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Sharing responsibility for ethical research takes more than guidelines


Dan Brown's sequel to Da Vinci Code. A code for research conduct ... Australia Code Recommendations. Institutions to be more active in ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Sharing responsibility for ethical research takes more than guidelines

Sharing responsibility for ethical research takes
more than guidelines
  • Dr Giuliana Fuscaldo
  • Dr Sarah Russell

Research Matters
World firsts in research
  • Researcher jailed for falsified data
  • Researcher indicted on embezzlement charges for
    faking stem cell data
  • Researcher found guilty of fraud for fabricating
    patient data

Myths about research misconduct
  • Mavericks and rogues
  • Rare and surprising
  • Guidelines protect against misconduct

Research misconduct is there a problem?
  • Science 1987, no evidence
  • MJA 2006 tip of the iceberg
  • Nature 2007 rare serious

Incidence of Research Misconduct
  • 1.5 falsification or plagiarism.
  • 7.6 circumvented some requirements
  • 12.5 overlooked flawed data
  • 15.5 changed design, method or results

Martinson, Nature (June 2005)
Further incidences
  • Biostatisticians
  • 26 involved fraud and fabrication
  • 31 directly involved in projects with misconduct
  • 51 knew about fraud in medical research

Ranstam, Control Clinical Trials (2000)
More misconduct
  • 305 new medical consultants
  • 55.7 observed misconduct
  • 5.7 committed misconduct in the past
  • 18 would commit in future
  • 17 had research ethics training

Geggie, J Med Ethics (2001)
Some explanations
  • Heightened pressure to publish
  • Increased competition for research dollars
  • Lack of strong surveillance mechanisms
  • Limited infrastructure to support ethics codes
  • Absence of education and training

  • ?

I, the researcher, agree to observe the
principles in the National Statement on Ethical
Conduct in Research involving Humans published by
the National Health and Medical Research Council
(June 1999)
What is the Australian Code?
  • Australian soccer
  • A new Australian values test for immigrants
  • Dan Browns sequel to Da Vinci Code
  • A code for research conduct
  • Australias anti-terrorism defense code
  • Dialing code for overseas phone calls
  • Marketing code for prescription drugs

Education in research ethics
  • Ad hoc
  • Apprenticeship
  • Mentorship
  • Osmosis
  • Intuition

Australia Code Recommendations
  • Institutions to be more active in
  • providing research ethics education
  • handling allegations of research misconduct
  • Greater emphasis on institutional model of
    research governance
  • Appoint adviser on research integrity

Research Governance in practice
  • Risk management plan
  • Guidelines
  • Short courses in research practice
  • Research project audits
  • Research governance coordinator

We believe that these two draft documents herald
a new era in the governance of research.
Anderson, Cordner, Breen 2006
Without education and training, it is unfair to
expect current researchers to comply with the key
national guidelines
The extent to which responsibility for research
conduct is shared, or merely divested from one
group to another, will depend largely on how
research institutions respond to the guidelines.
Fuscaldo, Monash Bioethics Review, 2007