Responsible Conduct of Research
As researchers, scholars, educators and mentors there is a shared responsibility to ensure the research programs in the College adhere to the highest standards for ethical conduct of research and work is performed with the highest degree of rigor. It is critical that all individuals involved in any aspect of research never deviate in the slightest way from best practices for design, implementation, interpretation and documentation of their science. The establishment of this website and inclusion of the resources presented herein reflect the recognition by College leadership that our community is well informed about their roles and obligations for Responsible Conduct Research (RCR).
- The federal Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has developed an excellent document that covers the topic of responsible conduct of research: Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research.
- Another publication used by scientists and educators for many years: On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research (Also available from Amazon and other book sellers.)
Authorship and Peer Review: Who is an author?
The International Committee of Medical Journals Editors (ICMJE) recommends that authorship be based on the following four criteria:
- Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
- Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
- Final approval of the version to be published; AND
- Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
Recommended reading on authorship can be found in the The American Journal of Physiology: Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 295:C567-C575, 2008
- Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification and plagiarism, and does not include honest error or differences of opinion, under Public Health Service (PHS) Policies. For detailed information, case studies and other resources, we recommend the Office of Research Integrity web site.
- The University of Florida has defined protocols if you encounter a potential case of Research Misconduct
- Many feel the PHS and ORI definition of research misconduct may be too narrow, but this definition is used by UF, NIH and Federal agencies. Still, there are practices that may not rise to the level of research misconduct; although, they may be considered professional or academic misconduct. For another perspective, see: A Review of the Types of Scientific Misconduct in Biomedical Research: J Acad Ethics (2008) 6:211–228
Conflicts of Interest
- Conflicts of Interest are broadly defined by Wikipedia: A conflict of interest (COI) is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests, financial interest, or otherwise, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation of the individual or organization. UF has rigorous regulations related to conflicts of interest for our research, academic and service missions.
According to the NIH online training course Introduction to Responsible Conduct in Research, scientific data may be divided into three categories:
- Experimental protocol
- Primary data
- Procedures of reduction and analysis
Maintaining proper records is an essential component of data management. See the following useful resource related to maintaining a lab notebook:
- NIH Intramural Training: Keeping a Lab Notebook
- NIH, other federal agencies and UF also have elaborate regulations related to Data Sharing, Ownership.
Human Research Protections
- Determining the type of clinical research being proposed or conducted can be complex. The NIH website provides a detailed definition and categorization for clinical studies with human subjects.
Lab Animal Welfare
- The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) provides guidance and interpretation of the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, supports educational programs, and monitors compliance with the policy by assured institutions and PHS funding components, ensuring the humane care and use of animals in PHS-supported research, testing and training; thereby, contributing to the quality of PHS-supported activities.
- NIH Training: Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research.
- NIH Training: Protecting Human Research Participants
- Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI): RCR online course
- UF course: GMS 7003: Responsible Conduct of Biomedical Research