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Cover page of the Journal of Health Sciences

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2

No compromise to ethical research and publications

Laboratory of Vascular Physiology and Medicine, Department of Physiology, BLDE University's Shri B. M. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication18-Jan-2017

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Kusal K Das
Laboratory of Vascular Physiology and Medicine, Department of Physiology, BLDE University's Shri B. M. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Vijayapura - 586 103, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2349-5006.198571

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How to cite this article:
Das KK. No compromise to ethical research and publications. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res 2017;10:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Das KK. No compromise to ethical research and publications. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Oct 20];10:1-2. Available from: http://www.ijournalhs.org/text.asp?2017/10/1/1/198571

An interesting article published in Journal Publications (2014) and written by Hill and Pitt of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, USA, stated that authors have failed to reproduce some of the experimental works in their laboratory, which were earlier published in high impact journals by a group of Chinese authors.[1] The reasons of such occurrence may be multiple, probably research misconduct or wrong research outcomes but "go ahead" attitude of those Chinese scientists and subsequent publications of their flawed research data were the causes of failure to reproduce the same experimental works by scientists in next line. Whatever it may be, but the message is clear that some scientists are behaving very badly!

It has been noticed that there are several ways medical research too violated its spirit of ethics principle. For example, manipulations of research procedures including changing calibration pattern of instruments, stealing the idea of research, false study designs, false data generations, imaginary ethical consents, image manipulations, and finally, unethical publications. Hence, we can say that the conception of research idea and conduct of research to publication at any stage research ethics may be compromised.[2] It is obvious that many factors contribute to unethical research practices including publications, namely, peer pressure, serious fund crunch, career prospects, poor research training including supervisions, pressure from fund providers, self-centric attitude, and personal characters.

Recently, Committee on Publication Ethics - a London-based ethical publication watchdog - recommended to employ a "research integrity officer" for every academic and research institutions including Universities.[3] It is now emphasized that (i) ethical research, (ii) ethical practice, and (iii) ethical publications in combination will reflect true research integrity, and violation of any of these three components will be considered as unethical science or scientific misconduct. Community Orientation Program for Expatriates and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors clearly recommend that publication ethics is the foremost of research domain as anything wrong in it will destroy the trust of the research, especially the flawed publications will seriously influence future researchers and carry forward completely untrue messages for humanity.[4],[5]

In one of the articles, bioethicist Prof. Graf mentioned that ultimately at the end of the day, it is only "trust" remained for research legacy where professor relies on research scholars, university relies professors, peer reviewer trusts authors, editor trusts peer reviewers, and finally, reader trust authors and their originalities.[6] Unfortunately, reports on ethical violation in publication shake the confidence of common men, especially in medical sciences research. The role of research institutions or universities is needed to be redefined. The institution must make research integrity compulsory for their academic curriculum and make all the researchers including their mentors accountable for any scientific misconduct including publications. A culture of best research practices including publications may be promoted at all the level in institute or University. The reward and punishment system on conducting research may also be introduced. Research integrity of the researcher and of course their institution will reflect the highest professional standard.

There is no alternative of absolute honesty in conducting research and publish its outcome; hence, honesty cannot be negotiated!

  References Top

Hill HZ, Pitt JH. Failure to replicate: A sign of scientific misconduct? Publication 2014;2:71-82.  Back to cited text no. 1
Fanelli D. How many scientists fabricate and falsify research? A systematic review and meta-analysis of survey data. PLoS One 2009;4:e5738.  Back to cited text no. 2
Das KK, Biradar MS. Ethical publications in medical research. In: Clark PA, editor. Bioethics - Medical, Ethical and Legal Perspectives. Rijeka, Croatia: InTech Open Science; 2016.  Back to cited text no. 3
Das KK, Vallabha T, Patil SM, Ray J, Deepak KK. Knowledge on ethical authorship: A comparative study between medical and pharmacy faculty. J Young Pharm 2016;8:136-40.  Back to cited text no. 4
Wager E. Ethical publishing: The innocent author′s guide to avoiding misconduct. Menopause Int 2007;13:98-102.  Back to cited text no. 5
Graf C, Wager E, Bowman A, Fiack S, Scott-Lichter D, Robinson A. Best practice guidelines on publication ethics: A publisher′s perspective. Int J Clin Pract Suppl 2007;61 (Suppl. 152):1-26.  Back to cited text no. 6


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