Research audit and publication

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    The ethics of research, audit and publication have developed mainly within the last fifty years. The Declaration of Helsinki is the universally accepted code of conduct for researchers worldwide. All research has to be approved by an ethics committee, all of which are governed by a centralised structure which is the Central Office for Research Ethics Committees (COREC) in the UK. This standardised system has been developed to oversee all research activity across the whole of Europe and every European county will have an equivalent organisation. The committees concern themselves with research but the differences between audit and research are difficult to discern in many places. If there is any doubt then the advice of the local research ethics committee should be sought. Only the individual him/herself can give consent. This may produce difficulties in cases of certain groups especially unconscious patients and children. The outcome of every study should be published whatever the results and the ongoing development of centralised (national) research trial databases will promote this philosophy. Publication of results thought to be of lesser importance may prove difficult, however, and so there is a temptation to falsify or modify data to make it more attractive. This, together with other activities such as the fabrication of data, plagiarism, dual publication, salami publication, conflicts of interest and irregularities in authorship, have given Editors of journals a number of problems. Many of these issues around publication ethics may prove difficult to detect but the fear of sanctions from employers and professional organisations is a useful deterrent. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)653-668
    Number of pages15
    JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Anaesthesiology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


    • ethics
    • ethics committees, research
    • informed consent
    • medical audit
    • plagiarism
    • publishing
    • scientific misconduct


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