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April 8, 1998

Standards for Scientific Behavior and Research Integrity

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(14):1067-1068. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-14-jac80003

To the Editor.—The article by Dr Korenman and colleagues1on research integrity provides a useful characterization of research as acts in 4 domains. While the authors sound optimistic that researchers and administrators agree on what research integrity is, based on somewhat similar malfeasance ratings, such ratings represent, at maximum for a particular act, 45.5% of the 606 scientists (Act 1-3) and 51.6% of the 91 administrators (Act 1-1) who responded. Even with 100% agreement that plagiarism (Act 2-1) is unethical, such agreement represents only 22.6% of scientists and 28.6% of administrators who responded. I am concerned about the effect of response bias and bothered by disparities over whether acts of unethical behavior should even be addressed.

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