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Good practices

New stimuli for ethics in research

Daniel BuenoAn event that brought together Brazilian researchers to discuss ethics in science has released a document with recommendations for encouraging good practices in universities and research institutions in the country. The recommendations of the Second Brazilian Meeting on Research Integrity, Science and Publications Ethics (Brispe), held between May 28 and June 1 in Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, dealt with themes such as plagiarism and the need to invest in the linguistic competence of researchers.

One of the suggestions is that institutions publish guidelines and educational materials about scientific integrity and responsible conduct in their research methods on their official websites. It is also suggested that they adopt the use of reference documents for producing these texts. One of them is the Código de boas práticas científicas [Code of good scientific practices], released by FAPESP in September 2011, which is a set of ethical guidelines for the professional activity of researchers who receive grants and support from the Foundation.

Other suggested documents are the Declaration from Singapore on Integrity in Research, a global guide for the responsible conduct of research proposed by the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity and the Research Integrity Guidelines of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).

“The recommendations in this joint declaration were made by members of a working group from the second Brispe and discussed before, during and after the session on international policies for integrity in research,” explains Sonia Vasconcelos, one of the event coordinators. The document proposes that institutions include guidelines on scientific integrity in their strategies for promoting research excellence. It also suggests that efforts should be made to inform students, from elementary school to university, that plagiarism in essays, dissertations and theses is an academic breach of conduct and an illegal practice in Brazil.

Also included in the declaration is encouragement for students and teachers to take part in national and international meetings and/or courses on scientific integrity and responsible conduct, and the offer of opportunities for them to develop international linguistic competences for communicating science and their results. Finally, the document suggests activities that disseminate the role of ethics in scientific publications and publishes parameters for stating the authorship of articles in collaborative works.