Posted by: Criminalise Misconduct | 05/11/2012 | 03:16 pm
If the experience of a colleague of mine is any indication, getting anyone to take research misconduct seriously is an impossibility. When University investigation, Parliamentary Ombudsman & National Academy of Medicine ignore the provision by the authors of 3 false references as justification for a protocol that doubled the Ethics Committee approved dosage of a study drug & the published paper contains text that bears no resemblance to the graphs provided, one has reason to worry. But when the Editor in Chief of the Cochrane Collaboration not only ignores the misconduct but tells the complainant that the discussion is over & the Editor of The Lancet posts derogatory Tweets about both the complainant & the British Press Council that investigated The Lancet’s refusal to make good on a promised right of reply, then we should realise that we are in the midst of a serious crisis that threatens to destroy public trust in Medical Science. The answer to Research Misconduct? Treat it as we do fraud & treat lying to investigating authorities as perjury, complete with the appropriate Criminal penalties. Anything less is akin to shifting the deck-chairs on the Titanic!