How researchers perceive research misconduct in biomedicine and how they would prevent it: A qualitative study in a small scientific community

ABSTRACTBackground: The aim of our study was to use a qualitative approach to explore the potential motivations and drivers for unethical behaviours in biomedicine and determine the role of institutions regarding those issues in a small scientific community setting.Methods: Three focus groups were held, two with doctoral students and one with active senior researchers. Purposive sampling was used to reach participants at different stages of their scientific careers. Participants in all three focus groups were asked the same questions regarding the characteristics and behaviour of ethical/unethical scientists, ethical climate, role and responsibility of institutions; they were also asked to suggest ways to improve research integrity. The data analysis included coding of the transcripts, categorization of the initial codes and identification of themes and patterns.Results: Three main topics were derived from the focus groups discussions. The first included different forms of unethical behaviours including i...
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