- News Home
17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
Fraud Charges Haunt the Accused
11 October 1996 8:00 pm
A survey of biomedical researchers who had been accused of misconduct--and later cleared--found that almost 40% believe their careers had been harmed.
The survey queried 54 of 108 people whose cases were closed by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), an investigative arm of the Department of Health and Human Services. The study, conducted for ORI by the Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina, found that three out of five researchers reported one or more negative consequences--such as delays in getting papers published and being shunned by colleagues--stemming from a misconduct probe. In addition, 17% reported a severe outcome such as losing a job, or failing to receive a promotion or raise. Most blamed the career fallout on institutional officials and whistle-blowers. Cases in the public eye more often resulted in damage; nearly always, the fallout began in the midst of an investigation. This finding, the report says, suggests that institutions must do more to prevent leaks to the press and to conduct speedy investigations.
The consequences usually weren't so devastating as to force accused scientists to leave science. About 94% of the exonerated scientists were still doing research, and 71% were still at the institution where the investigation was conducted. Nevertheless, the report concludes, institutions should do a better job of restoring exonerated researchers' reputations. But that isn't so easy, says ORI's Lawrence Rhoades. "There is a real question as to how to restore a reputation," he says.