Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Scientific dishonesty—questionnaire to doctoral students in Sweden
  1. Tore Nilstun1,
  2. Rurik Löfmark2,
  3. Anita Lundqvist3
  1. 1Department of Medical Ethics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  2. 2Centre for Healthcare Ethics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  3. 3Department of Nursing, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Tore Nilstun, Department of Medical Ethics, Lund University, Sångarevägen 4c, Lund S-224 71, Sweden; tore.nilstun{at}


‘Scientific dishonesty’ implies the fabrication, falsification or plagiarism in proposing, performing or reviewing research or in reporting research results. A questionnaire was given to postgraduate students at the medical faculties in Sweden who attended a course in research ethics during the academic year 2008/2009 and 58% answered (range 29%–100%). Less than one-third of the respondents wrote that they had heard about scientific dishonesty in the previous 12 months. Pressure, concerning in what order the author should be mentioned, was reported by about 1 in 10 students. We suggest that all departments conducting research should have a written policy about acceptable research behaviour and that all doctoral students should be informed of the content of this policy. Participants in the research groups concerned should also be required to analyse published articles about scientific dishonesty and critically discuss what could be done about unethical conduct.

  • Plagiarism; dishonesty; scientific research

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Linked Articles

  • The concise argument
    Søren Holm