The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) oversees and directs Public
Health Service (PHS) research integrity activities on behalf of the
Secretary of Health and Human Services and the American public. This
responsibility extends to around $30 billion in Federal research support,
devoted primarily to the biomedical and behavioral sciences through
intramural and extramural programs, and to the thousands of researchers,
research staff, and research administrators who work on PHS-funded
As part of its efforts to promote integrity
in PHS-funded research, ORI isauthorized to undertake activities and
to support programs that enhance education in the responsible conduct
of research (RCR). The ORI Introduction to the -Responsible Conduct
of Research is being issued to further this important mission.
The importance of formal RCR education
was first explicitly recognized in the 1989 Institute of Medicine Report,
The Responsible Conduct of Research in the Health Sciences, and has
since been endorsed by other groups and members of the research community.
Thanks to this support, researchers who want to learn about or help
others understand responsible conduct in research have many resources
available, from formal courses to web-based instruction programs, a
growing array of challenging books, and the experience of established
researchers conveyed through mentoring.
The ORI Introduction to RCR seeks to supplement
existing resources by makinga comprehensive overview of basic rules
of the road for responsible researchavailable to all PHS-funded researchers.
It has been prepared with the needs of small and mid-size research institutions
and beginning researchers in mind, since we have often been asked to
provide resources for this community, but it may find use in other settings.
In issuing this publication, it needs
to be stressed that ORI is not establishing or even recommending how
RCR ought to be taught. We understand that responsible conduct in research
can be and is learned in different ways, that the standards for responsible
conduct can vary from field to field, and that in many situations two
or more responses to a question about responsible research may be considered
acceptable research practice. We hope the ORI Introduction to RCR will
therefore be seen as the beginning and not the end of learning about
this important aspect of professional life.
Chris B. Pascal, J.D.
Office of Research Integrity