Saturday, March 18, 2006

Publish or perish...

[...]Earlier this week, it was revealed that federally funded medical researchers have been caught plagiarizing, faking research, dumping data and otherwise operating outside ethics guidelines.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council discovered more than a dozen scientists across the country awarded more than $12 million in grants had cheated.
Young scientists face unprecedented pressure to produce "breakthrough" results early in their careers and even to guarantee results before conducting trials, Wexler said.

"If it was real fraudulent activity, it's surprising, boy, it's shocking," said Dr. P.J. Devereaux, a McMaster University professor and a cardiologist.

"For peer-reviewed grants, I would have thought that's a low likelihood," he added. "I do a lot of research with people from across the country and internationally and I do fundamentally believe the majority of researchers are extremely good people who are interested in finding advances for society."

It's not known whether more fraud is occurring in clinical research or whether it is just being unmasked more readily, said Dr. Margaret Somerville, founding director of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics and the Law at McGill University.
(Competition for grants can lead to risk-taking
By Sharon Boase
The Hamilton Spectator)

[Related comments: Networks and Peer Review]

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