How best to improve research transparency and accountability is still up for debate

Lex Bouter

Surveys suggest that gross breaches of research integrity are probably quite rare, while lesser offences seem to be alarmingly more common. On the aggregated level, these questionable research practices – in short: sloppy science – may do more harm than the three forms research misconduct can take: fabrication, falsification and plagiarism.

In biomedicine, some argue, the ‘research waste’ may be as large as 85%, due to irrelevant study questions, poor research methods and selective reporting. John Ioannidis elegantly explains how we can make clinical research more useful and more true. These insights will likely be an important consideration in the current revision of the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. A recent ScienceEurope report explains what can be done to foster responsible conduct of research and to prevent sloppy science. Next to scientists and their institutions, funding agencies and scientific journals clearly have an important role to play.

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