51 percent of researchers sometimes cheat

2021-09-03

 A recent study shows 51% of researchers in the Netherlands are occasionally guilty of questionable research practices. Some by being insufficient as mentors or supervisors, others by only citing research that supports their own findings. 8% are guilty of misconduct, like fabricating or manipulating results. This is alarming, says Stefan Eriksson, Director of Uppsala University’s Centre for research ethics & bioethics.

“We are nearing a reality where nearly 10 percent of research is based on faulty or manipulated data and results that simply can’t be trusted. We should admit this has become a problem,” Stefan Eriksson says to Sveriges Radio.

He suggests that an important part of the explanation is the system in which researchers operate. With high competition for research grants and positions, where a researcher’s value is measured by how many articles they have published.

“Today almost every researcher is an entrepreneur for their own brand. Working to stand out from the crowd. It is unfortunate that researchers are pushed into this position. What this study and many others indicate is the problem of having created an environment that does not always benefit the research,” Stefan Eriksson continues.

Listen to the interview (in Swedish)

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