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Integrity in research and scholarship

Integrity in research and scholarship

The Arthritis Society is committed to the highest standards of integrity in research and scholarships that encourages the highest standards of research and scholarship. The major concerns regarding scientific misconduct are considered fabrication or falsification of data and plagiarism, but the Arthritis Society regards any action that is inconsistent with integrity as misconduct.

Integrity includes the principles listed below, which should be interpreted with the understanding that research can involve honest error, conflicting data or valid differences in experimental design or in interpretation or judgment of information:

  • recognizing the substantive contributions of collaborators and students; using unpublished work of other researchers and scholars only with permission and with due acknowledgement; and using archival material in accordance with the rules of the archival source 
  • not using new information, concepts or data that were originally obtained through access to confidential manuscripts or applications for funds for research or training that may have been seen as a result of processes such as peer review, unless the author has given permission 
  • using scholarly and scientific rigor and integrity in obtaining, recording and analyzing data and in reporting and publishing results 
  • ensuring that authorship of published work includes all who have materially contributed to and share responsibility for the contents of the publication, and only those people 
  • revealing to sponsors, universities, journals or funding agencies any material, financial or other conflict of interest that might influence their decisions on whether the individual should be asked to review manuscripts or applications, test products or be permitted to undertake work sponsored from outside sources 

These components of scientific integrity overlap with other areas such as financial integrity in the use of research funds and the ethical issues involving the use of human or animal subjects in research. This document is concerned only with scientific integrity and does not replace any other statements from the Arthritis Society on other areas with which this issue may overlap.

The Arthritis Society requires the institutions that administer funds to accept responsibility for:

  • monitoring and investigating possible instances of misconduct in research or scholarship 
  • imposing appropriate sanctions in accordance with their own policies 
  • informing the Arthritis Society of conclusions reached and actions taken 

The specific expectations for procedures and responsibilities of researcher, research institutions and the Arthritis Society regarding integrity in research and scholarship are outlined below. 

Procedures for promoting integrity and for preventing and addressing misconduct in research