Closing the barn door: Coping with findings of research misconduct by trainees in the biomedical sciences

Research Ethics 11 (3):124-132 (2015)
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The proportion of research misconduct cases among trainees in the biomedical sciences has risen, raising the question of why, and what are the responsibilities of research administrators and the research community to address this problem. Although there is no definitive research about causes, for trainees the relationship with a research mentor should play a major role in preventing actions that constitute research misconduct. Examination of the limited literature and of the number of cases closed by the US Office of Research Integrity between 2009 and 2013 raises questions about the mentor-student relationship and what it should be accomplishing. But many gaps in policy and its implementation inhibit this role. There is no acknowledgement of mentorship in federal regulations and research on how to teach research integrity is woefully underdeveloped, especially for international trainees. And some institutional research integrity officers may have had little preparation for the role



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