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MUSC College of Graduate Studies Postdoctoral Retreat on the Responsible Conduct of Research

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MUSC College of Graduate Studies Postdoctoral Retreat on the Responsible Conduct of Research “Misconduct & Whistleblower Protection” Ed Krug CRI607 792-1543 [email protected] 12/11/09.

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MUSC College of Graduate Studies

Postdoctoral Retreat on the Responsible Conduct of Research

“Misconduct & Whistleblower Protection”

Ed Krug

CRI607

792-1543

[email protected]

12/11/09

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“An experiment is a question which science poses to Nature, and a measurement is the recording of Nature’s answer.”

Max Planck

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According to the US HHS Office of Research Integrity …

“Misconduct or Misconduct in Science means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.”

http://ori.hhs.gov/

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PI

lab

mates

department

institution

community of science

public/society

Individual Integrity

Most cases of scientific misconduct arise from a transitory lapse in judgment out of expediency or when alternatives seem unavailable to achieve the necessary end.

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Someone with integrity is:
  • Trustworthy
  • Honest
  • Accountable
  • Moral consciousness
    • commitment to common good
    • intelligent & defensible actions
    • respect for others
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Scientific fraud is more often found when … “the perpetrators were working in a field where individual experiments are not expected to be precisely reproducible.”

D. Goodstein

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Why types of misconduct are reported?

A. Gawrylewski (2009) The Scientist 23:67.

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Who commits scientific misconduct?

A. Gawrylewski (2009) The Scientist 23:67.

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Actual incidence of Misconduct (FFP)

is rather low – about 20 findings per year nationally – but occurrence of at least one “questionable” practices quite high – about 25% of investigators

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Questionable Research Practices

Martinson et al. (2005). Nature 435:737-738.

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What do I do if I suspect misconduct?

A. Gawrylewski (2009) The Scientist 23:67.

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Principles of ORI Whistleblower’s Bill of Rights

1) whistleblowers are free to disclose lawfully whatever information supports a reasonable belief of research misconduct as it is defined by PHS policy,

2) institutions have a duty not to tolerate or engage in retaliation against good-faith whistleblowers,

3) institutions have a duty to provide fair and objective procedures for examining and resolving complaints, disputes and allegations of research misconduct,

4) institutions have a duty to follow procedures that are not tainted by partiality arising from personal or institutional conflict of interest or other sources of bias,

5) institutions have a duty to elicit and evaluate fully and objectively information about concerns raised by whistleblower,

6) institutions have a duty to handle cases involving alleged research misconduct as expeditiously as possible without compromising responsible resolutions, and

7) at the conclusion of proceedings, institutions have a responsibility to credit promptly, in public or private as appropriate, those whose allegations are substantiated.

MUSC Compliance Hotline 800-296-0269

http://ori.hhs.gov/misconduct/Guidelines_Whistleblower.shtml

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“How to Succeed in Science”
  • Work hard
  • Work efficiently
  • Have a plan A and plan B - with full understanding of good and bad of each
  • Adopt a life-long learner’s attitude
    • Discuss science (all aspects) with peers
    • Write “intellectually” 15-30 minutes each day
    • Read the literature 15-30 minutes each day
    • Ask questions
  • Seek a healthy balance between professional and personal life
  • Establish an effective mentoring network
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Take home messages:
  • Knowledge of key regulations
  • Seek to understand the reasons for those regulations
  • Awareness of conflicts
  • Tools for approaching conflicts – moral reasoning skills
  • Develop supplemental activities that allow you to maintain your enthusiasm for science
  • Use stress to go forward - avoid distress
  • Don’t be your own worst enemy!

http://ori.dhhs.gov/education/

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If problems arise…

FIRST: “May I speak with you confidentially?”

LAST: “Thank you for letting me speak with you confidentially.”

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