Journal of Academic Ethics

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 211–228

A Review of the Types of Scientific Misconduct in Biomedical Research

Article

Abstract

Biomedical research has increased in magnitude over the last two decades. Increasing number of researchers has led to increase in competition for scarce resources. Researchers have often tried to take the shortest route to success which may involve performing fraudulent research. Science suffers from unethical research as much time, effort and cost is involved in exposing fraud and setting the standards right. It is better for all students of science to be aware of the methods used in fraudulent research so that such research can be detected early. Biomedical research is one area that seems to have attracted maximum numbers of fraudulent researchers; hence this article devotes itself to biomedical research scenario.

Keywords

Research misconduct Unethical research Biomedical research Scientific misconduct Fabrication Falsification Plagiarism 

References

  1. Altman, D. G. (1994). The scandal of poor medical research. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 308, 283–284.Google Scholar
  2. Barnes, D. E., & Bero, L. A. (1998). Why review articles on the health effects of passive smoking reach different conclusions. Journal of the American Medical Association, 279, 1566–1570. doi:10.1001/jama.279.19.1566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bégaud, B., & Verdoux, H. (2001). Did the US boycott of French products spread to include scientific output? BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 329, 1430–1431. doi:10.1136/bmj.329.7480.1430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bekelman, J. E., Liu, Y., & Gross, C. P. (2003). Scope and impact of financial conflicts of interest in biomedical research. a systematic review. Journal of the American Medical Association, 89, 454–465. doi:10.1001/jama.289.4.454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bennett, D. M., & Taylor, D. M. (2003). Unethical practices in authorship of scientific papers. Emergency Medicine, 15, 263–270.Google Scholar
  6. Bero, L. A., Galbraith, A., & Rennie, D. (1992). The publications of sponsored symposiums in medical journals. The New England Journal of Medicine, 327, 1135–1140.Google Scholar
  7. Best, C. H. (1974). A short essay on the importance of dogs in medical research. The Physiologist, 17, 437–439.Google Scholar
  8. Black’s Law Dictionary (1979).St Paul, Minnesota: West, page 1882Google Scholar
  9. Brian, C. M., & Melissa, S. A. (2005). Raymond de Vries: scientists behaving badly. Nature, 435, 737–736. doi:10.1038/435737a.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Broad, W. J. (1980). Would-be academician pirates papers: five of his published papers are demonstrable plagiarisms, and more than 55 others are suspect. Science, 208, 1438–1440. doi:10.1126/science.208.4451.1438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Campanario, J. M. (1998). Peer review for journals as it stands today—part 2. Science Communication, 19, 277–306. doi:10.1177/1075547098019004002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Campanario, J. M. (2003). Rejecting nobel class articles and resisting nobel class discoveries. Nature, 425(6959), 645 Oct.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Commander, H. (2000). Biotechnology industry responds to gene therapy death. Nature Medicine, 6, 118. doi:10.1038/72181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Costa, M. M., & Gatz, M. (1992). Determination of authorship credit in published dissertations. Psychological Science, 3, 354–357. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.1992.tb00046.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Couzin, J. (2001). Scientific misconduct: MIT terminates researcher over data fabrication. Science, 310, 578.Google Scholar
  16. Couzin, J., & Schirber, M. (2006). Fraud upends oral cancer field, casting doubts on prevention trial. Science, 311(5760), 448–449. doi:10.1126/science.311.5760.448a.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Culliton, B. J. (1983). Coping with fraud: the Darsee case. Science, 220, 31–35. doi:10.1126/science.6828878.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Curfman, G. D., Morrissey, S., Drazen, J. M. (2006). N Engl J Med Expression of concern: Sudbø et al: DNA content as a prognostic marker in patients with oral leukoplakia, N Engl J Med 2001, 344, 1270–8 and Sudbø J et al: Influence of resection and aneuploidy on mortality in oral leukoplakia, N Engl J Med 2004, 350, 1405–13. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa033374.Google Scholar
  19. Davidson, R. A. (1986). Source of funding and outcome of clinical trials. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 1, 155–158. doi:10.1007/BF02602327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Deb, K., Sivaguru, M., Yong, H. Y., & Roberts, M. R. (2006). Cdx2 gene expression and trophectoderm lineage specification in mouse embryos. Science, 311(5763), 992–996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Delgado López-Cózar, E. (2007). Impact of the impact factor in Spain (rapid response to Brown. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 20.Google Scholar
  22. Deyo, R. A., Psaty, B. M., Simon, G., et al. (1997). The messenger under attack—intimidation of researchers by special interest groups. The New England Journal of Medicine, 336, 1176–1180. doi:10.1056/NEJM199704173361611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Editorial (2005). Nature Materials, 4(1), 1305.Google Scholar
  24. Edmunds, L. H. (2007). Journal ethics. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 84, 717–719. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2007.07.045.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Emanuel, E. J., & Steiner, D. (1995). Institutional conflict of interest. The New England Journal of Medicine, 332(4), 262–268. doi:10.1056/NEJM199501263320412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ernest, E., Resch, K. L., & Uner, E. M. (1992). Reviewer bias. Annals of Internal Medicine, 116(11), 958.Google Scholar
  27. Errami, M., & Garner, H. (2008). A tale of two citations. Nature, 451(7177), 397–399. doi:10.1038/451397a.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fleet, C. M., Rosser, M. F. N., Zufall, R. A., et al. (2006). Hiring criteria in biology departments of academic institutions. Bioscience, 56, 430–436. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2006)056[0430:HCIBDO]2.0.CO;2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Florey, H. (1962). Prestige in academic scientific research. Nature, 193(4820), 1017–1018. doi:10.1038/1931017a0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Frankel, J. K. (1956). Pathogenesis of Toxoplasmosis and of infections resembling Toxoplasma. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 64, 215–251. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.1956.tb36616.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Friedman, L. S., & Richter, E. D. (2004). Relationship between conflicts of interest and research results. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 19(1), 51–56. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2004.30617.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Garfield, E. (1979). The ‘obliteration phenomenon’ in science—and the advantage of being obliterated. Current Contents, 51/52, 5–7.Google Scholar
  33. Garfield, E. (1980). From citation amnesia to bibliographic plagiarism. Current Contents, 23, 5–9.Google Scholar
  34. Garfield, E. (1982). More on the ethics of scientific publication: abuses of authorship attribution and citation amnesia undermine the reward system of science. Current Contents, 30, 5–10.Google Scholar
  35. Garfield, E. (1987). Contemplating a science court: on the question of institutionalising scientific fact finding. Scientist (Philadelphia, Pa.), 1(6), 9.Google Scholar
  36. Garfield, E. (1991). Bibliographic negligence: a serious transgression. Scientist (Philadelphia, Pa.), 5(23), 14.Google Scholar
  37. Garfield, E. (2002). Demand citation vigilance. Scientist (Philadelphia, Pa.), 16(2), 6.Google Scholar
  38. Ginsburg, I. (2001). The Disregard Syndrome: a menace to honest science. Scientist (Philadelphia, Pa.), 15(24), 51.Google Scholar
  39. Greenacre, P. (1978). Note on plagiarism: the Henley-Stevenson quarrel. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 26, 507–539.Google Scholar
  40. Hajra, A., Liu, P. P., Speck, N. A., & Collins, F. S. (1995). Over expression of core-binding factor alpha (CBF alpha) reverses cellular transformation by CBF beta smooth muscle myosin heavy chain chimeric oncoprotein. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 15, 4980–4889.Google Scholar
  41. Hixson, J. (1976). The patch work mouse. New York: Anchor/Doubleday Garden City.Google Scholar
  42. Hwang, W. S., Roh, S. I., Lee, B. C., et al. (2005). Patient specific embryonic stem cells derived from human SCNT blastocysts. Science, 308, 1777–1783. doi:10.1126/science.1112286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kennedy, D. (2006). Editorial retraction. Science, 20, 311 (5759), 335.Google Scholar
  44. Kerns, D. G., Cransman, R. S., Durand, K. T. H., et al. (1998). Flock worker’s lung: chronic interstitial lung disease in the nylon flocking industry. Annals of Internal Medicine, 129(4), 261–272.Google Scholar
  45. Kerr, N. L. (1998). HARKing: hypothesizing after the results are known. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2(3), 196–217. doi:10.1207/s15327957pspr0203_4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Kliewer, M. A., et al. (2004). Peer review at the american journal of roentgenology: how reviewer and manuscript characteristics affected editorial decisions on 196 major papers. AJR. American Journal of Roentgenology, 183, 1545–1550.Google Scholar
  47. Knox, R. A. (1983). Deeper problems for Darsee: emory probe. JAMA, 249(21), 2867 , 2871–2873, 2876.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kwok, L. S. (2005). The white bull effect: abusive co-authorship and publication parasitism. Journal of Medical Ethics, 31(9), 554–556. doi:10.1136/jme.2004.010553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Link, A. M. (1998). US and and non US submissions. Journal of the American Medical Association, 280, 246–247. doi:10.1001/jama.280.3.246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Lloyd, M. E. (1990). Gender factors in reviewer recommendations for manuscript publication. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 23, 539–543. doi:10.1901/jaba.1990.23-539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Lock, S. (1994). Does editorial peer review work? Annals of Internal Medicine, 121(1), 60–61.Google Scholar
  52. Lock, S. (1995). Lessons from the Pearce affair: handling scientific fraud. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 310, 1547–1548.Google Scholar
  53. Marshall, E. (1995). Suit alleges misuse of peer review. Science, 270, 1912–1914. doi:10.1126/science.270.5244.1912.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Martin, B. R. (1984). Plagiarism and responsibility. Journal of tertiary educational administration, 6, 183–190.Google Scholar
  55. Merton, R. K. (1973). The sociology of science pp. 402–403. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  56. Merton, R. K. (1979). Citation indexing—its theory and application in science, technology and humanities. New York: Wiley (Foreword by E. Garfield).Google Scholar
  57. Mills, J. L. (1993). Data torturing. The New England Journal of Medicine, 329, 1196–1199. doi:10.1056/NEJM199310143291613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Moses III, H., & Martin, J. (2001). Academic relationships with industry: a new model for biomedical research. JAMA, 285(7), 933−935 Feb1.Google Scholar
  59. Murch, S. H., Anthony, A., Casson, D. H., et al. (2004). Retraction of an interpretation. Lancet, 363(9411), 75.Google Scholar
  60. Osmond, D. H. (1983). Malice’s wonderland: Research funding and peer review. Journal of Neurobiology, 14, 95−112. doi:10.1002/neu.480140202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Pande, P. G., Shukla, R. R., & Sekariah, P. C. (1961). Toxoplasma from eggs of the domestic fowl (Gallus gallus). Science, 133, 648. doi:10.1126/science.133.3453.648.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Parry, J. (2006). University clears scientist of misconduct but says his conduct was misbehaviour. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 332, 3. 82. doi:10.1136/bmj.332.7538.382-d.
  63. Ray, J. G. (2002). Judging the judges. The Quarterly Journal of Medicine, 95, 769–774.Google Scholar
  64. Relman, A. S. (1983). Lessons from the Darsee affair. The New England Journal of Medicine, 308, 1415–1417.Google Scholar
  65. Rennie, D. (1991). Editors and advertisements: what responsibility do the editors have for the advertisements in their journals? Journal of the American Medical Association, 265, 2394. doi:10.1001/jama.265.18.2394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Rennie, D. (1998). Freedom and responsibility in medical publication. Journal of the American Medical Association, 280, 300–302. doi:10.1001/jama.280.3.300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Rochon, P. A., Gurwitz, J. H., Cheung, M., Hayes, J. A., & Chalmers, T. C. (1994). Evaluating the quality of articles published in journal supplements compared with the quality of those published in the parent journal. Journal of the American Medical Association, 272, 108–113. doi:10.1001/jama.272.2.108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Rothman, K. J. (1993). Conflict of interest: the new McCarthyism in science. Journal of the American Medical Association, 269(21), 2782–2784. doi:10.1001/jama.269.21.2782.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Rothman, D. J. (2000). Medical professionalism—focussing on the real issues. The New England Journal of Medicine, 342, 1284–1286. doi:10.1056/NEJM200004273421711.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Schachman, H. K. (1993). What is misconduct in science? Science, 261, 148–149. doi:10.1126/science.8305005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Smith, W. R. (2007). Pseudo evidence based medicine: what it is, and what to do about it, Clinical Governance. International Journal (Toronto, Ont.), 12(1), 42–52.Google Scholar
  72. Sommer, T. J. (2001). Suppression of scientific research: bahramdipity and nulltiple scientific discoveries. Science and Engineering Ethics, 7, 77–104. doi:10.1007/s11948-001-0025-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Sorokin, P. (1956). Fads and foibles on modern sociology and related sciences p. 357. Chicago: H. Regency.Google Scholar
  74. Stelfox, H. T., Chua, G., O’Rourke, K., & Detsky, A. S. (1998). Conflict of interest in the debate over calcium channel antagonists. The New England Journal of Medicine, 338, 101–105. doi:10.1056/NEJM199801083380206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Stricker, R. B. (1985). Target platelet antigen in homosexual men with immune thrombocytopenia. The New England Journal of Medicine, 313, 1315–1380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Sudbø, J., Lee, J. J., Lippman, S. M., et al. (2005). Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents and the risk of oral cancer: a nested case-control study. Lancet, 366(9494), 1359–1366. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)67488-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Summerlin, W. T., Miller, G. E., & Good, R. A. (1973). Successful tissue and organ transplantation without immunosuppression. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 52, 349.Google Scholar
  78. Thompson, D. F. (1993). Understanding financial conflicts of interest. The New England Journal of Medicine, 329, 573–576. doi:10.1056/NEJM199308193290812.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Toy, J. (2002). Ingelfinger rule. Science Editor, 25(6), 195.Google Scholar
  80. Valderas, J. M., Bentley, R. A., Beckley, R., et al. (2007). Why do team-authored papers get cited more? Science, 317, 14 Sept, 5844, 1496b.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Wakefield, A. J., Murch, S. H., Anthony, A., et al. (1998). Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non specific colitis and pervasive developmental disorder in children. Lancet, 351(9103), 637–641. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(97)11096-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Weissman, G. (2006). Science fraud: from patch work mouse to patch work data. The FASEB Journal, 20, 587–590. doi:10.1096/fj.06-0401ufm.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Wenneras, C., & Wold, A. (1997). Nepotism and sexism in peer review. Nature, 387, 341–343. doi:10.1038/387341a0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Wright, J. K. (1944). Human nature in science. Science, 100(2597), 299–305. doi:10.1126/science.100.2597.299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Wutchy, S., Jones, B. F., & Uzzi, B. (2007). The increasing dominance of teams in production of knowledge. Science, 316, 1036–1039. doi:10.1126/science.1136099.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Zuckermann, H. A. (1968). Patterns of name-ordering among authors of scientific papers: a study of social symbolism and its ambiguity. American Journal of Sociology, 74, 276–291. doi:10.1086/224641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BangaloreIndia
  2. 2.HOSMAT HospitalAshok Nagar, BangaloreIndia

Personalised recommendations