Estimating the Economic Costs of a Finding of Research Misconduct in Faculty PI’s:  Case Studies f...
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Estimating the Economic Costs of a Finding of Research Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual Reports. Elizabeth Gammon, Ph.D , CPA; Luisa Franzini , PhD; Stephen Linder, PhD; Jacquelyn Slomka , PhD Fleming Center University of Texas-School of Public Health.

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Estimating the Economic Costs of a Finding of Research Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual Reports

Elizabeth Gammon, Ph.D, CPA; Luisa Franzini, PhD; Stephen Linder, PhD; Jacquelyn Slomka, PhD

Fleming Center

University of Texas-School of Public Health


Why look at economic costs of research misconduct
Why look at economic costs of research misconduct? Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual Reports

“ …institutional leaders may wish to ignore or minimize allegations of possible research misconduct to protect the revenue that the researcher generates; some may avoid investigations because they are costly in terms of time and money.”

Titus, et al. Repairing research integrity. Nature. 453(7198):980-2, 2008 Jun 19.


Study aims
Study Aims Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual Reports

  • Survey Research Integrity Officers (RIO) responsible for handling findings of research misconduct regarding cost issues;

  • Develop a model to estimate the economic costs of research misconduct in publicly funded medical research from the perspective of NIH; and

  • Use the model to estimate economic costs in known findings of research misconduct


Methods analytical framework transaction costs
Methods Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual ReportsAnalytical Framework: Transaction Costs

All economic costs 1

Production costs - Costs of

transforming inputs into outputs

or the direct production expenses.

Transaction costs - Costs of making

exchange or the indirect production

expenses.

Motivation costs – Costs of motivating

specialized agents to align their interests, e.g.:

Cost of cheating or opportunistic behavior,

Williamson [1975, 85].

Agency cost among owners, managers,

and debt holders,

Jensen and Meckling [1976].

Coordination costs – Costs of coordinating

actions between specialized agents, e.g.:

Cost of obtaining information, Stigler [1961].

Cost of coordinating input in production,

Alchian and Demsetz [1972].

Cost of measurement, Barzel [1982].

1http://www.encycogov.com/B11ResearchTraditions/TCE/Exhi_1DecomposeTC.asp


Methods sequential mixed methods study design
Methods Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual ReportsSequential Mixed Methods Study Design

Qualitativemethods

Quantitative methods


Methods data sources
Methods Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual ReportsData Sources

Sample Selection and Qualitative Methods

  • ORI Annual Reports, 2000-2005

    • Findings of Misconduct

  • Internet search

    • Institutional RIO


Methods data sources1
Methods Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual ReportsData Sources

Quantitative Methods

  • Wage rates: American Association of Medical College 2007 Report on Medical School Faculty Salaries

  • Time Inputs: 42 CFR Parts 50 and 93 Final Rule

  • NIH Awards: Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects (CRISP) and NIH Awards by State and Foreign Site


Results findings of faculty research misconduct 2000 2005
Results Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual ReportsFindings of Faculty Research Misconduct 2000-2005


Results
Results Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual Reports

  • Key informant interviews

    • Economic costs are not measured nor considered in research misconduct findings

    • Emphasis on proper completion of the inquiry and investigation within the mandated timeline


Results1
Results Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual Reports

RIO interviews

Research Misconduct Questionnaire Participation


Results2
Results Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual Reports

  • RIO experience in position

    • Range = (< 6 months, >20 years)

    • All had additional research administration related duties

  • All RIOs believed measuring economic costs was appropriate

  • No institutions in the study sample measured economic costs of research misconduct

  • Faculty time was the single most costly element


Results3
Results Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual Reports

Model - Economic cost components of research misconduct


Results4
Results Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual Reports

Model - Economic cost components of research misconduct


Results investigative costs
Results Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual ReportsInvestigative Costs

  • Key Assumptions for Investigative Costs

    • 100% RIO time = Estimated annual burden for ORI defined tasks + institutional tasks

    • RIO expends 50% of each day during an inquiry and investigation overseeing the investigation

    • RIO hourly wage rate is $119 for PhD and $144 for MD

    • Assumption for mixed faculty rank hourly wage rate is $144/hr.


Results5
Results Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual Reports

Receipt of allegation

Preliminary assessment

Conduct of inquiry and investigation

Institutional decision $102,115 - $141,090

ORI oversight review

PHS decision

Imposition of PHS administrative actions

$ 14,110 - $ 24,495


Results6
Results Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual Reports


Results7
Results Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual Reports


Results8
Results Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual Reports


Results9
Results Misconduct in Faculty PI’s: Case Studies from ORI Annual Reports



Results10
Results per Investigator


Results11
Results per Investigator


Results12
Results per Investigator

  • Calculated VEA (n=2)

  • RIO reported VEA (n=1)


Results13
Results per Investigator


Results14
Results per Investigator

  • RIO reported VEA – Radolf case

    • 60 month certification period

    • 2 full tenured professors

    • 4-8 hours per certification

    • 60 certifications

      • $74,880 VEA Cost


Results15
Results per Investigator


Results16
Results per Investigator

Calculated retraction costs

RIO reported retraction costs (Poehlman Case)


Results17
Results per Investigator

*RIO provided


Results18
Results per Investigator


Results19
Results per Investigator


Discussion
Discussion per Investigator

Economic costs of findings of research misconduct are measureable

Research misconduct cost drivers

Misaligned incentives

Downstream costs


Discussion1
Discussion per Investigator

Economic costs of findings of research misconduct are measureable


Discussion2
Discussion per Investigator

  • Research misconduct cost drivers


Discussion3
Discussion per Investigator

  • Misaligned incentives

    • Deterrence theory

      • Expenditures to deter misconduct determine probability of discovery

        • Misconduct detection costs have been unmeasured

        • Unfunded mandate

        • Unmeasured prevention costs

    • Punishment

      • Inconsistent, uncertain

      • Research institutions have responsibility for detection but bear little risk


Discussion4

Citation Maps Retracted Articles by Duan. per Investigator

.

Original

Mostfrequently

-

cited

Article A cites

Article

articles

Article B

Discussion

  • Downstream costs

    • Duan case

    • 13 publications acknowledge $ 7,314,689 total grant funding


Limitations
Limitations per Investigator

  • Study measures only one category of research misconduct

  • Research misconduct unmeasured if

    • Undetected

    • Unreported


Limitations1
Limitations per Investigator

  • No processes in place to document, estimate or measure costs associated with research misconduct

    • Economic cost model relies heavily on assumptions

  • Cost categories not considered

    • Value of a ruined career

    • Findings of misconduct attributable to non faculty

    • Responsible Conduct of Research program costs

    • Impact of flawed evidence base on public health


Questions
Questions per Investigator


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