As I mentioned earlier, ORI has ventured into the blogosphere, and a few recent posts caught my attention, such as the Meaning of RCR by John Galland, PhD, Director pf the Division of Education & Integrity. He concludes with a list of objectives for RCR training:
(a) Protect animal subjects, human participants, research personnel, and the environment
(b) Be honest and transparent, not deceptive (e.g., falsifying, fabricating, or plagiarizing data or deceitful attribution of authorship)
(c) Be fair by not introducing unwanted bias into research results, conclusions, or inferences (e.g., conflicts of interest and commitment, sloppiness)
(d) Be benevolent, not be malicious (e.g., thievery of ideas, unfair criticism during peer review for personal gain; exploitive of others)
(e) Be open to creativity and innovation
(f) Protect the public trust
I like (e) conceptually but cannot for the life of me imagine how typical RCR training would achieve this … hopefully not during lectures about falsification and fabrication.
Today I spotted a new post of personal interest on the Integration of RCR Education and Bioethics Education. Specifically, the question is posed,
What educational programs, what research environment can be fostered, at our institutions to help researchers with such decisions [e.g., fabricate data to secure grant funding needed to sustain research program & staff], or better yet, to help them never have to make such decisions?
Regular visitors will know that I monitor studies and analyses of procedural and distributive justice in the context of the research environment, such as the work of Brian Martinson, Melissa Anderson, et al.. Nice to see ORI giving a little thought to the research environment itself (and its administration) as a means for preventing misbehavior and worse. In discussing grant funding policy here at MWEG, some have suggested that institutions be required to pay the major portion of researcher salaries (hard money), and this would certainly be one way to foster a much more pleasant environment that would likewise be more conducive to the responsible conduct of research. If you have other suggestions, I am quite sure Dr. Galland would appreciate such comments on his blog.