I was reading an article about conflicts of interest that presented a hypothetical situation where a lab publishes results confirming the efficacy of a drug but later it is revealed that the PI sits on the board or is funded by the drug company. This conflict of interest was not disclosed in the initial publication but the Journal and University take no further steps toward punishment. This is an interesting test case for a particular tyoe of research ethics. What I found especially fascinating was a mention of the Office of Research Integrity. I had never heard of this before. From a quick web search, I found that:
"The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) oversees and directs Public Health Service (PHS) research integrity activities on behalf of the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the exception of the regulatory research integrity activities of the Food and Drug Administration.
Organizationally, ORI is located within the Office of Public Health and Science (OPHS) within Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (OS) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)."
Their responsibilities for research integrity are as follows:
- developing policies, procedures and regulations related to the detection, investigation, and prevention of research misconduct and the responsible conduct of research;
- reviewing and monitoring research misconduct investigations conducted by applicant and awardee institutions, intramural research programs, and the Office of Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS);
- recommending research misconduct findings and administrative actions to the Assistant Secretary for Health for decision, subject to appeal;
- assisting the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) to present cases before the HHS Departmental Appeals Board;
- providing technical assistance to institutions that respond to allegations of research misconduct;
- implementing activities and programs to teach the responsible conduct of research, promote research integrity, prevent research misconduct, and improve the handling of allegations of research misconduct;
- conducting policy analyses, evaluations and research to build the knowledge base in research misconduct, research integrity, and prevention and to improve HHS research integrity policies and procedures;
- administering programs for: maintaining institutional assurances, responding to allegations of retaliation against whistleblowers, approving intramural and extramural policies and procedures, and responding to Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act requests
So I ask the Scientist Solutions community,
Has anyone else heard of or come into contact with this agency? I appreciate their existence but feel that maybe they should be more present in the scientific community.