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Scientific integrity issues in environmental toxicology and chemistry: Improving research transparency, reproducibility, and credibility

January 4, 2019

High‐profile reports of detrimental scientific practices leading to retractions in the scientific literature contribute to lack of trust in scientific experts. Although the bulk of these have been in the literature of other disciplines, environmental toxicology and chemistry are not free from problems. While we believe that egregious misconduct such as fraud, fabrication of data, or plagiarism is rare, scientific integrity is much broader than the absence of misconduct. We are more concerned with more commonly encountered and nuanced issues such as poor reliability and bias. We review a range of topics including conflicts of interests, competing interests, some particularly challenging situations, reproducibility, bias, and other attributes of ecotoxicological studies that enhance or detract from scientific credibility. Our vision of scientific integrity encourages a self‐correcting culture that promotes scientific rigor, relevant reproducible research, transparency in competing interests, methods and results, and education.

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