List the different types of research misconduct and provide a brief explanation for each one.

List the different types of research misconduct and provide a brief explanation for each one.


Engineering research should be conducted to improve the state-of-the-art of tech- nologies. Research integrity encompasses dealing fairly with others, honesty about the methods and results, replicating the results wherever possible so as to avoid errors, protecting the welfare of research subjects, ensuring laboratory safety, and so forth. In order to prevent mistakes, peer reviews should take place before the research output is published.

(i) Fabrication (Illegitimate creation of data): Fabrication is the act of conjuring data or experiments with a belief of knowledge about what the conclusion of the analysis or experiments would be, but cannot wait for the results possibly due to timeline pressures from supervisor or customers.

(ii) Falsification (Inappropriate alteration of data): Falsification is the misrepresentation or misinterpretation, or illegitimate alteration of data or experiments, even if partly, to support a desired hypothesis even when the actual data received from experiments suggest otherwise. Falsification and fabrication of data and results, hamper engineering research, cause false empirical data to percolate in the literature, wreck trustworthiness of individuals involved, incur additional costs, impede research progress, and cause actual and avoidable delays in technical advancement. Misleading data can also crop up due to poor design of experiments or incorrect measurement Practices.

(iii) Plagiarism (Taking other’s work sans attribution): Plagiarism takes place when someone uses or reuses the work (including portions) of others (text, data, tables, figures, illustrations or concepts) as if it were his/her ownwithout explicit acknowledgement. Verbatim copying or reusing one’s own published work is termed as self-plagiarism and is also an unacceptable practice in scientific literature. The increasing availability of scientific content on the internet seems to encourage plagiarism in certain cases, but also enables detection of such practices through automated software packages.

(iv) Other Aspects of Research Misconduct: Serious deviations from accepted conduct could be construed as research misconduct. When there is both deception and damage, a fraud is deemed to have taken place. Sooner or later ethical violations get exposed. Simultaneous submission of the same article to two different journals also violates publication policies. Another issue is that when mistakes are found in an article or any published content, they are generally not reported for public access unless a researcher is driven enough to build on that mistake and provide a correct version of the same which is not always the primary objective of the researcher.

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