Research is an important activity in healthcare, and nurses are poised to conduct research on important topics and issues that impact patients’ lives, care delivery, systems, and laws. Research provides answers to complex issues and problems, create, and increase knowledge that is reliable, informs our actions, and provide important ways to improve care, care delivery and treatments.
The outcomes and discoveries made in research has the potential to improve individual’s health, and for this reason it is critical for policies and procedures to be in place to guide how research is performed, reviewed, and disseminated. It is critical that researchers understand and abide by the rules, processes, and practices for conducting research, as their integrity and reputation is at stake. Research misconduct occurs when there is data falsification, fabrication, or plagiarism. According to Mateo & Foreman (2014), research misconduct must be conducted intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly and the allegations must be proven with sufficient evidence. Research misconduct does not include honest errors or differences of opinions.
The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) oversees research misconduct involving Public Health Service (PHS) research. There are procedures in place to handle misconduct allegations. All institutions receiving Public Health Service funding’s are required to have written policies and procedures for addressing any allegations of research misconduct. (Mateo & Foreman, 2014). The ORI’s mission is to “protect the health and safety of the public, promote the integrity of the United States PHS supported research and conserve public funds by ensuring the integrity of all its supported work.”