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Ethical Challenges

9. Scientific Integrity

Peer Review

Contributing to the scientific enterprise by serving on advisory committees when invited and, as a peer reviewer for research applications and publications is a civic obligation of scientists. In such roles it is critical to be intellectually honest, allocate adequate time and energy to the task, maintain confidentiality and avoid real or apparent conflicts of interest. The quality of science is dependent on good quality peer review. Participating in that process is an important professional activity.

Example 11


A scientific review group is discussing a grant application. One of the reviewers mentions that since the application is not in his area, he sought advice from a colleague, and then read his review. The chair of the review group points out that confidentiality has been violated and proposes that the committee defer the application for re-review.
Do you agree with the chair’s suggestion?