Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Don't crack under the pressure!!!

The feds regularly release reports of findings of research misconduct. Obviously, this is in an effort not only to spread awareness of retractions of publications, but also to shame those who fabricate data in front of those peers. Hopefully, making findings of misconduct public helps to deter some researchers from falsifying data or plagiarizing others' work. This recent notice, however, was particularly shocking. Most of the disciplinary actions I have read about usually involve a trainee or other junior researcher. This case actually involved someone who was a department chair and had held several grants. Moral of the story: even at the highest levels, the pressure to succeed and bring in funding can get to anyone. Keep yourself in check. If you are unsure whether you are getting off the correct path, take an ethics course to remind yourself of the true intent of your work.

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