Fraud and Misconduct in Medical Research

David A. Kronick, PhD
JAMA. 1994;271(4):322-323. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510280090047.
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More so than many other forms of intellectual activity, scientific research is a cooperative effort in which scientists depend on their colleagues for accuracy and truthfulness in reporting their work. Violation of this trust, when it occurs, is treated with dismay and contempt when it is uncovered.

Although the frequency with which this kind of conduct occurs is not known, the high visibility of fraud in scientific reports in the last two decades has lessened public confidence in scientific research. It has also created an increased diligence on the part of the scientific community to deal with the problems involved. A bibliography with the title Misconduct and Fraud in the Life Sciences, covering the literature from January 1977 through 1987, compiled by Jacqueline van de Kamp and Martin M. Cummings (National Library of Medicine Literature Search No. 87-14) contains 450 citations. The interesting collection of essays on the same subject


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