Questionable Research Practices in Collaboration

From The Embassy of Good Science

Questionable Research Practices in Collaboration

What is this about?

Science is increasingly a team effort. Collaborations, however, are not without their challenges. A fact that is evident in the variety of research misbehaviors related to collaborations.  

Why is this important?

Good collaboration is not just about building networks and beneficial relationships, it also entails taking responsibility for research conduct, treating colleagues and collaborators with respect, and giving collaborators full credit for their work. Misbehaviors related to collaborations identifiedby research integrity experts include:

  1. Take no full responsibility for the integrity of the research project and its reports
  2. Refuse to share data with bona fide colleagues
  3. Turn a blind eye to putative breaches of research integrity by others
  4. Refuse to respond to an allegation of a breach of research integrity
  5. Use unpublished ideas or phrases of others without their permission [e.g. from reviewing manuscripts or grant applications, or from conference presentations ‐ this is one of the forms plagiarism can take]   
  6. Use published ideas or phrases of others without referencing [this is one of the forms plagiarism can take]  
  7. Re‐use parts of your own publications without referencing [‘self‐plagiarism’]
  8. Unfairly review papers, grant applications or colleagues applying for promotion
  9. Review your own papers
  10. Demand, accept or offer substantial gifts for doing a favor [e.g. authorship, promotion, access to data, favorable review or recommendation]
  11. Insufficiently supervise or mentor junior coworkers
  12. Be grossly unfair to your collaborators [e.g. in terms of a just balance of benefits and burdens, including giving those who deserve the opportunity to qualify as author]
  13. Add an author who doesn’t qualify for authorship [‘honorary or gift authorship’]
  14. Demand or accept an authorship for which you don’t qualify [‘honorary or gift authorship’]
  15. Omit a contributor who deserves authorship [‘ghost authorship’]
  16. Not acknowledge contributors who do not qualify for authorship
  17. Not ask permission from contributors for the wording of the acknowledgement
  18. Not share reviewers’ comments with all co‐authors
  19. Submit or resubmit a paper or grant application without consent from all authors

For whom is this important?

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