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How Do You Solve a Problem Like Misconduct?

At a recent meeting sponsored by the British Medical Journal and the Committee on Publication Ethics, ethicists, researchers, and journal editors gathered to take on the problem of research misconduct in the UK, reports ScienceInsider's Sara Reardon. The participants rejected the idea of a central government regulator keeping watch over the research community — just as the idea was rejected in the 1990s after it was suggested by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, Reardon says. At present, the UK Research Integrity Office — funded by the research councils — advises universities dealing with alleged fraud. But the head of the organization has said that the UKRIO doesn't wish to act as a regulator. The meeting's attendees heard examples from other countries like Sweden and the US, but found them lacking. "On top of that, many feel that leaving institutions responsible for investigating and reporting misconduct is letting the fox guard the chicken coop when universities themselves are complicit in misconduct," Reardon says. In an effort to address the disagreement, she adds, representatives from various research councils and universities across the UK have been working on a "concordat" on investigating misconduct, which is due to be released this spring. Any organization that employs researchers will be encouraged to sign it. "The concordat will add another nationally recognized document to those formulated by UKRIO and the integrity code that universities are required to agree to before getting research council funding," Reardon says. "Its formulators hope it will help ease investigations involving multiple institutions and collaborations."

The Scan

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.

Estonian Biobank Team Digs into Results Return Strategies, Experiences

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics outline a procedure developed for individual return of results for the population biobank, along with participant experiences conveyed in survey data.

Rare Recessive Disease Insights Found in Individual Genomes

Researchers predict in Genome Medicine cross-population deletions and autosomal recessive disease impacts by analyzing recurrent nonallelic homologous recombination-related deletions.

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.