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Are you thinking of Scientific Publishing?

Updated: Apr 18, 2022

Then, avoid the Common Mistakes of Unethical Research Practices.

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Researchers seek to build a scientific biography which is full of achievements to maintain their good reputation among their peers in the research community. Therefore, adherence to the ethical principles of scientific research is an essential feature that researchers must possess. This is due to the fact that they enable them to evade many ethical and legal errors, help them to provide high quality research and increase their chances of success and professional brilliance.

The Safety of Health Research Participants and Preserving their Privacy come First

Perhaps one of the most important unethical practices is endangering the health of the participants, the researcher must take into account the safety of research participants by following the relevant ethical standards such as Helsinki Declaration. The researcher is also responsible for monitoring practices that may harm the health of study volunteers. As a researcher, he/she must ensure that an informed consent is obtained from all the participants of the study. Moreover, the researcher must know that the safety of the study participants is one of his/her most important tasks.

The violation of privacy is one of the problems that some researchers tolerate. However, the researcher holds the main responsibility for protecting the information confidentiality of the research participants, and he/she must take the necessary measures to achieve that. As a scientific researcher, you must know that the failure to protect the privacy of your research participants entails being exposed to serious ethical and legal problems that you are in no need to if you avoid this.

Authors' Rights should be protected

Copying others' work without citing the source is a dangerous ethical behaviour. Copies do not only include what is quoted from others, but they also include what the researcher quotes from his personal work, and this error is called plagiarism / self-plagiarism. Research attributes the reasons behind plagiarism to a lack of knowledge, laziness, fear of failure, and a desire to gain scientific recognition. Thus, as a researcher, you should refrain from replaying already published results without citing the source of this information.

Authorship errors: defined as misconduct in the authorship source, either by including the author ("guest") or excluding the author ("ghost"). A change in the order of authorship or the inclusion or deletion of an author or a number of authors may result in authorship disputes. It is very common for authors to be included after submission or even after publication, and the problem occurs if the co-authors deny that they became a part of this misconduct. Therefore, as a researcher, you must respect research integrity and avoid excluding the name of any of the authors, such as the author of the ghost, who is someone who has been removed from the list of authors despite his eligibility to authorship. You should not also add author names such as guest author or gift author who is someone who is listed as an author despite not being eligible to author. According to a study in the scientific community, authorship disputes and misconduct for writing a research paper account for between 2% and 11% of all the ethical publication disputes. Therefore, you, as a researcher, must agree on the order of the authors’ names within the research team before publishing the research paper, and make sure that it is a common decision for all the authors participating in the scientific paper. We know that authorship is a gateway to promotions and other academic and professional rewards. On the other hand, this is not a justification for making mistakes in authorship, so be careful to avoid practicing unethical authorship practices.

Scientific Integrity

Poor documentation, if it’s not written down, it didn’t happen. Therefore, as a researcher, you and your team should document everything you do in an organized, accessible format that let others benefit from. You should provide an accurate description of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its importance. You must not provide fabricated information or manipulate and fabricate data, which is considered a punishable ethical practice, so beware of doing this because it is one of the most serious forms of research ethical misconduct. Research studies indicate that 2% of researchers have falsified or fabricated data throughout their career. You may also be asked as an author to provide preliminary data in connection with the research paper. Therefore, you must be prepared to provide public access to this data, and you must take care to preserve the research data for the study according to official regulations.

A duplicate or redundant publication is defined as a version of a paper that overlaps significantly with a paper that has already been published without clear reference to the previous publication. Unless there is clear notice that the author and the editor are intentionally republishing an article, everything available in the journal for reading is original in accordance with ethics and copyright law. If the readers did not get the other papers, each paper would be less substantial and the readers' knowledge would be less. Generally, you as an author should not provide detailed submissions on the same study in more than one journal or primary publication. On the other hand, the following uses of the work to be pre-published are excluded from this: publication of abstracts, publication of an academic thesis, and electronic prepress release are all options. As a result, repeat posting is a violation of copyright law and an unethical behaviour. In addition, repeated publication wastes scarce resources and leads to an incorrect weighting of the results of a single study. In one meta-analysis, duplicate publications of Ondansetron were revealed to have contributed to a 23% overestimation of its effectiveness.

Fundamental errors in published works are physical ethical problems. It is therefore your responsibility as an author to promptly alert the journal editor or the publisher of the serious errors or inaccuracies in your published work and to work with the editor to withdraw or modify the publication. Feel free to take the step to correct the problem in order to avoid publishing such errors. Authors must meticulously correct their papers during the process of producing the research paper.

A conflict of interest is a set of circumstances that create a risk to the professional judgment or the actions of a primary interest that will be unduly affected by a secondary interest. A conflict of interest is a characteristic that is not obvious to the reader or the editor, but can affect their judgment or impartiality. Academics, scientists, and researchers frequently collaborate with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to produce products that benefit society. However, there have been cases where financial and non-financial links between researchers and companies have threatened the integrity of research. Disclosure of conflicts of interest is the primary requirement to prevent attribution-related bias in research. The ICMJE has produced a Common Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form to expose any conflicts of interest, and this form must be individually signed by each co-author and uploaded with the paper files. The disclosure form is not intended to prevent authors with any potential conflicts of interest from publishing. It is only intended that any potential conflict be made public, so that readers can form their own judgment about the findings and the observations. It is up to the readers to determine whether the authors' external interest may reflect potential bias in the presentation of the conclusions presented. The authors are supposed to declare conflicts of interest in the text of the research manuscript intended for readers.


Always remember that publishing is a responsibility and an honesty that entails scientific facts, so do not compromise and make research integrity your motto during your scientific career. Don't hesitate to ask when needed, and try to increase your knowledge about ethical publishing, so you don't fall into the trap of bad research behavioral practices.


1. World Medical Association (2013). World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki: ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects. JAMA, 310(20), 2191–2194.

2. Ghassan, Faddi& Saleh Velez, Faddi& Bonin, Camila &Chalita, Maria & Falcao, Denise &Fregni, Felipe & Amorim, Rivadavio. (2016). Avoiding mistakes while writing scientific manuscripts in health sciences/Como evitarerrosdurante a redação de manuscritoscientíficosnasciências da saúde. Geriatrics Gerontology and Aging. 10. 49-56. 10.5327/Z2447-211520161023.

3. Goodman and the Late Dr Martin B. Edwards. Medical Writing: A Prescription for Clarity: A Self-Help Guide to Clearer Medical English: Fourth Edition. Cambridge University Press 978-1-107-62815-1.Fourth edition 2014,from

4. World Health Organization. (‎2013)‎. Ethical issues in patient safety research: interpreting existing guidance.

5. Nir Eyal, Is There an Ethical Upper Limit on Risks to Study Participants? Public Health Ethics, Volume 13, Issue 2, July 2020, Pages 143–156,

6. Singhal, S., Kalra, B.S. Publication ethics: Role and responsibility of authors. Indian J Gastroenterol40, 65–71 (2021).

7. Fanelli, Daniele. "How many scientists fabricate and falsify research? A systematic review and meta-analysis of survey data." PloS one 4.5 (2009): e5738

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