An Interview with Melissa Anderson

"People know worldwide what fabrication, falsification, plagiarism are," says Dr. Melissa Anderson, Associate Dean of Graduate Education and Professor of Higher Education at University of Minnesota. So a pressing question in international research is: what are the structural issues that could explain the variation in research misconduct between the United States and other foreign countries? People often highlight cultural differences as the key explanatory factor for this variation. However, Dr. Anderson believes that people jump too quickly to cultural differences, while overlooking the tremendous variation in standards and codes of ethics. Thus, international research ethics should track the differences in laws and regulatory standards in science (the organization of science, funding sources, training programs, etc.) in order to understand the source of international research misconduct and also, in order to foster future international standards of research integrity.

Who is Melissa Anderson?

Special ESOF 2014: The EuroScientist interviews Nicholas H Steneck on research integrity and ethics

Nicholas H. Steneck, PhD, is Director of the Research Ethics and Integrity Program of the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research and Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Michigan. He is also a consultant to the Federal Office of Research Integrity, HHS.


On August 14 - 15, 2014, The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) will host the III Brazilian Meeting on Research Integrity, Science and Publication Ethics (III BRISPE), focusing on Institutional Practices for the Promotion of Scientific Integrity and Responsible Conduct in Research. The purpose of this event is to foster discussion and an exchange of experiences centered on the nature and conditions necessary for establishing and preserving research integrity.

The ICSU Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS), together with the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), held a workshop this week on the topic of "Science Assessment and Research Integrity", exploring how different methods of research assessment can be used to incentivize integrity in the conduct of science. The workshop had a special focus on the situation in emerging and rapidly developing science systems, such as China, Brazil and South Africa.

On Wednesday, 9 April, around 60 scientists gathered at the Beijing International Convention Centre to learn about the intertwined issues of science assessment and research integrity. Several high-level speakers presented on the situation in China, including Zhang Yaping, Vice-President of CAS; Yang Wei, President of the National Natural Science Foundation of China and Mu Rongping, Director-General of the CAS Institute of Policy and Management and the Center for Innovation and Development. Speakers from Brazil and South Africa provided an international context for the discussion, and CFRS member Ashima Anand outlined how science assessment influences research integrity.

In their talks, the speakers presented both the history of science assessment in their countries and how this has helped develop the respective science and innovation systems. They also looked at the challenges that can arise from an over reliance on metrics or their misuse. This was followed by a lively discussion of ways that current metrics can be refined or used differently to improve incentives for ethical research behaviour, and the limitations of metrics.

It was clear at the end of the day that defining good science assessment methods and metrics will remain a core challenge for the scientific community at a time when both the role of science in society and the environment it is conducted in is changing rapidly. CFRS will continue its work to inform both the ICSU membership and the scientific community more broadly on this issue, including by contributing to the 4th World Conference on Research Integrity in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2015.


País ganha respeito da comunidade científica por ressaltar a discussão sobre o tema em diversos níveis do conhecimento

A integridade em processos e resultados de pesquisa é uma questão crítica em todos os países, e esta situação se torna ainda mais crítica quando se fala em ambiente de cooperação internacional em pesquisas científicas. A declaração é da pesquisadora americana Melissa S. Anderson, da University of Minnesota (EUA), co-chair da 4th World Conference on Research Integrity, 4WCRI (, que foi oficialmente aberta domingo, dia 31. Para Melissa, o Brasil tem um papel muito importante no cenário mundial da pesquisa científica e apresenta um grande potencial para desenvolver uma política forte que garanta o suporte à integridade da pesquisa.


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