Code of Ethics (1998)


American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


ASBMB - Codes of Ethics

Date Approved: 

January 1998

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Code of Ethics

The Council of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has approved a Code of Ethics for the Society that had been developed during 1997 by the Society's Public Affairs Advisory Committee, chaired by Dr. Howard K. Schachman, University of California at Berkeley. The initial draft was prepared by committee member Dr. Frederick Grinnell, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. The Committee approved the Code in December 1997, with Council approval following in January 1998. The code appears in its entirety below.

Members of the ASBMB are engaged in the quest for knowledge in biochemical and molecular biological sciences with the ultimate goal of advancing human welfare. Underlying this quest is the fundamental principle of trust. The ASBMB encourages its members to engage in the responsible practice of research required for such trust by fulfilling the following obligations.


  • investigators will promote and follow practices that enhance the public interest or well-being;
  • investigators will use funds appropriately in the pursuit of their research;
  • investigators will follow government and institutional requirements regulating research such as those ensuring the welfare of human subjects, the comfort and humane treatment of animal subjects and the protection of the environment;
  • investigators will report research findings resulting from public funding in a full, open, and timely fashion to the scientific community; and
  • investigators will share unique propagative materials developed through publicly-funded research with other scientists in a reasonable fashion.

In fulfilling OBLIGATIONS TO OTHER investigators, it is EXPECTED that:

  • investigators will have actually carried out experiments as reported; 
  • investigators will represent their best understanding of their work in their descriptions and analyses of it;
  • investigators will accurately describe methods used in experiments;
  • investigators will not report the work of others as if it were their own;
  • investigators in their publications will adequately summarize previous relevant work;
  • investigators acting as reviewers will treat submitted manuscripts and grant applications confidentially and avoid inappropriate use; and
  • investigators will disclose financial and other interests that might present a conflict-of-interest in their various activities such as reporting research results, serving as reviewers, and mentoring students.


  • investigators serving as mentors will provide training and experience to advance the trainees' scientific skills and knowledge of ethical research practices; Investigators will provide appropriate help in advancing the careers of the trainees; 
  • investigators will recognize research contributions of the trainees appropriately;
  • investigators will encourage and support the publication of results of trainees' research in a timely fashion without undisclosed limitations; and
  • investigators will create and maintain a working environment that encourages cultural diversity.


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