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Should the European Union have an office of research integrity?

  • C Candal-Pedreira
    Affiliations
    Area of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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  • A Ruano-Ravina
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Area of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, C/ San Francisco s/n, University of Santiago de Compostela, Postal Code 15782, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
    Affiliations
    Area of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

    CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública, CIBERESP, Spain

    Health Research Institute of Santiago de Compostela (IDIS), Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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  • M Pérez-Ríos
    Affiliations
    Area of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

    CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública, CIBERESP, Spain

    Health Research Institute of Santiago de Compostela (IDIS), Santiago de Compostela, Spain
    Search for articles by this author
Published:August 03, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2021.07.009
      Scientific misconduct is detrimental to both society and researchers, potentially resulting in a mistrust in science. When the results of a scientific publication are based on erroneous content or data, whether due to error or misconduct, the publication must be retracted. The retraction of a publication alerts the scientific community that its results and conclusions may not be valid [

      COPE Council. COPE retraction guidelines [Internet]. Committee on publication ethics; 2019 [cited 2021 Jan 27]. Available from: https://publicationethics.org/retraction-guidelines.

      ]. Over the last 20 years, retractions due to misconduct have increased, surpassing the number of retractions due to honest error and becoming the leading cause of retraction at present [
      • Campos-Varela I
      • Ruano-Raviña A.
      Misconduct as the main cause for retraction. A descriptive study of retracted publications and their authors.
      ]. Notorious cases of retraction in biomedicine have had a great impact on the public opinion and even on health policies. One example is the recent Surgisphere case which caused the World Health Organization (WHO) to suspend all clinical trials studying hydroxicloquine as a treatment against COVID-19 [
      • Lipworth W
      • Gentgall M
      • Kerridge I
      • et al.
      Science at warp speed: medical research, publication, and translation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
      ].
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      References

      1. COPE Council. COPE retraction guidelines [Internet]. Committee on publication ethics; 2019 [cited 2021 Jan 27]. Available from: https://publicationethics.org/retraction-guidelines.

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      3. ALLEA. Memorandum on scientific integrity. 2016.

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