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Gaceta Sanitaria

versión impresa ISSN 0213-9111

Gac Sanit vol.34 no.2 Barcelona mar./abr. 2020  Epub 01-Jun-2020 


Research culture reduces scientific misconduct

La cultura de investigación reduce la mala conducta científica

Amrollah Shamsia  b 

aMedical Library & Information Sciences, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, Iran.

bClinical Research Development Center, Shohadaye Khalije Fars Hospital, Bushehr, Iran.

To the Editor:

Scientific misconduct is one of the effects of rising growth of articles. Iran has the highest ranking in scientific misconduct1and while Iranian scientists admit some of the research problems, having said that, they defend the general principle of their research2. In the former paper have mentioned the serious actions of the Iranian authorities about this problem, which included the support of Iranian researchers3. After reading the letter to the editor3, the writer was eager to attach some vague and untold issues to present letter in order to help to clarify the matter, as well so, the author expressed his opinions.

Recently, one of the Persian journals in the field of computer science (miscellaneous)*has released own new statement: all researchers must send the certificate of plagiarism (via Hamanand joo) for us. Since plagiarism is the first type of Iranian scientific misconduct4, therefore, it is anticipated that, if this requirement was as instruction in all journals, notably medical journals, will help to reduce scientific misconduct and improve research culture. On the one hand, the author as a former expert of a Persian journal, doesn't see any Persian retracted articles in Iranian journals or Iranian databases. It is likely that there will be found retractable articles in Persian articles and if this issue were true, might the rate of Iran could change in the world1. Of course, a brief search on Scopus database showedthat most of retracted articles written in English, therefore, this matter maybe is everywhere. Nonetheless, Iran compared to many of countries is significantly suffering from defects of research culture1,4,5. On the other hand, If the culture institutionalized at national level, improving the situation internationally is not unexpected. One of the reasons for lack of retracted articles in Iran is fear of results, lack of necessary infrastructures or Iranian culture. All things considered, in addition to the rules and current actions, it seems a native database for monitoring, following and reporting about retracted documents is useful for non-native English countries.

Now that the certificate of plagiarism in Persian articles has begun, maybe saying idea “Certificate of reference access” is scary but not strange. The results showed that Iranian scientists have the most use of Sci-Hub website5. Therefore, the certificate represents the author's legitimate access to the resources used in their articles. Although above idea comes with challenges and slows down scientific production at first, nevertheless this international idea, firstly, it leads to more research ethics. Secondly, prevention of financial damage to journals5. And thirdly, shows value of database providers.

All things considered, the need for research culture is a global issue and scientific misconduct is not limited to Iran2, what is clear, the research culture tree should now be planted, if the tools and methods of growth are not suitable, its results will cause disease of all sciences and spread everywhere.


1. Oransky I. Volunteer watchdogs pushed a small country up the rankings. Science. 2018;362:395. [ Links ]

2. Larijani B, Niaz K, Pourabbasi A, et al. Not only Iranian rise in science marred by fraud: misconduct is a global problem. EXCLI J. 2017;16:1099-102. [ Links ]

3. Dakhesh S, Hamidi A. Scientific misconduct and Iranian scientists. Gac Sanit. 2019;33:598. [ Links ]

4. Moradi S, Janavi E, Kazemi H. A comparative study of scientific misconduct through the world. National Studies on Librarianship and Information Organization. 2018;28:75-94. [ Links ]

5. Bohannon J. Who's downloading pirated papers? Everyone. Science. 2016; 352:508. [ Links ]

Searched in 18 October 2019

E-mail address: Amrollah Shamsi:

Creative Commons License This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License