At the allegation stage of a research misconduct matter, it may not be known which of several scientists actually committed research misconduct (assuming anyone did), resulting in more than one scientist being named as a respondent. Often, an allegation will be made against the supervising scientist along with the junior scientists in the lab who are involved in the research. This is not inappropriate at the allegation stage; after all, allegations are just that – allegations. Continue Reading Research Misconduct – Guilt by Association
This article was originally published by TheScientist on December 16, 2016.
It was not until the Supreme Court decided a case concerning marital contraception that the right to privacy became a legally cognizable interest sanctioned by the United States. In 1965, the landmark ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut (381 U.S. 479) held that, when one looks at the Bill of Rights, a natural extension is a right to privacy. Since that decision, courts and governments have sought to define the parameters of this right. Continue Reading The Scientist’s Scarlet Letter
Often times, when a dispute first arises, even before litigation has begun, one or both sides will hire counsel to assist in trying to resolve the dispute. Even if counsel is not retained at that early stage, however, once litigation is instituted, in most cases neither party appears pro se. In many jurisdictions, a corporate party is not even permitted to appear pro se. Litigation then proceeds with opposing counsel handling all aspects (albeit in consultation with their clients). Continue Reading Research Misconduct Cases: No Need to Fly Solo – Let a Lawyer Be Your Co-Pilot
In litigation, the issue du jour is the discovery of electronically stored information (“ESI”). There are a whole host of issues, such as the particular form in which the ESI should be produced (pdf? native format?), whether data claimed to have been deleted can be restored, and whether the producing party has control of the production or whether the requesting party can send in its own technological team to copy the data. These are just a few of the ESI related issues that are generating much discussion – between parties and their counsel, among the Judiciary, and among the bar.
Research misconduct inquiries and investigations are conducted by committees appointed by an institution’s research integrity officer. The committee members are typically scientists, not lawyers. Not only must they analyze the science in question, but they also must ensure that the institution meets all of its obligations under both the institution’s misconduct policy as well as federal regulations (if the research is federally funded.) Sometimes an institution will appoint committee members from outside the institution conducting the inquiry and investigation, but it is not required to do so.
A common issue that arises in connection with scientific research misconduct cases concerns what should be done with publications which contain a research record that is the subject of the allegations. This issue can arise even where an inquiry or investigation committee concludes that there was no research misconduct.