Research Integrity and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1159 Words
Date:  2022-08-01

Research has been connected to various forms of misconduct and falsification of results thus resulting in more problems associated with hurting people's feelings. Research integrity and the need to carry out responsible research necessitates the need for incorporating ethics in an analysis (Sterba, 2006). The inclusion of ethics in an investigation is necessary since the approach improves the process of gathering data without falsifying the research methods. According to Steneck and Bulgar (2007), research practitioners have not been carried through an extensive approach and training. Researchers unethical practices have proved that the instruction given does not relate to the definition of RCR, QRP, and FFP. An integrated understanding of Research integrity RI and Responsible Conduct of Research RCR is a necessary approach for ethical research practices. Ethics in research and study of RI and RCR will provide a platform for coming up with broad findings essential for adopting a set of investigative policies for coming up with better alternatives and ways of arriving at real conclusions.

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Gardner, Lidz, and Hartwig (2005) outlined that the reason for the widespread unethical and unprofessional practices in research has led to problems in clinical practice. The prevalence of fabrication of data on the 549 authors who had done clinical research from 1998 to 2001 portrayed that there was a gap in RCR. Gardener et al. (2005) outlined a small number scientist knowingly participate in the falsification of research. However, a larger number knows about research integrity issues in other studies that they have not directly participated. On the other hand, Sterba (2006) described that the most common unethical and unprofessional practices in research are concerning bridging methodologies and reporting of data. Steneck and Bulgar (2007) research outline that many researchers have been reported to engage improper and unethical practices that are punishable since the onset of such misconduct in the early 1970s did not attract punishment.

Research misconduct was found to be in three categories; fabrication falsification and plagiarism FFP (deliberate misconduct), responsible conduct of research abbreviated as RCR and questionable research practice abbreviated as QRP (Steneck & Bulgar, 2007). Since research ethics requires the researchers to portray high-notch integrity, FFP is are practices that everyone agrees with the fact that they are inappropriate and should be avoided. FFP are practices that attract a state punishment, but QRP is minor unethical practices that should be avoided when carrying out research. Since quantitative research is a phenomenon that bases on numerical data that involves analysis using possible mathematical methods and structured statistics to communicate a proof about an aspect in the society, qualitative research requires honesty and integrity in recording the results collected. Authenticity and credibility of the entries carry the weight of the outcomes of the study. Quantitative analysis has all the possible tools of limiting FFP and QRP. Responsible conduct of research can be attained in quantitative research than qualitative research (Steneck & Bulgar, 2007).

Sterba (2006) provided grounds for coming up with the idea that methodological approaches that were chosen in the past times necessitated the need to falsify results as a way of avoiding embarrassment. Since the traditional method relied on quantitative methodology, there was little education on how the researchers could carry themselves throughout the research as a way of enhancing the research integrity and the need for ethical practice (Sterba, 2006). The renaissance ways of research involved the separation of the responsibility of serving both the methodologists and ethicists ways of adequately achieving gatekeeping functions and activities. Various misconducts have been analyzed by Sterba (2006). The types of misconduct include covert and overt. Also, Sterba (2006) outlined that misconduct can also be intentional or unintentional during research practices. Overt misconduct involves the methods of dichotomizing continuous data that is dramatically found to reduce variability which creates the value of results (Sterba, 2006). The best way possible for avoiding falsification of the methodology is through necessitating the need to consider professional conduct and ethical applications in research.

Many factors portray that lack of a clear definition of research integrity, and misconduct has proved to be the leading challenge to the required research ethics. For that matter, RCR offers a clear definition that can enhance research ethics; RCR refers to the approaches for conducting a research in all possible ways that fulfill required professional responsibilities which are defined by professional organizations, the facilities that the researchers work with and other relevant government and public policies (Steneck & Bulgar, 2007). For that matter, today's ethical research must adhere to the need to use consent forms, institutional review board (IRB) and through human subjects review board abbreviated as HSRB. Therefore, responsible conduct of research requires participants to adhere to research ethics which are today defined under IRB and HSRB. Research integrity needs to be defined concerning moral principles and professional conduct.

Recommendations for Practice

Association of American Medical Colleges abbreviated as AAMC provides a platform for adopting harsh punishments for researchers who fail to follow research integrity and ethics. AAMC outlines that education for researchers can help deal with alleged misconduct by researchers (Steneck & Bulgar, 2007, p. 829). Another recommendation for reducing FFP and QRP is through necessitating the development of programs that will require universities to provide formal instructions that should guide good research practices (Sterba, 2006). The instructions should be "limited to the very formal courses for both graduate and undergraduate students" (Steneck & Bulgar, 2007, p. 830). More of the unethical and improper research practices are found to have been practiced more in the late 20th century. The reason is that RCR education was not emphasized during the period. Therefore, there should be a well-organized approach for enhancing RCR instructions for both graduate and undergraduate students in universities. PHS policy should also be adopted in universities since it offers research institutions the mandate and ability to flexibly "determine length, level, method and consistency of research" (Steneck & Bulgar, 2007, p. 831).


In summation, research integrity must be connected to moral principles which surround any form of inquiry. In most cases, qualitative research involves hiccups that require participants to consider their moral tenets above professional conduct. Also, cross-validation of data has been found to be the leading cause of unethical research practices that forego the need to consider the required integrity in research. However, it should be noted that the aftermath of a research finding can end up affecting a large population of people. Thus RCR should both work in line with research ethics and integrity. From what Gardener et al. found about the participation of scientists in a fabricated inquiry, it is clear that higher education systems should be vigilant about RCR and the need to adhere to professional conduct and ethical appeals.


Gardner, W., Lidz, C. W., & Hartwig, K. C. (2005). Authors' reports about research integrity problems in clinical trials. Contemporary clinical trials, 26(2), 244-251.

Steneck, N. H., & Bulger, R. E. (2007). The history, purpose, and future of instruction in the responsible conduct of research. Academic Medicine, 82(9), 829-834.

Sterba, S. K. (2006). Misconduct in the analysis and reporting of data: Bridging methodological and ethical agendas for change. Ethics & Behavior, 16(4), 305-318.

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Research Integrity and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). (2022, Aug 01). Retrieved from

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