Research Integrity in Corrosion Research

Paper No. 85
Dr Anthony Betts1 – 1Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Kevin St , Ireland

 Abstract

Research Integrity is becoming increasingly important throughout the scientific community. Issues covered by this all-encompassing term include proper data management and security, appropriate research methodology, analysis of data based on sound theoretical foundations and the correct use of statistics. In addition there are many other important ethical issues associated with this over-arching theme, including plagiarism, publication authorship, intellectual property rights and research misconduct such as data fabrication.

One of the most high profile examples of research misconduct is that of scientific fraud. Many well-publicised cases have been reported over the years, most notably in the bioscience and biomedical fields. A variety of causes have been identified, the misconduct eventually being uncovered at a later stage. Surprisingly much of the research work in some of these areas has proven difficult to replicate resulting in demands for a re-evaluation of all original data in turn leading to the call for open access (Open Science). Although very few cases have been reported in the corrosion science area, it has not proven entirely immune from this problem. An example reported in the open literature is presented in this paper.

As scientists it behoves us to recognize that rigorous standards of ethical behaviour are required of our research endeavours at all times. Many of the pressures that corrosion scientists face are similar to those of our counterparts in other areas of science. In this paper an examination of many of the ethical issues governing research in the corrosion science and technology field is carried out. A number of key issues are identified, such as the need for sound experimental design, journal paper peer-review and editorial processes and practices and the need to balance research/scientific versus industry/commercialisation needs. Ultimately this is framed by the requirement to always conduct our research in a socially responsible manner.