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Research Integrity

Research integrity may be defined as active adherence to the ethical principles and professional standards essential for the responsible practice of research.

By active adherence we mean adoption of the principles and practices as a personal credo, not simply accepting them as impositions by rulemakers.

By ethical principles we mean honesty, the golden rule, trustworthiness, and high regard for the scientific record.

NAS report definition: "For individuals research integrity is an aspect of moral character and experience. It involves above all a commitment to intellectual honesty and personal responsibility for ones actions and to a range of practices that characterize responsible research conduct." These practices include:

  1. Honesty and fairness in proposing, performing, and reporting research;
  2. Accuracy and fairness in representing contributions to research proposals and reports;
  3. Proficiency and fairness in peer review;
  4. Collegiality in scientific interactions, communications and sharing of resources;
  5. Disclosure of conflicts of interest;
  6. Protection of human subjects in the conduct of research;
  7. Humane care of animals in the conduct of research;
  8. Adherence to the mutual responsibilities of mentors and trainees."
While science encourages (no, requires) vigorous defense of one's ideas and work, ultimately research integrity means examining the data with objectivity and being guided by the results rather than by preconceived notions.

We will return to the importance of preserving the integrity of the scientific record in the section on misconduct.
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Chapter 1
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The Ethical Basis of RCRH

The Nature of Science

Research Integrity

Professionalism in Science

Practical Elements of Responsible Research Conduct



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