Science encompasses a large body of evidence collected by repeated observations and experiments. A part of conducting reliable research of high quality is compliance with the principles for good scientific practice. Governmental support for research studies may raise fundamental questions of ownership and rights of control, particularly when data are subsequently used in proprietary efforts, public policy decisions, or litigation. Although there are many ways to ensure responsible mentorship, methods that provide continuous feedback, whether through formal or informal mechanisms, are apt to be the most successful (CGS, 1990a). 5. It is also possible, however, that the contradictory results are themselves incorrect, and this possibility will also be evaluated by the scientists working in the field. Most research institutions do not have explicit programs of instruction and discussion to foster responsible research practices, but the communication of values and traditions is critical to fostering responsible research practices and detering misconduct in science. The task of systematizing and extending the understanding of the universe is advanced by eliminating disproved ideas and by formulating new tests of others until one emerges as the most probable explanation for any given observed phenomenon. Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name. In the early stages of pioneering studies, particularly when fundamental hypotheses are subject to change, scientists must be free to use creative judgment in deciding which data are truly significant. A mentor, as a research advisor, is generally expected to supervise the work of the trainee and ensure that the trainee's research is completed in a sound, honest, and timely manner. However, the mentoring relationship does not always function properly or even satisfactorily. In summary, the idea is to try to give all the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution, not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another. FACTORS AFFECTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF RESEARCH PRACTICES. Some students or junior staff encourage such “gift authorship” because they feel that the inclusion of prestigious names on their papers increases the chance of publication in well-known journals. Submitted Paper—The Logic and the Basic Principles of Scientific Based Research—Michael Feuer and Lisa Towne. Selected examples of academic research conduct policies and guidelines are included in Volume II of this report. Verifiable facts always take precedence. 2. However, it is clear that traditional practices in the area of mentorship and training are under stress. The neglect of sound training in a mentor's laboratory will over time compromise the integrity of the research process. They indicate that mentors may need to limit the size of their laboratories so that they are able to interact directly and frequently with all of their trainees. Research directors and department chairs, by virtue of personal example, thus can reinforce, or weaken, the power of disciplinary standards and scientific norms to affect research practices. See, for example, responses to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences action against Friedman: Hamilton (1990) and Abelson et al. For the impact of the inability to provide corroborating data or witnesses, also see Ross et al. Efforts to foster responsible research practices in areas such as data handling, communication and publication, and research training and mentorship deserve encouragement by the entire research community. Others maintain that it is the responsibility of the individuals who collected the data to retain proprietorship, even if they leave the laboratory. The extent of participation in these four activities required for authorship varies across journals, disciplines, and research groups. The exchange of research data and reagents is ideally governed by principles of collegiality and reciprocity: scientists often distribute reagents with the hope that the recipient will reciprocate in the future, and some give materials out freely with no stipulations attached. Evaluation of the accomplishments of individual scientists often involves not only the numbers of articles that have resulted from a selected research effort, but also the particular journals in which the articles have appeared. See, for example, the proposal by Pigman and Carmichael (1950). For a somewhat dated review of codes of ethics adopted by the scientific and engineering societies, see Chalk et al. (1977) and Chubin and Hackett (1990). Abstract. Peer review is the process by which editors and journals seek to be advised by knowledgeable colleagues about the quality and suitability of a manuscript for publication in a journal. Such behavior is, at best, a questionable research practice. 3. Formal rules or guidelines concerning their disposition are rare. When conflicts arise, the expectations and assumptions. Physicist Richard Feynman invoked the informal approach to communicating the basic principles of science in his 1974 commencement address at the California Institute of Technology (Feynman, 1985): [There is an] idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school—we never explicitly say what this is, but just hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific investigation. The methods by which individual scientists and students are socialized in the principles and traditions of science are poorly understood. In recent years, some government research agencies have also adopted policies and procedures for the treatment of research data and materials in their extramural research programs. In the past decade, the societies' codes of ethics—which historically have been exhortations to uphold high standards of professional behavior —have incorporated specific guidelines relevant to authorship practices, data management, training and mentoring, conflict of interest, reporting research findings, treatment of confidential or proprietary information, and addressing error or misconduct. Other groups or institutions have written “guidelines ” (IOM, 1989a; NIH, 1990), “checklists” (CGS, 1990a), and statements of “areas of concern” and suggested “devices” (CGS, 1990c). Although some have proposed that these principles should be written down and formalized,2 the principles and traditions of science are, for the most part, conveyed to successive generations of scientists through example, discussion, and informal education. How is the spokesperson for the experiment determined? (1990). For example, some journalists have criticized several prominent scientists, such as Mendel, Newton, and Millikan, because they “cut corners in order to make their theories prevail” (Broad and Wade, 1982, p. 35). A hypothesis is a testable prediction that is arrived at logically from a theory.Several types of studies exist within the scientific method— experiments, descriptive studies, case studies, surveys, and non-descriptive studies. MyNAP members SAVE 10% off online. This is one reason for scientists and research institutions to clarify and strengthen the methods by which they foster responsible research practices. Under these circumstances, attempts to obtain the published result may simply be dropped if the central claim of the original study is not the major focus of the new study. Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text. Scientific principles are the foundation of scientific methods. Varying historical and conceptual perspectives also can affect expectations about standards of research practice. In order to foster good mentorship practices for all research trainees, many groups and institutions have taken steps to clarify the nature of individual and institutional responsibilities in the mentor–trainee relationship.27. At some level, all scientific reports, even those that mark profound advances, contain errors of fact or interpretation. The mentoring relationship may also combine elements of other relationships, such as parenting, coaching, and guildmastering. Although some forms of “gift authorship,” in which a designated author made no identifiable contribution to a paper, may be viewed as instances of falsification, authorship disputes more commonly involve unresolved differences of judgment and style. Rosalyn S. Yalow, Melange: Commencement 1988. Some concerns have been raised that such “revisions” can sometimes be so subtle and obscure as to be unrecognizable. Respect for Persons This principle incorporates two elements that deal with respecting people in regard to research: People should be treated as autonomous The term autonomous means that a person can make his or her own decisions about what to do and what to agree to. Not logged in Our presentation today is based on a recently released study authored by the National Research Council's Committee on Scientific Principles in Education Research. They are consequences of the fact that scientists seek fundamental truths about natural processes of vast complexity. Occasionally, this takes the form of a formal published retraction, especially in situations in which a central claim is found to be fundamentally incorrect or irreproducible. In the past, scientific papers often included a special note by a named researcher, not a co-author of the paper, who described, for example, a particular substance or procedure in a footnote or appendix. The coupling of science to other social purposes in fostering economic growth and commercial technology requires renewed vigilance to maintain acceptable standards for disclosure and control of financial or competitive conflicts of interest and bias in the research environment. As more academic research is being supported under proprietary agreements, researchers and institutions are experiencing the effects of these arrangements on research practices. The same report examined obstacles to data sharing, which include the criticism or competition that might be stimulated by data sharing; technical barriers that may impede the exchange of computer-readable data; lack of documentation of data sets; and the considerable costs of documentation, duplication, and transfer of data. In such moments, the standards of proof may be quite different from those that apply at stages when confirmation and consensus are sought from peers. Researchers must respect that individuals should It is learned, acquired socially; scientists make judgments about what fellow scientists might expect in order to be convincing. The NSF policy acknowledges that grantee institutions will “keep principal rights to intellectual property conceived under NSF sponsorship” to encourage appropriate commercialization of the results of research (NSF, 1989b, p. 1). Most social scientists conclude that all behavior is influenced to some degree by norms that reflect socially or morally supported patterns of preference when alternative courses of action are possible. Not affiliated In such situations, precise replication of the original result is commonly not attempted because of the lack of identical reagents, differences in experimental protocols, diverse experimental goals, or differences in personnel. In opposition to Merton, a British sociologist of science, Michael Mulkay, has argued that these norms are “ideological” covers for self-interested behavior that reflects status and politics (Mulkay, 1975). Therefore, we should hardly be surprised if researchers display some reluctance to share in practice, however much they may declare and genuinely feel devotion to the ideal of open scientific communication ” (NSF, 1989a, p. 4). You must do the best you can—if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong—to explain it. Do you enjoy reading reports from the Academies online for free? Cite as. This practice seems to.have been abandoned for reasons that are not well understood. Advances in electronic and other information technologies have raised new questions about the customs and practices that influence the storage, ownership, and exchange of electronic data and software. A well-established discipline can also experience profound changes during periods of new conceptual insights. Responsible Science is a comprehensive review of factors that influence the integrity of the research process. A theory is used to make predictions about future observations. Today, the benefits of scientific research are understood. (1981). These easy-to-understand articles will provide students and teachers with instructional articles about each topic and provide a context for application and incorporation into their own scientific practices. Junior researchers have raised concerns about treatment of their contributions when research papers are prepared and submitted, particularly if they are attempting to secure promotions or independent research funding or if they have left the original project. The disciplines' abilities to influence research standards are affected by the subjective quality of peer review and the extent to which factors other than disciplinary quality may affect judgments about scientific achievements. One group convened by the Institute of Medicine has suggested “that the university has a responsibility to ensure that the size of a research unit does not outstrip the mentor's ability to maintain adequate supervision” (IOM, 1989a, p. 85). The principles of science and the practices of the disciplines are transmitted by scientists in classroom settings and, perhaps more importantly, in research groups and teams. Science comprises individual disciplines that reflect historical developments and the organization of natural and social phenomena for study. Conduct of Research. If the results of testing agree with predictions from a theory, the theory is provisionally corroborated. Others have noted that although it may be desirable to limit the number of trainees assigned to a senior investigator, there is insufficient information at this time to suggest that numbers alone significantly affect the quality of research supervision (IOM, 1989a, p. 33). This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves. In a classic statement of the importance of scientific norms, Robert Merton specified four norms as essential for the effective functioning of science: communism (by which Merton meant the communal sharing of ideas and findings), universalism, disinterestedness, and organized skepticism (Merton, 1973). courages and demands rigorous evaluation and reevaluation of every key finding. But conflicts are inherent among these principles. In the best experimental systems, it is common that relatively few variables have been identified and that even fewer can be controlled experimentally. For example, the New England Journal of Medicine has established a category of prohibited contributions from authors engaged in for-profit ventures: the journal will not allow, such persons to prepare review articles or editorial commentaries for publication. Another problem of lesser importance, except to the scientists involved, is the order of authors listed on a paper. Disciplinary departments rely primarily on informal social and professional controls to promote responsible behavior and to penalize deviant behavior. See also the discussion in Bailar et al. Among the very basic principles that guide scientists, as well as many other scholars, are those expressed as respect for the integrity of knowledge, collegiality, honesty, objectivity, and openness. Thus personal example and the perceived behavior of role models and leaders in the research community can be powerful stimuli in shaping the research practices of colleagues, associates, and students. Social scientists may have methods for recording research data that differ from the methods of biologists, and scientists who depend on complex instrumentation may have authorship practices different from those of scientists who work in small groups or carry out field studies. When a hypothesis has survived repeated opportunities for disproof and when competing hypotheses have been eliminated as a result of failure to produce the predicted consequences, that hypothesis may become the accepted theory explaining the original facts. Although the time to the doctorate is increasing, there is some evidence that the magnitude of the increase may be affected by the organization of the cohort chosen for study. For other discussions on mentorship, see the paper by David Guston in Volume II of this report. Editors may specify the. Sexist behavior by some research directors and other senior scientists is a particular source of concern. The cycles of theoretical and methodological formulation, testing, and reevaluation, both within and between laboratories, produce an ongoing process of revision and refinement that corrects errors and strengthens the fabric of research. But such practices, by today 's standards, would not be acceptable without reporting the justification for omission of recorded data. Explicit statements of the values and traditions that guide research practice have evolved through the disciplines and have been given in textbooks on scientific methodologies.4 In the past few decades, many scientific and engineering societies representing individual disciplines have also adopted codes of ethics (see Volume II of this report for examples),5 and more recently, a few research institutions have developed guidelines for the conduct of research (see Chapter 6). However, individual trainees who experience abusive relationships with a mentor may discover only too late that the practices that constitute the abuse were well known but were not disclosed to new initiates. Other stipulations include that the material not be passed on to third parties without prior authorization, that the material not be used for proprietary research, or that the donor receive prepublication copies of research publications derived from the material. Some scientific journals now require that full data for research papers be deposited in a centralized data bank before final publication. Viewed in this context, errors are an integral aspect of progress in attaining scientific knowledge. special responsibility on the researcher to avoid misrepresentation of findings. 5. But modifications are necessary to foster integrity in a changing research environment, to handle cases of misconduct in science, and to discourage questionable research practices. Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available. 1. the relationship between theory and experimentation, and laboratory groupings for research and for training vary with the particular scientific disciplines. Practicing scientists are guided by the principles of science and the standard practices of their particular scientific discipline as well as their personal moral principles. The relationship of the mentor and research trainee is usually characterized by extraordinary mutual commitment and personal involvement. 4. ... Research question must be capable of being … 8. A full discussion of problematic practices in authorship is included in Bailar et al. Foreign students and postdoctoral fellows may be especially vulnerable, since their immigration status often depends on continuation of a research relationship with the selected mentor. The “scientific method” attempts to minimize the influence of the researchers' bias on the outcome of an experiment. Link research to relevant theory. 12. Definition of research Research: a detailed study of a subject in order to discover new information or new fact or reach a new understanding. In some cases, well-meaning senior scientists may grant junior colleagues. Clearly, published experiments are not routinely replicated precisely by independent investigators. In part, such errors reflect uncertainties intrinsic to the research process itself —a hypothesis is formulated, an experimental test is devised, and based on the interpretation of the results, the hypothesis is refined, revised, or discarded. The general standard of practice is to provide information that is sufficiently complete so that another scientist can repeat or extend the experiment. But this situation operates only under conditions of freely available information and unconstrained choice —conditions that usually do not exist in academic research groups. Provides students and researchers with an easy-to-understand introduction to the fundamentals of scientific research. In particular, concern about waste, fraud, and abuse involving government funds has emerged as a factor that now directly influences the practices of the research community. Fair subject selection. If not, it is proved false and must be either abandoned or modified to account for the inconsistency. 19. Much of the discussion in this section is derived from a background paper, “Reflections on the Current State of Data and Reagent Exchange Among Biomedical Researchers,” prepared by Robert Weinberg and included in Volume II of this report. For authorship varies across journals, disciplines, and B. F. Ryan be attained or without. Lawrence S. Florendo 2 not properly resolved, these problems may weaken the integrity of the investigator in either.... Of ideas or words of another combine elements of other relationships, such as Harvard Medical school, have policies. 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Have placed greater emphasis on major contributions as the scope of an electrical measurement of a material may predict... Collected by their research investigators Lawrence S. Florendo 2 influence the integrity of a professional group scientists... Resources to maintain a theory is a strong and valuable characteristic of American science and scientific methods to... Be confused with misconduct in science and its social organization contributions may not receive appropriate recognition paper prepared the. Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be either abandoned principles of scientific research! The junior colleague 's reputation recherché ’, meaning ‘ to go about seeking ’ 2.0 ( Rosenfeld Media several.
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