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(2) Online tutorials, a one-class lecture, or a one- day workshop are not enough in RCR education. Semester-long graduate and undergraduate courses, especially with examples, are necessary to cover RCR topics in depth. This should be the start of a career-long appreciation of RCR, not the end;
(3) RCR courses and workshops must involve senior researchers who have been practicing scientists in the instruction, not just compliance personnel in research offices or lawyers who typically have limited research experience at the “bench”;
(4) Senior researchers should set aside time in organizational or departmental meetings to discuss RCR principles and cases that are making the news in their disciplines. There is plenty of material;
(5) Everyone involved in the research endeavor (e.g., researchers, students, postdocs) shares responsibility for the integrity of the research; and
(6) National experts in RCR should be invited for selected RCR topics in institution-wide colloquia. To bluntly answer the opening question of why does it matter, the scientific method inexorably generates new knowledge and new facts. Lack of research
integrity produces fake knowledge and alternative facts, something everyone involved in the scientific enterprise is duty bound to prevent.
We thank Philip DeShong, Michael Dougherty, and Arthur Popper for comments on earlier drafts.
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Fang, F. C., Steen, R. G., and Casadevall, A. (2012). Misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted scientific publications. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109(42), 17028-17033.
Feynman, R. (1998). Cargo cult science. In J. Williams (Ed.), The Art and Science of Analog Circuit Design. Butterworth-Heinemann,
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Academies Press, Washington, DC. John, L. K., Loewenstein, G., and Prelec, D. (2012). Measuring the prevalence of questionable research practices with incentives for
truth telling. Psychological Science. 23(5), 524-532.
Macrina, F. L. (2014). Scientific Integrity, 4th ed. ASM Press, Washington, DC.
Moher, D., Naudet, F., Cristea, I. A., Miedema, F., Ioannidis, J. P. A., and Goodman, S. N. (2018). Assessing scientists for hiring, promotion, and tenure. PLOS Biology 16(3), e2004089.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2017). Fostering Integrity in Research. National Academies Press, Washington, DC.
National Cancer Institute. (2018). Collaboration and Team Science: A Field Guide, 2nd ed. Available at Accessed August 12, 2020.
National Institutes of Health. (2010). General Guidelines for Authorship Contributions. Available at Accessed August 12, 2020.
     Contact Information
Robert J. Dooling
Psychology Department
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland 20742, USA
Melissa A. Thompson
Office of Faculty Affairs
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland 20742, USA
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