Readings on research ethics and scientific integrity

Over the past few months, I have been delving into the literature on research ethics, scientific integrity, the responsible conduct of research, whatever your preferred term may be. The fact is that there isn't much clarity in the research on how research is conducted, prioritized, funded, disseminated, and evaluated. Much of my work in providing data services comes back to this notion of data integrity and the integrity of the scholarly record. While I am no philosophy of science or history of science expert, I find this discussion fascinating. The conversation about how politics and culture shape research is one that every undergraduate and graduate student doing research in higher education institutions should be exposed to.

The conversation "what is good science?" is nearly as old as science itself, but current threads of the conversation are expanding beyond the philosophy and history of science crowd. Researchers in many fields are seeing the effects of externals pressures in changing research practices, for good and bad. This body of literature provides helpful context as I read the many studies on data management and sharing practices of researchers across domains. Once I wrap up the book chapter that is dominating my writing and thinking time, I am excited to delve further into this topic.

Some of the most interesting things I've read are below (links are provided to open access copies where available).

  • Pimple, K. D. (2002). Six domains of research ethics. Science and engineering ethics, 8(2), 191-205. doi: 10.1007/s11948-002-0018-1
  • Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (U.S.). (1992). Responsible science: Ensuring the integrity of the research process. Volume I. Washington, D.C: National Academy Press. Free from the National Academies Press
  • Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy (Washington, DC). (2009). On being scientist: A guide to responsible conduct in research. Washington, D.C: The National Academies Press. Free from the National Academies Press
  • Fang, F. C., & Casadevall, A. (2015). Competitive science: is competition ruining science?. Infection and immunity, 83(4), 1229-1233. Free PMC article
  • Fischer, B. A., & Zigmond, M. J. (2010). The essential nature of sharing in science. Science and engineering ethics, 16(4), 783-799. doi: 10.1007/s11948-010-9239-x
  • Ioannidis, J. P. (2012). Why science is not necessarily self-correcting. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7(6), 645-654. doi: 10.1177/1745691612464056

Also, it's worth checking out more of John Ioannidis' work and the journal Science & Engineering Ethics. Happy reading!

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Updated Oct 13, 2015 by hcoates