, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 221-241

Roles for scientific societies in promoting integrity in publication ethics

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Abstract

Scientific societies can have a powerful influence on the professional lives of scientists. Using this influence, they have a responsibility to make long-term commitments and investments in promoting integrity in publication, just as in other areas of research ethics. Concepts that can inform the thinking and activities of scientific societies with regard to publication ethics are: the “hidden curriculum” (the message of actions rather than formal statements), a fresh look at the components of acting with integrity, deviancy as a normally occurring phenomenon in human society, and the scientific community as an actual community. A society’s first step is to decide what values it will promote, within the framework of present-day standards of good conduct of science and given the society’s history and traditions. The society then must create educational programs that serve members across their careers. Scientific societies must take seriously the implications of the problem; set policies and standards for publication ethics for their members; educate about and enforce the standards; bring the issues before the members early and often; and maintain continuing dialogue with editors.

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the AAAS-Office of Research Integrity (ORI) meeting in Washington DC on the theme: “The Role and Activities of Scientific Societies in Promoting Research Integrity” held on April 10–11, 2000.