Intended for healthcare professionals


Dealing with scientific misconduct

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 13 September 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:524
  1. Xavier Bosch, consultant internist
  1. Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Clínic, 08036-Barcelona, Spain
  1. xavbosch{at}

    Europe needs policies for good scientific practice and for investigating misconduct allegations

    International awareness of scientific misconduct is low.1 Codes of good practice and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct involving research throughout Europe are either underdeveloped or non-existent.

    To help resolve this problem, the first world conference on research integrity will take place in Lisbon on 16-19 September 2007 ( It was organised by the US Office of Research Integrity and the European Science Foundation—an association of 78 scientific research organisations in 36 European countries. The event is an opportunity to discuss the harmonisation of policies on scientific misconduct at European and international level.

    Unlike in the United States, where the Office of Research Integrity oversees allegations of scientific misconduct involving research supported by US Public Health Service funds, oversight of research in Europe is fragmented and varies widely between countries. With the exception of Scandinavia and—to a lesser degree, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom—little or no regulation exists to govern scientific misconduct. Regrettably, the European Commission (EC) has drawn up no regulations about potential problems arising from its multibillion framework of research programmes …

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