Editorials

The need for a national body for research misconduct

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7146.1686 (Published 06 June 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1686

Nothing less will reassure the public

  1. Richard Smith, Editor
  1. BMJ

    News p 1695 Education and debate p 1726 Personal view p 1755

    The British medical research community is busy assembling its response to research misconduct. The question is no longer, “Do we have a problem?” but rather, “How can we best respond?” The BMJ has thus commissioned five answers to the question (p 1726),1 two from people outside Britain with extensive experience of research misconduct. One recurrent theme is that Britain needs a central body to lead on this difficult issue.

    The answers are published in a week when we have to retract yet another article because of probable fraud (p 1700).2 One of the authors of the retracted paper was recently struck off by the General Medical Council for research misconduct. 3 4 He had also lied about his qualifications. Cameron Bowie, his coauthor, then started from the inevitable assumption that all of the rest of his work was fraudulent until proved otherwise and found that he could not satisfy himself that his coauthor had completed the work he said he had. Bowie describes his miserable experience in a personal view and has retracted a paper that has …

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