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Ethical issues of concern in the USDA-ARS (Chapter 3)

Sojka, R.E. and Moon, H.W. (1992) Ethical issues of concern in the USDA-ARS (Chapter 3). pp. 25-33. In: Kral, David M. (ed.) Proc. Symp. ASA Annual Meeting. Research Ethics, Manuscript Review and Journal Quality. USA-TX-San Antonio, 1990/10/23. ASA, Madison, WI.

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Widely publicized occurrences and allegations of fraud and
plagiarism in scientific publications have eroded public confidence
in the integrity of scientists. They have caused scientists
to question the wisdom of our traditional reliance on the honor
system and the self-correcting nature of the process. Concerns
about such misconduct have also raised questions about the ethical
climate in our scientific institutions and how to improve it.
One important way institutions establish and maintain their ethical
climate is through their publication policies. Although allegations
or instances of scientific misconduct in the Agricultural
Research Service (ARS) have been few, it is currently reviewing
its ethical climate and procedures for dealing with scientific
misconduct, reflecting science and society's general concern.
In ARS, classification (rank, promotion, and demotion) and
annual performance appraisals of research scientists are based
largely on accomplishments documented in scientific publications.
There is a pervasive trend among scientists both within
and outside ARS toward summarizing achievement in terms of
numbers of papers published. It is easier to count publications
than to objectively assess their quality and impact. Procedures
used to assess quality and impact of publications rely heavily
on formal peer review of publications during the classification
process. Therefore, continued reinforcement is required to keep
the focus on quality and impact during review. Manuscripts
reporting original research are also peer reviewed within ARS
before they are approved by ARS for submission to journals.
The ARS is developing a Code of Scientific Ethics to emphasize
ethical responsibilities and aspirations relevant to its activities.
Procedures for dealing with allegations and instances
of data falsification and plagiarism are under review and an
ARS directive formally defining the procedures is being developed.
It is anticipated that both the code of ethics and the directive
for dealing with misconduct in science will be officially
adopted by ARS in 1992.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
NWISRL Publication Number: 0766
Additional Information: ACS Misc. Publ.
Subjects: Mass Import - unclassified
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:55
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2016 16:53
Item ID: 871