Science and Engineering Ethics 6 (1):91-94 (2000)
AbstractThe UK’s Medical Research Council (MRC) introduced a specific policy and procedure for inquiring into allegations of scientific misconduct in December 1997; previously cases had been considered under normal disciplinary procedures. The policy formally covers staff employed in MRC units, but those in receipt of MRC grants in universities and elsewhere are expected to operate under similar policies. The MRC’s approach is stepwise: preliminary action; assessment to establish prima facie evidence of misconduct; formal investigation; sanctions; and appeal. Strict time limits apply at all stages. The procedure will be evaluated after two years. The indications so far are that the procedure is robust, and its clarity and transparency have been an asset to all parties. The MRC is also convinced that it is equally important to achieve a working culture that fosters integrity. Thus education and training in good research practices are fundamental to the prevention of research misconduct.
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