Institutional structure to ensure research integrity

TitleInstitutional structure to ensure research integrity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsGunsalus, CK
JournalAcademic Medicine
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsClimate , Climate, , ethical , Institutional , Methods
AbstractThe single most important component in an institutional culture of research integrity is institutional leadership committed to ethical conduct. If the institution's leaders are committed to integrity in research and act on that commitment, the campus will follow that lead; conversely, if the perception develops that the leaders pay only lip service to ethical conduct, the campus will adopt the same attitude. An institution must pay attention to both prevention and education, and many are developing codes of conduct. Further, institutions must establish a misconduct review process that can render objective, fact-based decisions untainted by personal bias and conflicts of interest. In developing such a process, leaders must be aware of probable pitfalls, create an accessible structure, and provide for consistent assessment of allegations and complaints, focusing on facts, not personalities. Increased demands for accountability and a heightened public interest in ethical issues portend increasing pressures on institutions to monitor the conduct of their members. The institution that builds effective, credible structures for preventing and resolving ethical issues will be well equipped to cope with these external pressures. Ultimately, however, institutional structures for such monitoring accomplish far more than preserving institutional autonomy: they protect the principle of scholarly and scientific inquiry that is at the core of the institution's mission.
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