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Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry Official publication of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 171-172

Scientific delinquencies

Principal, School of Dental Sciences, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (DU), Karad, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication9-Jul-2015

Correspondence Address:
Dr. N D Shashikiran
Principal, School of Dental Sciences, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (DU), Karad, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-4388.160341

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How to cite this article:
Shashikiran N D. Scientific delinquencies. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2015;33:171-2

How to cite this URL:
Shashikiran N D. Scientific delinquencies. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Aug 17];33:171-2. Available from: http://www.jisppd.com/text.asp?2015/33/3/171/160341

Scientific misconduct can be variably defined as an intention or gross negligence, leading to fabrication of the scientific message or a false credit or emphasis given to a scientist or intentional distortion of the research process by fabrication of data, texts, hypotheses, or methods from another researcher's manuscript form or publication or distortion of the research process in other ways.

What motivates researchers to commit misconduct needs to be evaluated. It could be career pressure or the drive to maintain a good reputation on the one hand, whereas the ease of fabrication of scientific data on the other hand cannot also be overlooked. Falsification of the data comprises fabrication, deceptive findings being reported, omitting conflicting data as per convenience, etc. Plagiarism encompasses seeking and projecting others' ideas or thoughts and also the language as one's original work without giving credit to the source. Misconduct would also be to inappropriately acknowledge a few authors and exclude others and modify, manipulate, and depict the same data as the original in more than one publication including the names of friends and relatives as authors who have actually not contributed at all, and submitting multiauthored publication oneself without the agreement of all the other deserving authors.

It is a healthy practice to exchange ideas among researchers while reviewing various manuscripts to improve the quality of the work. But misusing others' work in totality to write one's own manuscript constitutes fraud. The regulations laid down by the apex bodies of research work publications should be strictly adhered to, failing which may bring about manipulation of experimental data, biases, statistical manipulations, incorrect reporting of results, etc., thereby leading to a decline in the quality of work. There is an established norm for the usage of material(s) in research work. But usually the technicalities are overlooked and there is a violation in the usage of funds, animal care, human samples, drugs to be investigated, newer devices, or other biological or chemical material. The responsibility to report and claim misconduct is also imperative on one's part. A suspected misconduct or any information pertaining to it should be reported to the authorities timely to bring about the required action. However, false accusations of misconduct as a result of retaliation against a person(s) involved should also not be fabricated. Fellow researchers need to assure the absence of misconduct as it would make cooperation and progress in the field impossible.

Fraud can be brought about in various stages of the research. While planning the research, one has to bear in mind that the study is scientifically driven and not on personal interests. Fabrication of the pilot data to ease the funding procedure is another ill-defined means. Selectively presenting the data for fund approval and consciously concealing a part that can raise controversies or nonapproval of funds are other such ill-defined means. Formulating fictitious data, failing to finally adhere to the inclusion and exclusion criteria as laid down initially, not maintaining a code of privacy for the patients involved in the study, managing the data to produce better results, omitting the unwanted or contradictory data, etc. may all be inclusive of misconduct.

In the present scenario, the key question would be how to control scientific misconduct. Any research requires honesty on a personal level in the manner in which one presents the aim and objective of the endeavor. Schuyt states it simply as "Do not lie, do not steal." The data must be reliable, fair, and self-sufficient so that originality and specificity can be proved. The researcher per se should be independent in thought and unbiased toward the study outcome. Institutions must be sure that the researches that are conducted under their brand name are authentic and original. This can be streamlined by strict processing while granting funds and aids to the researchers.

Scientific misconduct in biomedical research may directly affect the patients and society as they trust the methods and follow the researchers expecting to get good results.

Finally, for the individual researcher, the risks involved in committing a fraud are enormous. A short-term malpractice may fetch a publication very soon but in the long run, the consequence can be disastrous to one's image.

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There are no conflicts of interest.


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