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January 7, 1998

The Scientific Misconduct ProcessA Scientist's View From the Inside

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pa.

JAMA. 1998;279(1):62-64. doi:10.1001/jama.279.1.62

THE REVIEW PROCESS provided by the Research Integrity Adjudications Panel (RIAP) at the US Department of Health and Human Services Departmental Appeals Board (DAB) received a great deal of attention in the wake of the Imanishi-Kari decision issued in June 1996. As an active member of the research community, I have been interested in our ongoing attempts to address the problem of scientific misconduct, a problem that has demanded more attention as research has expanded and the competition for funding has affected every program. My perspective on this problem has been influenced by being the only scientist who has served on 2 RIAPs and worked with members of the DAB. The Imanishi-Kari case, in particular, demonstrated to me how important adversarial adjudication is for a fair and just outcome. Some critics attacked the RIAP process itself as unnecessary or lacking in expertise. I believe that the criticisms misperceive the essential role played by the RIAP in bringing finality to hotly contested cases through full, fair, and public hearings.