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Misconduct policies, academic culture and career stage affect scientific integrity

A study was published in PLOS ONE this month to examine whether risk factors for scientific misconduct could predict the occurrence of retractions (which are usually the consequence of research misconduct) or corrections (which are honest rectifications of minor mistakes).

The authors found that scientific misconduct is more likely in countries that lack research integrity policies, in countries where individual publication performance is rewarded with cash, in cultures and situations were mutual criticism is hampered, and in the earliest phases of a researcher’s career.

The paper concluded that: “bolstering training and mentoring of young researchers might best protect the integrity of future science.”.

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