When conflict-of-interest is a factor in scientific misconduct

Med Law. 2007 Sep;26(3):447-63.


Under the guidelines adopted by the United States (U.S.) Office of Research Integrity (ORI), scientific misconduct is defined by one or more of three activities: fabrication of data, falsification of results, and plagiarism or the improper appropriation of other people's ideas or written work. This paper discusses whether three other breaches in scientific ethics, namely ghost writing, fabricating credentials, and failure to disclose conflicts of interest, rise to the level of scientific misconduct. After discussing the funding effect in science, the paper argues that, like ghost writing and fabricated credentials, conflicts of interest can bias the outcome of research. Thus, lack of transparency to reviewers, journals and readers for conflicts of interest should be considered a form of scientific misconduct.

MeSH terms

  • Conflict of Interest*
  • Disclosure*
  • Humans
  • Scientific Misconduct*
  • United States