Graduate teaching in principles of scientific integrity

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Training in the responsible conduct of research in the biomedical sciences is on its way to being a standard component in the graduate biomedical curriculum. Emphasis in this area has been catalyzed by certain requirements for such training imposed by the National Institutes of Health and by an increased awareness of relevant issues created by the publicity and discussion of incidents of scientific misconduct. The authors describe the development and formalization of a course about the responsible conduct of science for students in the biomedical disciplines at Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition, they discuss general considerations of course content important in teaching scientific integrity; examine the use of published resource materials and documents from professional societies, institutions, states, and the federal government as teaching tools; and describe the importance of case studies as vehicles for teaching scientific integrity.

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