Recent revelations of scientific misconduct and fraud have brought into question the claim of the science community to self-regulation. Treatises on research fraud and problems in "peer review" proliferate, and even the United States Secret Service reportedly has been enlisted in the search for fraud in scientific notebooks (Science, 251:1168-72, 1991).

The old assumption that fraud inevitably will be revealed seems unacceptable. The stakes have become too high to rely on traditional mechanisms. Incidents of misconduct have alarmed not only the science community and its onlookers, but more significantly, the U.S. Congress, where some factions feel regulation is necessary.

In 1988, the Institute of Medicine convened a workshop that produced 16 recommendations, some of which have been implemented by federal regulatory action, including establishment of the Office of Scientific Integrity and the Office of Scientific Integrity Review ("The Responsible Conduct of Research in the Health Sciences," National Academy Press, 1989;...

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