Assessing the severity of an instance of research misconduct is undoubtedly challenging, especially when the result of the assessment may be key to suggesting subsequent sanctions. However, only a few references are currently available in the Taiwanese academic context. In a previous study, the present authors developed The Assessment Criteria for Research Misconduct (The Criteria) based on existing international policies and guidelines and reviewed by local research scholars for content validity. The Criteria, with a total of 28 items, were organized into three sections: general criteria for determining case severity, aggravating criteria, and mitigating criteria. In the current study, the authors further conducted a survey and collected data on 277 Taiwanese researchers’ perceived importance of each criterion included in The Criteria. The results showed that participants generally agreed with the importance of all criteria. However, the group that lacked case-handling experience attributed significantly greater levels of importance to the criterion of original will (proactive, passive, or coercive) toward participation in misconduct than did the experienced group. In addition, the participants exhibited greater variation in the perceived importance of the mitigating criteria. Finally, the possible utility of The Criteria in real contexts and training materials is suggested in the study.
- Empirical studies of research ethics
- legal and regulatory issues in research
- misconduct in research
- research integrity
- responsible conduct of research
- science policy