Title: Contextualising harm in the framework of research misconduct. Findings from discourse analysis of scientific publications

Authors: Vasiliki Petousi; Eirini Sifaki

Addresses: Department of Sociology, Universtity of Crete, Greece ' Department of Sociology, Universtity of Crete, Greece

Abstract: This article reports on research, which deals with dimensions of harm resulting from research misconduct, in articles published in scientific journals. An appropriate sample of publications retrieved from Pubmed, Scopus and WOS was selected across various disciplines and topics. Implementing discourse analysis, articles were classified according to the narratives of 'individual impurity', 'institutional failure' and 'structural crisis'. Most of the articles analysed fall within the narrative of structural crisis. The main argument advanced is that research misconduct harms the scientific enterprise as a whole. Harm is narrated in the context of institutional characteristics, policies, procedures, guidelines, and work environment. Mainly, however, harm is narrated in the context of structural characteristics of contemporary scientific practices, which result in normative dissonance for scientists and loss of trust in science in the relation between science and society and within the scientific enterprise itself. We conclude that new grounds for building trust and confidence in science are needed.

Keywords: research misconduct; research integrity; discourse analysis; harm; structural crisis.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSD.2020.115206

International Journal of Sustainable Development, 2020 Vol.23 No.3/4, pp.149 - 174

Received: 03 Apr 2020
Accepted: 18 Sep 2020

Published online: 04 May 2021 *

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