Errors arising from human fallibility occur in science. Scientists do not have limitless working time or access to unlimited resources. Honest mistakes can happen. Negligence however, does not fall in that category. When we talk about negligence, we refer to a person being sloppy. Haste, carelessness, inattention – any number of faults can lead to work that does not meet the standards demanded in science. When a scientist is negligent, he or she is not following the methodological rules of science.
While both deliberate dishonesty and negligence are harmful to science, but the consequences will be different. Negligence can often be repaired; fraud is un-repairable.
- For a more in depth view, take a look at the discussion over at Resources for Research Ethics Education.