Research misconduct and questionable research practices form a continuum

Lex Bouter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Letter to the editorAcademic


Research data mismanagement (RDMM) is a serious threat to accountability, reproducibility, and re-use of data. In a recent article in this journal, it was argued that RDMM can take two forms: intentional research misconduct or unintentional questionable research practice (QRP). I disagree because the scale for severity of consequences of research misbehavior is not bimodal. Furthermore, intentionality is difficult to prove beyond doubt and is only one of many criteria that should be taken into account when deciding on the severity of a breach of research integrity and whether a sanction is justified. Making a distinction between RDMM that is research misconduct and RDMM which not puts too much emphasis on intentionality and sanctioning. The focus should rather be on improving data management practices by preventive actions, in which research institutions should take a leading role.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAccountability in Research
Early online date2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023

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