More education, advice and transparency needed to improve integrity.
As cases of questionable conduct among scientists stack up around the globe, a report commissioned by the Canadian government calls for a rethink of the country’s research system to boost honesty and curb misconduct.
The recommendations, if implemented, would relax privacy laws that hamper the identification of individuals and institutions found guilty of research misconduct, and create an independent council to promote best practices and prevent research misconduct.
The Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) — a not-for-profit corporation based in Ottawa that independently assesses science relevant to public issues — released the report1 today. “We look reasonably good compared to other countries in the world, but it is the committee’s conclusion that we have to do better,” says Paul Davenport, chairman of the panel responsible for the report and former president of the University of Western Ontario in London.
In the current system, researchers aren’t assured of equal treatment from one university to the next when accused of misconduct, says James Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers in Ottawa. “It is a dog’s breakfast. It is not a suitable way to deal with such an important issue, and it doesn’t instil confidence into the public, which is vital,” he says.
Keep reading over at Nature News.