Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 389–402 | Cite as

The ombudsman for research practice

A proposal for a new position and an invitation to comment
  • Ruth L. Fischbach
  • Diane C. Gilbert
Article

Abstract

We propose that institutions consider establishing a position of “Ombudsman for Research Practice”. This person would assume several roles: as asounding board to those needing confidential consultation about research issues — basic, applied or clinical; as afacilitator for those wishing to pursue a formal grievance process; and as aneducator to distribute guidelines and standards, to raise the consciousness regarding sloppy or irregular practices in order to prevent misconduct and to promote the responsible conduct of research. While there are compelling features to this position, many complex issues need to be considered and resolved. We invite readers to respond to questions we raise in the text.

Keywords

ombudsman ombudsperson advocacy research practice scientists education scientific integrity misconduct whistleblower legislation and jurisprudence 

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Copyright information

© Opragen Publications 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth L. Fischbach
    • 1
  • Diane C. Gilbert
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Social Medicine and Division of Medical EthicsHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Research and Training DevelopmentSpaulding Rehabilitation HospitalBostonUSA

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