Steen, R. Grant. 2010. "Retractions in the scientific literature: is the incidence of research fraud increasing?" Journal of Medical Ethics; Dec. 24 (online).
Scientific papers are retracted for many reasons including fraud (data fabrication or falsification) or error (plagiarism, scientific mistake, ethical problems). Growing attention to fraud in the lay press suggests that the incidence of fraud is increasing.
Parrish, DM. 2004. "Scientific misconduct and findings against graduate and medical students." Science and Engineering Ethics; July, 10(3): 483-91.
Allegations of scientific misconduct against graduate students appear to have unique attributes in the detection, investigation, processes used and sanctions imposed vis-à-vis other populations against which misconduct is alleged and found. An examination of the cases closed by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Research Integrity and the National Science Foundation reveals that most of the allegations made against graduate and medical students are for falsification and fabrication. Further, additional processes are used in these cases, e.g., student judicial processes, more students are “set up” and more students admit misconduct. Finally, the sanctions imposed when a finding is made typically involve separation from the institution and the federal sanction ranges from none to debarment. Drawing upon the teachings and circumstances of cases involving graduate student peers is a good vehicle for illustrating the concepts and perils of misconduct to graduate students.
Davis, Mark S.; Riske-Morris, Michelle; Diaz, Sebastian R. 2007. "Causal Factors Implicated in Research Misconduct: Evidence from ORI Case Files." Science and Engineering Ethics; 13(4): 395-414.
There has been relatively little empirical research into the causes of research misconduct. To begin to address this void, the authors collected data from closed case files of the Office of Research Integrity (ORI). These data were in the form of statements extracted from ORI file documents including transcripts, investigative reports, witness statements, and correspondence. Researchers assigned these statements to 44 different concepts. These concepts were then analyzed using multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis. The authors chose a solution consisting of seven clusters: (1) personal and professional stressors, (2) organizational climate, (3) job insecurities, (4) rationalizations A, (5) personal inhibitions, (6) rationalizations B and, (7) personality factors. The authors discuss the implications of their findings for policy and for future research.
Goodstien, David. 2002. "Conduct and Misconduct in Science." California Institute of Technology. Faculty Selected Writings (on-line).
Excerpt: Let me begin by stating right up front a few of the things I have come to believe. Outright fraud in science is a special kind of transgression, different from civil fraud. When it does occur, it is almost always found in the biomedical sciences, never in fields like physics or astronomy or geology, although other kinds of misconduct do occur in these other fields. Science is self-correcting, in the sense that a falsehood, injected into the body of scientific knowledge will eventually be discovered and rejected, but that does not protect us against fraud, because injecting falsehoods into the body of science is never the purpose of those who perpetuate fraud. That's why science needs active measures to protect itself. Unfortunately, the government has so far made a mess of trying to do that job. Part of the reason government agencies have performed so poorly in this arena is because they have mistakenly tried to obscure the important distinction between real fraud and lesser forms of scientific misconduct. I also believe that fraud and other forms of serious misconduct have been and still are quite rare in science, but there are reasons to fear that they may become less rare in the future. Finally, I believe we scientists are responsible for complicity in presenting to the public a false image of how science works, that can sometimes make normal behavior by scientists appear to be guilty. Let me try to explain what I mean by all of this.
Murray, Bridget. 2002. "Research fraud needn't happen at all." Monitor. February, 33(2): on-line.
Experts say it is the shared responsibility of institutions, funding agencies, journal editors and principal investigators to prevent research fraud. Here's how.
Brumfiel, Geoff. 2007. "Misconduct? It's all academic..." Nature; 18 January, 445: 240-241.
The legal quagmire, strain and bad press of misconduct investigations leave many universities tempted to ignore misconduct allegations. But getting an investigation right can reduce the pain and boost an institution's reputation.
"Leading by Example." Nature; (editorial), 18 January, 445: 229
Excerpt: There is broad agreement within the community on two main points regarding outright scientific fraud: it is rare, and it is serious. This unanimity frays at the marginal territory lying just beyond falsification and fabrication of data, however, where 'misconduct' may involve hogging the limelight for one paper too many, or tardy record-keeping at the laboratory bench. But even here, there is a reasonable consensus that scientists in every nation and every discipline will do the best for both themselves and their work by keeping all forms of substandard conduct to a minimum.