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Table of Contents   
EDITORIAL  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 117
Scientific misconducts: Debunking myths


Executive Editor, Indian Journal of Dental Research, Director and Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon, Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital, Teynampet, Chennai - 600 018, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication22-Jun-2015
 

How to cite this article:
Balaji S M. Scientific misconducts: Debunking myths. Indian J Dent Res 2015;26:117

How to cite this URL:
Balaji S M. Scientific misconducts: Debunking myths. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Feb 17];26:117. Available from: http://www.ijdr.in/text.asp?2015/26/2/117/159130
Of late, the issue of redundant publication is on the raise. Contrary to the popular belief that those who are under pressure to publish indulge in misconduct, recent research have shown that such belief are false. [1]

In a report about a published paper, in which authors performed a retrospective analysis of all retractions and corrections identifying the risk factors that could have led to misconduct, [1] their results debunked certain myths. Though there were certain possible counterviews missed in the manuscript, [2] their effort gives a robust outline what goes awry in the process. If the recent findings were true, then probably misconduct is not due to the pressure to publish by the system, rather it is from other sources.

Quite recently, we too did encounter a manuscript which bore an uncanny resemblance to a previously published work by the same group. On comparing, the tables in the new submission were combined, five new references added while retaining the same sample size, concept, and even results in the same fashion. Luckily, at the last minute this was spotted, and authors were asked for an explanation, which was not received to date. This episode stands as a testimony to the recent publication. Though the authors were from different centers, had previous publications and hence assuming that they are not under undue stress to get published in a redundant fashion. The timeline of submission and approval of corresponding authors at every stage indicates that they are well aware of the sequence and willful party to the events.

This event raises concern-willful involvement in scientific misconduct; lack of research integrity and scientific bonhomie. Furthermore, the need to inculcate the value of such integrity in the basic curriculum, giving a legal angle to the issue is certain ways in which the "Medusa Head" of scientific misconduct could be curbed.

It is my sincere request that in spite of the grey areas of legality and ethics in publication, dental authors, particularly those in responsible positions as well as those aspiring for the same should not indulge as they would be followed by their juniors. They should function with the huge responsibility of transferring the true knowledge to the next generation of dentist-scientists.

 
   References Top

1.
Oransky I. Pressure to Publish Not to Blame for Misconduct, Says New Study. Available from: http://www.retractionwatch.com/2015/06/10/pressure-to-publish-not-to-blame-for-misconduct-says-new-study/. [Last accessed on 2015 Jun 11].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Tijdink JK, Verbeke R, Smulders YM. Publication pressure and scientific misconduct in medical scientists. J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics 2014;9:64-71.  Back to cited text no. 2
    

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Correspondence Address:
S M Balaji
Executive Editor, Indian Journal of Dental Research, Director and Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon, Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital, Teynampet, Chennai - 600 018, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.159130

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