View Full Version : Accountability in Research

Herman J. Woltring
03-20-1990, 03:29 AM
Dear Biomch-l readers,

The following item was published in the March 1990 issue of the American
Journal of Public Health, and kindly redistributed some days ago via the
Discussion List of Fraud in Science by a list reader
at the Health Science Center in Syracuse, NY USA.

Even though virtually all Biomechanicians and Movement Scientists are quite
honest in their published work (they may occasionally include an item for
deeper thought), I think that it might be useful to redistribute this item
also on Biomch-L. After all, we are all human, and thus sensitive to the
temptations caused by external and/or subjective pressures: for example,
"Publish or Perish" should not result in sloppy papers or in publications
meeting the LPU (`Least Publishable Unit') guidelines where the largest
possible number of papers is squeezed out of a single piece of research.

Herman J. Woltring, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.


A new quarterly journal, entitled Accountability in Research;
Policies and Quality Assurance, was launched in September 1989
to serve as a forum for critical examination of issues
involving the integrity of scientific data. The papers
appearing in the first issue are based, in part, on
presentations from the First International Conference on
Scientific Data Audit, Policies, and Quality Assurance held
May 8-10, 1988 at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Adil E. Shamoo, University of Maryland School of Medicine,
has been named Editor-in-Chief of the new journal.

According to "A Note from the Editor" in the inaugural issue,
"Researchers today perceive a growing problem of error and
fraud in the vast research and development enterprise. The
growing complexity of research, the increased distance between
those who gather, manipulate, and evaluate data, and the
mounting financial and professional pressures on researchers
all contribute to this problem. In recent years, the need for
a broad-based consensus on ways of ensuring the integrity of
scientific data has become increasingly clear," Shamoo wrote.

The journal will speak to a broad, interdisciplinary range of
scientists and administrators in academia, industry, and
government. "While relevant to many disciplines," he said,
"it will focus in particular on biotechnology, chemistry,
medicine, pharmacology, toxicology, pathology, and
environmental science. Topics to be addressed include:
historical perspectives on data integrity; auditing data as
a management tool; research policies and their impact on
science and the public; ethical and legal issues; relevant
data analysis methods and technology; and legislative and
regulatory aspects.

The journal welcomes divergent views on these and related
topics from research scientists as well as those in the fields
of accounting, law, economics, statistics, management studies,
public policy, and information science.