Why we need to think about research malpractice in the social sciences

Murphy, Tony (2013). Why we need to think about research malpractice in the social sciences. Criminal Justice Matters, 94(1) pp. 26–27.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09627251.2013.865503


Writing for the Bulletin of the American Association of University Professors in 1952, Professor Grant Redford highlighted the ‘pressures to publish’ within academia. Redford and others at the time noted how productive research formed a basis of promotion, and that such work was largely governed by ‘the questionable virtues of chance, accident, caprice and the least worthy elements of aggressive salesmanship’. In short, such an emphasis on publication was problematic at that time, just as it is now, but those words surely have never been as relevant as they are today. Increasingly, academics are forced to prove their worth through publication in peer reviewed journals, and demonstrate the ‘impact’ of their work. The dangers associated with such pressures have been widely explored and flagged-up within the disciplines of the natural or ‘hard’ sciences. This also includes the discipline of psychology.

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