Research integrity among PhD students within clinical research at the University of Southern Denmark

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INTRODUCTION: Responsible conduct of research is the basis for the credibility of all research. Research misconduct is defined as the fabrication, falsification or plagiarism committed willfully or grossly negligently in the planning, performing or reporting of research. We undertook a survey of knowledge of the attitudes towards and experiences with research misconduct among PhD students in clinical research. METHODS: A questionnaire previously used in Swedish and Norwegian studies was distributed to PhD students (n = 330) affiliated with the Department of Clinical Research or Department of Regional Health Research, University of Southern Denmark. RESULTS: A total of 165 PhD students completed the questionnaire in full or in part, yielding an overall response rate of 50%. 18-34% reported to have heard (within the past year) about researchers who had plagiarised, falsified or fabricated data, or plagiarised publications. None reported this to occur in their own department. Few stated that they had felt under pressure to either falsify data (1%) or present results in a misleading way (3%). However, 22% stated to have felt an unethical pressure (within the past year) regarding the inclusion or order of authors. CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that, albeit at a low frequency, research misconduct involving PhD students is taking place. Likewise, a high fraction of respondents reported to have been under pressure regarding authorships, which points to questionable research practices in clinical research. FUNDING: not relevant. TRIAL REGISTRATION: not relevant.

TidsskriftDanish Medical Journal
Udgave nummer4
Antal sider5
StatusUdgivet - 1. apr. 2018


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