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Good practices

Broader guidelines

Some time before July 2015, the US National Academies, which comprise several institutions representative of the scientific community in the United States, plan to release a new set of recommendations for fostering research integrity. The document, which has taken two years to draft, will update guidelines in effect since 1992. One of the new topics to be addressed is access to the research data underpinning scientific articles and the development of software to facilitate this data sharing.

According to the journal Chemistry World, the panel responsible for the review is expected to expand the definition of misconduct to take into account the responsibilities not just of scientists but also of funding agencies, research institutions, and journals. It is a mistake to think that “if we could just get rid of bad individuals, we would solve this problem,” says Paul Root Wolpe, an expert in bioethics at Emory University and panel member. Evidence that cases of misconduct have been underestimated led to the new discussion of these guidelines.