Dishonest Conformity in Peer Review
31 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2015 Last revised: 24 Oct 2015
Date Written: January 1, 2016
Honesty in scientific publication is critical for scientific advancement, but dishonesty is commonly and increasingly observed in the forms of misconduct and other questionable practices. Focusing on dishonest conformity in peer review, in which authors unwillingly obey referees’ instructions in order to have their papers accepted even if the instructions contradict the author’s scientific belief, the current study aims to investigate the determinants of dishonesty. Drawing on survey data of Japanese life scientists, this study shows that the conflict between authors and referees in peer review is quite common, under which a majority of scientists follow referees’ instructions rather than to refute them. The results suggest that conformity occurs more frequently 1) in biology than in medicine and agriculture, 2) when authors are under stronger scientific competition, 3) if authors are associate professors rather than full professors, 4) if authors have no foreign research experience, and 5) in low-impact journals rather than in medium-impact journals.
Keywords: Misconduct, publication, research integrity, scientific honesty, questionable research practice
JEL Classification: O32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation