Substantial costs associated with scientific misconduct should prioritize prevention efforts
The estimated costs associated with a single investigation of scientific misconduct can be as high as US $525,000, and the costs of investigating the allegations of scientific misconduct annually reported in the United States to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), could exceed US$110 million, according to a paper from Arthur M. Michalek and colleagues from Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York, USA published in this week's PLoS Medicine. The authors devised a statistical model to estimate the costs associated with scientific misconduct — which they divided into three categories; conduct of the fraudulent research, investigation, and remediation — and then applied this model to one case study that was based on an actual investigation. The authors conservatively estimated that if their observed costing for this single investigation was applied to all 217 allegations of misconduct reported to the ORI in their last reporting year, the direct costs would exceed $110 million.
The authors argue that although scientific misconduct may never be eliminated, cases of misconduct more related to a lack of scientific standards (rather than to deliberate misdeeds) can be prevented but concede that how such prevention can be achieved has not yet been determined. They say, "Most academic institutions have… undertaken a number of efforts to increase awareness through education and training, setting forth and enforcing scientific codes of conduct, providing mentorship training, auditing and monitoring procedures, and implementing procedures for reporting and investigating alleged incidents of misconduct."
The authors conclude: "The ultimate effectiveness of these approaches may take time to discern. What is known, however, is that the costs of these proactive activities pale in comparison to the costs of a single case of scientific misconduct."
Source: Public Library of Science
- Misconduct, not error, accounts for most scientific paper retractionsMon, 1 Oct 2012, 16:38:09 EDT
- Economic cost of cancer mortality is high in US, regardless of how cost is measuredTue, 9 Dec 2008, 17:57:27 EST
- Revealed: 48-hour 'scramble' to discredit MMR concernsTue, 18 Jan 2011, 19:32:10 EST
- Projections of cancer care costs in the US: 2010-2020Wed, 12 Jan 2011, 16:52:44 EST
- Male doctors more likely to be disciplined for misconductSat, 30 Apr 2011, 22:31:03 EDT
- Substantial costs associated with scientific misconduct should prioritise prevention effortsfrom Science CentricWed, 18 Aug 2010, 4:21:32 EDT
- Substantial costs associated with scientific misconduct should prioritize prevention effortsfrom PhysorgTue, 17 Aug 2010, 17:07:25 EDT
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Learn more about
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
No popular news yet
No popular news yet
- Stem cell transplant restores memory, learning in mice
- 2 landmark studies report on success of using image-guided brachytherapy to treat cervical cancer
- Researchers discover mushrooms can provide as much vitamin D as supplements
- Cutting back on sleep harms blood vessel function and breathing control
- Study: Low-dose aspirin stymies proliferation of 2 breast cancer lines