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科研伦理和论文发表道德:好的做法

已有 4187 次阅读 2013-9-4 16:27 |系统分类:科研笔记



大多数科研人员和医师都熟悉科研伦理的概念,特别是在以动物和人作为研究对象时。大多数研究开始前也的确需要从所在研究机构的伦理审查委员会处获得批准。此外,就论文发表(包括医学媒体机构的使用)、作者署名、内容转载和数据的有效性也有相关规定。违反科研伦理和论文发表道德规范的行为会造成拒稿甚至被一些期刊禁止投稿。这些行为包括哪些、又该如何避免呢?
下列做法将被视为不符合科研伦理和论文道德规范:
•    人和动物研究对象的不当使用
•    署名不端
•    一稿多投
•    重复发表
•    剽窃
•    捏造或篡改数据
多数人可能对第一条最为熟悉。使用人和动物作为试验对象的研究应遵守1975年《赫尔辛基宣言》中规定的伦理标准(世界医学协会2000年于爱丁堡修订),该宣言也促成了伦理委员会的建立。这些规范旨在确保人和动物研究对象的福祉,并规定研究必须要具备受试人提供的知情同意书;即他们已被告知试验的目的和性质,且同意接受此试验。所有使用人和动物为实验对象的研究必须遵守《赫尔辛基宣言》;如果未能遵守,研究者必须解释其所用研究方法的根据并从当地或研究机构的伦理审查机构获得批准。
署名不端问题出版社很想消灭,但现在仍常可见到。国际医学期刊编辑委员会[InternationalCommittee of Medical Journal Editors,(ICMJE);http://www.icmje.org]已经就署名资格制订了指南。根据ICMJE指南,署名资格必须基于:①对研究的构思/设计或数据的获取/分析/解释具有实质性贡献;②参与撰写论文,或对重要知识部分进行关键性修改;③同意终稿发表。这三条必须全部满足才能具备署名资格。相对次要的贡献者可在“致谢”部分列出。应当注意的是,一些期刊有自己的署名规定,通常含在《稿约》中。
“一稿多投”是指同时将同一个稿件投到多家期刊。这也许能为你节省些时间,但是一旦被发现你的论文就会被拒稿,并且有可能被禁止向这些期刊投稿。这种险完全不值得去冒。期刊编辑之间会定期会谈,并就可疑稿件进行互相交流。另外,不同的期刊也可能把你的稿件送交同一名审稿人审读,这样你的多投行为就会被发现。所以,在收到一个期刊的最终决定之前不应投到下一个期刊。
“重复发表”是指论文中包含之前已发表过的结果。期刊编辑要求论文具有原创性内容,并已于1969年形成政策:“仅考虑发表满足以下条件的稿件:其实质性内容没有在他处发表过,也没有同时投稿到其他地方”。这被称为Ingelfinger规则,以《新英格兰医学》当时的编辑FranzIngelfinger命名。该规则旨在避免期刊发表之前已发表过从而已失去原创性的材料。ICMJE指南(III.D.2重复发表)重申了该规则,申明“期刊编辑不愿收到此类稿件:其内容大部分已发表过,或包含在另一已投出或已录用的论文中”。这个规定有一些值得注意的例外,其中包括学术会议演讲稿及其摘要(尽管是例外,在投稿时还是需要公开说明此情况),以及研究者由于政府的考虑或公共健康的关系而必须发布的数据。
最后三种学术不端行为是:剽窃、捏造和篡改数据。美国国家科学基金把它们列为学术不端的鉴戒。剽窃是指“擅用他人的思想、方法、结果、或语言而未申明出处。这包括通过秘密审读他人论文或经费申请书所获取的信息”(出自Federal Office of Science and Technology Policy,1999)。转述是允许的,但其方式要恰当。如果要进行直接转述就要用引号表明,不然就需要变换说法。捏造是指无中生有地制造并报道数据,篡改则是指对试验进行操纵,或更改已获得的数据,导致所报道文献不能准确反映真实的研究状况。所有学术不端都有严重后果,从拒稿到解雇,以及可能的法律诉讼。
最后,不披露潜在的经济或其他利益冲突也可能被视作不端行为。作者投稿时通常会被要求申明有无利益冲突,其中包括是否有能影响你行为的经济或个人关系,例如你的工作情况、顾问身份和持股情况。利益冲突并不一定是坏事或论文发表的障碍,但应予申明。
科研人员、工程师和医师要知道那些是合乎伦理的行为,哪些是不端行为,这样他们才能避免后者。行为符合伦理能让同行、同事和期刊编辑对你有信心;而行为不端则可导致失去资助、解雇、禁止投稿、甚至法律诉讼。所以,务必要知道界限在那里。

Ethics: following good practice
Mostscientists and clinicians are familiar with the concept of ethics as itrelates to research, particularly research involving human and animalsubjects. Indeed, most studies require ethical approval of theprotocols from an institutional committee (following internationallyestablished guidelines) before the research can commence. Additionalguidelines relate to publications practice (including the use ofmedical communications agencies), authorship, reproduction of content,and the validity of the data being presented. Unethical behavior canlead to rejection or even a ban from some journals. But what comprisesunethical behavior and how can it be avoided?
The following practices are considered to be unethical:
•    Improper use of human subjects and animals in research
•    Improper authorship
•    Making multiple submissions of the same manuscript
•    Submitting a redundant publication
•    Plagiarism
•    Data fabrication and falsification
Thefirst of these is probably the one that most people are familiar with.Experiments on human subjects and animals should follow the ethicalstandards set out in the Helsinki Declaration of 1975 (revised by theWorld Medical Organisation in Edinburgh in 2000), which led to theestablishment of ethics committees. These guidelines ensure the welfareof the animals or human subjects involved in research and require thathuman subjects provide informed consent for the experiments; that is,they are informed of the purpose and nature of the experiments andconsent to being subject to them. All research using human and animalsubjects must comply with the Helsinki Declaration or, if not, theresearchers must explain the rationale underlying their approach andobtain approval from a local or institutional ethical review body.
Improperauthorship is unfortunately a frequently occurring practice thatpublishers are keen to put an end to. The International Committee ofMedical Journal Editors (ICMJE; http://www.icmje.org) have establishedguidelines for qualification for authorship. According to the ICMJE,authorship credit should be based on: 1) substantial contributions toconception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis andinterpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising itcritically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval ofthe version to be published. All three of these criteria need to besatisfied for a person to qualify for authorship. Lesser contributionsshould usually be noted in the acknowledgments section of themanuscript. It should be noted that some journals have their owncriteria for authorship; these are usually set out in the Guide forAuthors.
“Multiple submissions” refers to the practice of submittingthe same manuscript to more than one journal, simultaneously. Althoughthis might save some of your time, if identified, it will result inyour paper being rejected and a possible ban from publishing in thejournals in question. It simply isn’t worth the risk. Journal editorsregularly talk to each other and will exchange information aboutsuspicious papers. It is also quite likely that different journals willappoint the same peer reviewers, leading to discovery of any additionalsubmissions. Therefore, you should not submit your manuscript to asecond journal until you receive a final decision from the firstjournal.
Redundant publications are publications containing findingsthat have already been published. Journal editors want originalcontent, and this was put into policy in 1969 in the form of theIngelfinger rule, “the policy of considering a manuscript forpublication only if its substance has not been submitted or reportedelsewhere”, named after Franz Ingelfinger, the editor of the NewEngland Journal of Medicine at that time. The aim of this rule was toprotect the journal from publishing material that had already beenpublished and had therefore lost its originality. The rule isreiterated in the ICMJE Guidelines (III.D.2 Redundant Publication),which states that journal editors “do not wish to receive papers onwork that has already been reported in large part in a publishedarticle or is contained in another paper that has been submitted oraccepted for publication elsewhere”. Notable exceptions to this includepresentations at scientific meetings and published abstracts (althoughfull disclosure of these should be made at the time of submission) andsituations in which researchers have been forced to release data in thecourse of government deliberations or because of public healthconcerns.
The final three types of unethical behavior, plagiarism,fabrication and falsification, are listed by the US National ScienceFoundation as definitive examples of scientific misconduct. Plagiarismis “the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, orwords without giving appropriate credit, including those obtainedthrough confidential review of others’ research proposals andmanuscripts” (Federal Office of Science and Technology Policy, 1999).Paraphrasing is allowed, but needs to be performed appropriately:speech marks should be used for direct quotes, otherwise alternativephrases should be used. Fabrication refers to the making up of data orresults and reporting them, while falsification refers to themanipulation of experiments or the modification of obtained resultssuch that the research is not accurately represented in the literature.All types of misconduct have serious consequences ranging fromrejection of a paper to termination of employment and possible legalproceedings.
Finally, not disclosing any potential conflicts ofinterest, financial or otherwise, could be considered unethicalbehavior. Authors are usually asked to declare potential conflicts ofinterest when submitting manuscripts. These include any financial orpersonal relationships that might inappropriately influence youractions, for example, your employment situation, consultancies, andstock ownership. Conflicts of interest are not necessarily bad, orobstacles to publication, but it is vital that they are declared.
Itis important that scientists, engineers and clinicians are aware ofwhat represents ethical and unethical behaviors so that the latter canbe avoided. Behaving ethically will give you the confidence of yourpeers, colleagues and journal editors; behaving unethically could leadto a loss of grant support, unemployment, a ban from journals andpossible legal proceedings. Thus, be aware of the boundaries.

Dr Daniel McGowan
分子神经学博士
理文编辑学术总监




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