Saturday, Jul 11, 2020 | Last Update : 08:09 AM IST

109th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra2384611326259893 Tamil Nadu130261846941829 Delhi109140846943300 Gujarat40155281832023 Uttar Pradesh3370021787845 Karnataka3341811878471 Telangana3222410123339 West Bengal2710917348880 Andhra Pradesh2542213914292 Rajasthan2317417620497 Haryana1993414904290 Madhya Pradesh1665712481638 Assam15537984935 Bihar1433010251111 Odisha11956797273 Jammu and Kashmir92615567149 Punjab71404945183 Kerala6535370828 Chhatisgarh3526283514 Uttarakhand3305267246 Jharkhand3192217022 Goa203912078 Tripura177313241 Manipur14357930 Puducherry120061916 Himachal Pradesh110182510 Nagaland6733030 Chandigarh5234037 Arunachal Pradesh2871092 Mizoram2031430 Sikkim134710 Meghalaya113451
  Decaf   15 Oct 2018  A watchdog to rein in unethical research

A watchdog to rein in unethical research

THE ASIAN AGE. | PROF BALRAM BHARGAVA
Published : Oct 15, 2018, 3:02 am IST
Updated : Oct 15, 2018, 3:02 am IST

Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.

ICMR has put procedures in place to not agree to fund that research, even if it is a small project or a student thesis or fellowship.
 ICMR has put procedures in place to not agree to fund that research, even if it is a small project or a student thesis or fellowship.

The National Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical and Health Research state the requirements to undertake research that is not only responsive but also responsible. Guidelines emphasise the need for integrity of research and social responsibility of researchers and explain the need to prevent any research misconduct or misuse.

Research misconduct means fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.

Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research records.

Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit. Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex body in India for promotion, coordination and formulation of biomedical and health research, has been guiding Indian citizens in conducting research by following the highest standards. ICMR has recently revised the National Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical and Health Research involving human participants. These guidelines are being followed in most of the research institutions of the country in conducting research so as to adhere to best practices.

The guidelines are applicable to a variety of biomedical and health research studies whether it is clinical, basic sciences, epidemiological, socio-behavioural, public health research, or research involving data or samples.

There is a dedicated section in the guidelines on Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) which states the requirements to undertake research that is not only responsive but also responsible. It emphasises the need for integrity of research and social responsibility of researchers and explains the need to prevent any research misconduct or misuse. Researchers are required to abide by the standards prescribed by their professions, disciplines and institutions, and also by relevant laws, and are accountable to the society.

The Indian Journal of Medical Research, one of the India’s oldest medical journals, published by the ICMR, follows ethical principles laid down by scholarly bodies such as COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics), ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) and the National Ethical Guidelines by ICMR to tackle ethical issues in publication.

ICMR also conducts workshops to sensitise Indian scientists about research misconduct and the menace of predatory journals. A predatory journal is a publication that actively asks researchers for manuscripts. They have no peer review system and no true editorial board and are often found to publish mediocre or even worthless papers. They also ask for huge publication charges.

As many researchers and scientists use short cuts to publish their work quickly as that is mandatory in many places for career progression, promotion and selection for various posts, they knowingly or unknowingly get trapped in this vicious cycle and face the consequences. Many journals are aware of these unethical practices and use anti-plagiarism software to detect such misuse. Hence, every research must follow the highest ethical standards and unless there is an approval from the ethics committee, publication committee research should not be promoted for publication.

ICMR has put procedures in place to not agree to fund that research, even if it is a small project or a student thesis or fellowship. Such provisions will go a long way in improving the sanctity of research conducted in our country and protecting our population while searching for newer avenues for improving their health.

(The author is director, ICMR)

Tags: indian council of medical research, unethical research