Research institutes and scientific misconduct

Research projects

The French experience has been limited up to now and, with a few exceptions12 allegations of fraud or scientific misconduct have not been officially made in organisations such as the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, INSERM or INRA. Since its creation the INSERM office of integrity has had to take care of some allegations of misconduct or conflicts (18 cases in 1999, 25 cases in 2000). Most of these cases were due to internal conflict, mainly about authorship and publications, and not relating to possible misconduct. All the dossiers were started by regional mediators and handled afterwards by the Déléguée à l'Intégrité Scientifique. During this two-year period, the number of allegations was much less than expected by INSERM. Only three committees have had to be set up to interview involved people at the INSERM office of integrity in Paris, following an initial attempt by the regional mediator to solve the problem. One whistleblower put forward one allegation, but the accused person was cleared without prejudice.

If one refers to the US experience,15 the types of fraud or misconduct appear under the following items:

• fabrication of data

• falsification of results

INSERM experience is not so far the same.

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