Science is predicated on trust. Without confidence in the integrity of their peers, scientists would be unable to trust one another’s work. Scientific research demands ethical and responsible conduct, they are necessary to the whole of science. Researchers benefit from a culture of integrity and constructive mutual relationships. In an environment where they can trust the work of their colleagues, fruitful cooperation and creativity will be promoted.
Research misconduct is harmful for knowledge. It could mislead other researchers, it may threaten individuals or society – for instance if it becomes the basis for unsafe drugs or unwise legislation – and, by subverting the public’s trust, it could lead to a disregard for or undesirable restrictions being imposed on research.
We recognize two different kinds of research misconduct: deliberate dishonesty and negligence. Both deliberate dishonesty and negligence are harmful to science, but they differ in their workings.