The Responsible Conduct of Research in the Health Sciences


In 1985, the President of the Institute of Medicine requested his Board on Health Science Policy to advise him on a program that would respond to the occurrence of misconduct in biomedical research.

This report summarized the findings and recommendations of the committee following a year of discussion and analysis. The recommendations are based in  part on ideas and proposals presented at a workshop on September 6-8, 1988, in Washington, D.C. The committee also commissioned two background papers and conducted, as part of the project, a limited review of selected government reports and research literature on scientific misconduct, research quality, professional ethics, and deviance in science. The background papers included a review of the federal regulations establishing good laboratory practices, prepared by Sheila Jasanoff at Cornell university, and an analysis of scientific authorship and publication practices, prepared by Edward Huth, editor of the Annuals of internal Medicine. The committee’s findings and recommendations address the initial steps that should be taken to improve the responsible conduct of health sciences research in the American university system. The committee believes, however, that these insights and proposals also will have value for other fields of research and other institutional settings.

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