Principles and approaches in ethics assessment: Research integrity
2015 (English)Report (Other academic)
Scientific research is a conscious and systematic approach to acquire knowledge, based on theories, methods and standards that have been developed through the history of scientific disciplines. The terms “research integrity” and “good research practice” refer to ideals for how research ought to be performed.
In the 1940s the American sociologist Robert Merton proposed norms for scientific research that have influenced the discussion on research integrity since then. According to Merton good research should not be secret or anyone’s property but requires instead openness and publicity. Merton uses the term communism/communalism for this norm. The second norm, according to Merton, is universalism, which means that the only relevant criteria for assessing research are the scientific criteria. The position or characteristic of the researcher has no relevance. Thirdly, disinterestedness means that the main motive driving the researcher should be the quest for knowledge, not for example economic gain or fame. Finally, the researcher should always be open for questioning the result. Merton calls this “organized scepticism”. This norm coheres with Karl Popper’s famous demarcation line between research and other activities; falsification, i.e. the constant efforts to falsify one’s result in order to get closer to the truth. Merton’s norms for research are summarized in the acronym CUDOS. Although the exact meaning and implication of Merton’s criteria can be discussed, they imply an ideal for scientific work and deviations from this ideal can be seen as misconduct in research.
Merton’s CUDOS norms are well - known examples of ideals and norms for science. These norms could be seen as the basis for professional ethics of researchers. Scientific misconduct and fraud are deviation from the ideals of science and good research practice. In the following we first conceptualise the area of scientific misconduct. Then we present some norms, guidelines and codes of scientific integrity. In the next section we
argue that scientific misconduct is a real problem that must be taken seriously by the research community and finally we discuss how scientific misconduct is investigated, how common it is and how it can be explained.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 10 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120988OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-120988DiVA: diva2:850400
ProjectsSatori (SATORI (Stakeholders Acting Together On the ethical impact assessment of Research and Innovation),
FunderEU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, FP7/2007-2013
Annex 1.b Ethical Assessment of Research and Innovation: A Comparative Analysis of Practices and Institutions in the EU and selected other countries Deliverable 1.1.
This deliverable and the work described in it is part of the projectStakeholders Acting Together on the Ethical Impact Assessment of Research and Innovation -SATORI-which received funding from the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 612231.2015-09-012015-09-012015-09-18Bibliographically approved