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Assignment

Assignment on Research Integrity
Essay . Deadline 2019-12-13

  • Why do you think improper practice in publication is damaging to the integrity of research in your discipline?

Improper practice in publication can be found in all aspects of a publication: writing, submission, revision, publication and communication. It involves fabricating, falsifying or withholding data, plagiarism, exaggerating importance or drawing unsupported conclusions, selectively reporting results or failing to report contradictory evidence, salami slicing, eliminating data and charts, etc. 

All the above can literally damage the integrity of research in my discipline. I work on the development of new pharmaceutical formulations and I rely immensely on preoceedingprevious publications. If those publications are not honest, accurate and complete, then my own research would be jeopardized. For example, if I want to replicate a synthetical method previously described in an article, it could cost me a lot of time and energy if there were missing data, conditions, etc.

Lastly, there have been some cases that fabricated/exaggerated publications have driven other researchers to invest their time and resources in the same research area, which turned out to be pointless since their whole base was falsified. This is so sad if we think that they could be spending their time researching something else with real possibilities.

  • What do you think the ramifications of improper practice in publishing are for a researcher’s reputation?

I think the ramifications of improper practice in publishing are massive for a researcher’s reputation. I think he would find it challengingdifficult to publish again after proven improper practice. Maybe his institution would also apply even more ramifications (e.g. suspension, forced sabbatical, etc.). 

Even if there were no bad intentions and,and the researcher was not fraudulent (eg., self-plagiarism), the researcher can still be disgraced and forced to resign from any positions.

The past years' ramifications might not have been so serious, or maybe there weren’t much at all. But ramifications are more immediate and possiblymaybe stricter. This happens because information are easily dispersed through social media and can quickly attract “bad” publicity at the researcher includingand his institution as well