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Executive Summary

This report from the colloquium on “Dynamic Issues in Scientific Integrity: Collaborative Research” is published by the American Academy of Microbiology which provides summary statements on timely and important issues for scientists, governmental agencies, industry, and the public. The Academy focuses on issues that have broad implications for society. This colloquium convened 12 individuals who have significant experience with the issues under consideration. The colloquium was supported by the National Science Foundation and the American Society for Microbiology.

This white paper includes an in-depth analysis of the issues and recommendations to individuals involved in teaching courses in scientific integrity, to the broad microbiology community, to policy makers who have concerns about collaborative scientific research, and to the lay public. Scientific societies, as well as academic institutions, have sponsored workshops and forums that have addressed the entire spectrum of issues in scientific integrity. These meetings have provided the opportunity to describe the relevant issues, but have provided little analysis and guidance. The American Academy of Microbiology has focused on a very specific area— collaborative scientific research—in order to explore and develop the issues in depth. This report will be of maximum use to scientists and to instructors in defining, refining, and developing their courses in scientific integrity. It will serve as well to assist the lay public in understanding the complexity of the issues surrounding collaborative scientific research.

Specifically, issues addressed during the colloquium included the following:

  • defining contributions
  • defining authorship
  • defining responsibilities of individual researchers involved in collaborative relationships
  • defining intellectual property ownership
  • defining accountability
  • monitoring

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