If you've been on Twitter over the last few days, you may have seen the news about researchers and their unethical conduct. Here are some examples:

In a tongue-in-cheek piece of irony, dishonesty researcher Dan Ariely has been accused of lying in his research into the positive influence of honor statements at the start of insurance forms. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, "...the numbers in the study in question appear to have been fabricated." Dr. Ariely's response - that he does not remember how the data was collected and that he failed to test for irregularities - seems woefully inadequate. As The Chronicle points out, it is unlikely the data fabrication would likely have remained undiscovered if there had not been an attempt to replicate the study. Even if there was no malicious intent behind the fabrication, if there were just data irregularities and poor research design, the reputational ramifications for academic conduct experts globally are significant.

Similarly, SAGE recently retracted more than 30 articles, according to Retraction Watch. These articles were retracted for both "suspected data manipulation"  and for showing evidence of being written by paper mills. Contract cheating seems to have become fully enmeshed in research. It is a threat not just to students, but also to faculty and researchers publishing in large journals. It is a measure of the publisher's commitment to integrity that a full investigation has been implemented and retractions are occurring. SAGE told Retraction Watch that it has developed internal guidelines to curb the publication of any paper mill researcher. Could similar guidelines help faculty as they review their student paper submissions?

If you find yourself wondering why are you reading about academic misconduct by researchers rather than by students, it is because this sets the stage for future practice. Do we tell students that research and academic misconduct is wrong, knowing that the field has problems publishing authentic and accurate research? How do we maintain public trust as experts in our respective fields given that we cannot trust peers to follow ethical practice? The point is - simply put - that ethics do matter. Your academic and research conduct sets the standards in your respective fields and for public trust.

How are you maintaining positive academic and research conduct in your careers? Tweet @TweetCAI to share.