Estimating the prevalence of researcher misconduct: a study of UK academics within biological sciences

Roberts, David L. and St. John, Freya A.V. (2014) Estimating the prevalence of researcher misconduct: a study of UK academics within biological sciences. PeerJ, 2 . pp. 1-7. ISSN 2167-8359. (doi:https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.562) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.562

Abstract

Misconduct in academic research is undoubtedly increasing, but studies estimating the prevalence of such behaviour suffer from biases inherent in researching sensitive topics. We compared the unmatched-count technique (UCT) and the crosswise-model (CM), two methods specifically designed to increase honest reporting to sensitive questions, with direct questioning (DQ) for five types of misconduct in the biological sciences. UCT performed better than CM and either outperformed or produced similar estimates to DQ depending on the question. Estimates of academic misconduct increased with decreasing seriousness of the behaviour, from c. 0% for data fabrication to >68% for inappropriate co-authorship. Results show that research into even minor issues of misconduct, is sensitive, suggesting that future studies should consider using specialised questioning techniques as they are more likely to yield accurate figures.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LF Individual institutions (Europe)
Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH541 Ecology
Q Science > QK Botany
Q Science > QL Zoology
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: David Roberts
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2014 12:46 UTC
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2015 16:25 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/42997 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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