“Plagiarism”, “undue authorship in publications”, “data manipulations” etc are capturing more and more space in science in the recent yeas. Like a corruption it has also established its deep root in the science society worldwide. As a result, very basic essence of truth seeking through science is becoming a matter of the past. More and more people are falling prey of this disease. Recently, an eye opening paper has been published in Nature (2018) entitled “Thousands of scientists publish a paper every five days”. (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06185-8). All though we often talk about “Good Practices” to be followed in our life but ironically very basic of good practices are slipping down in our all activities. And it is also fast vanishing form our science and publications.
To establish a good practices in publications, perhaps the most widely established requirements for authorship are the “Vancouver criteria” established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors in 1988. These specify that authors must do all of four things to qualify: (1) play a part in designing or conducting experiments or processing results; (2) help to write or revise the manuscript; (3) approve the published version; and (4) take responsibility for the article’s contents.
When I discussed about this with the young researchers, I am utterly shocked to know that this was not known to them because either there is no such curriculum in their formal learning process or there was any example set by their peers.
I, therefore, urge before the UGC and also all higher learning institutions to introduce a course curriculum for what is good practices in science starting from Good practices for learning; Good practices for experimental design; Good practices for laboratory maintenance; Good practices for data analysis; Good practices for publication and authorship, etc. Education system must give importance to these learnings to avoid manipulations in science.
I also urge to various scientific societies to take this matter seriously and promote and educate their members about what is right in science.