UK debate on regulating research integrity
In the United States, the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), located in the federal Department of Health and Human Services, is the big dog in research integrity; it “oversees and directs Public Health Service (PHS) research integrity activities on behalf of the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the exception of the regulatory research integrity activities of the Food and Drug Administration” (from About ORI).
The United Kingdom has no such office, but no lack of research misconduct. A recent article in ScienceInsider describes a major meeting in which participants heard about “other countries’ experiences with their regulatory systems and the problems faced by universities” and informally voted “overwhelmingly” to reject “the idea of having a central government regulator of research integrity in the United Kingdom.”
The obvious question raised by this article and the debate it reports is whether the UK is going in the right direction. The less obvious question is whether the US has gone in the wrong direction.
This is article could be profitably used to spark discussion on the oversight of research in a class or a research group.
Source: Reardon, Sara. “U.K. Looks for Way Through Misconduct Maze.” ScienceInsider (January 13, 2012)