct professor)
Confronting the media
Although the guidelines require adherence
to the principles of good scientific
practice also in interviews and
publications targeted to public at large,
can scientists be held responsible for
newspaper articles/interviews edited by
journalists/editors?
Internationalization
Lack of binding international guidelines for
good scientific practice
European Commission: the European
Charter for Researchers and the Code of
Conduct for Recruitment of researchers
OECD, UNESCO
ESF (European Science Foundation)
ALLEA (All European Academies)
World Congress on Research Integrity:
Singapore statement
For more information
and contact details visit:
www.tenk.fi
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