Factors associated with scientific misconduct and questionable research practices in health professions education

Anthony Artino Jr.
Erik Driessen
Lauren Maggio
Ting Dong Dong
Soort article
Original Research
Questionable research practices,
Research ethics,
Verscheen in

Introduction Engaging in scientific misconduct and questionable research practices (QRPs) is a noted problem across fields, including health professions education (HPE). To mitigate these practices, other disciplines have enacted strategies based on researcher characteristics and practice factors. Thus, to inform HPE, this study seeks to determine which researcher characteristics and practice factors, if any, might explain the frequency of irresponsible research practices.

Method In 2017, a cross-sectional survey of HPE researchers was conducted. The survey included 66 items adapted from three published surveys: two published QRP surveys and a publication pressure scale. The outcome variable was a self-reported misconduct score, which is a weighted mean score for each respondent on all misconduct and QRP items. Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics, reliability and correlation analysis, and multiple linear regression modelling.

Results and Discussion In total, 590 researchers completed the survey. Results from the final regression model indicated that researcher age had a negative association with the misconduct score (b = -0.01, β = -0.22, t = -2.91, p <0.05), suggesting that older researchers tended to report less misconduct. On the other hand, those with more publications had higher misconduct scores (b = 0.001, β = 0.17, t = 3.27, p < 0.05) and, compared with researchers in the region of North America, researchers in Asia tended to have higher misconduct scores (b = 0.21, β = 0.12, t = 2.84, p < 0.01).


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