Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Frauds in Scientific Research May be Overcome with Distributed Ledger Technologies

Version 1 : Received: 24 June 2020 / Approved: 26 June 2020 / Online: 26 June 2020 (12:18:41 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Boetto E, Golinelli D, Carullo G, et al. Frauds in scientific research and how to possibly overcome them. Journal of Medical Ethics Published Online First: 06 October 2020. doi: 10.1136/medethics-2020-106639 Boetto E, Golinelli D, Carullo G, et al. Frauds in scientific research and how to possibly overcome them. Journal of Medical Ethics Published Online First: 06 October 2020. doi: 10.1136/medethics-2020-106639

Journal reference: Journal of Medical Ethics 2020
DOI: 10.1136/medethics-2020-106639

Abstract

Frauds and misconducts have been common in the history of science. Recent events connected to the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted how the risks and consequences of this are no longer acceptable. Two papers, addressing the treatment of COVID-19, have been published in two of the most prestigious medical journals. In both, the authors declared to have analysed electronic records from a private corporation, which apparently collected data of tens of thousands of patients, coming from thousands of hospitals. Both papers have been retracted a few weeks later. When such events happen, the confidence of the population in scientific research is likely to be weakened. The objective of this paper is to highlight how the current system endangers not only the reliability of scientific research, but also the very foundations of the trust system on which modern healthcare is based. Having shed the light on the dangers of a system without appropriate monitoring, we propose to improve the research process using the promising aspects of the distributed ledger technology which, thanks to the characteristics of immutability, decentralization and transparency, appears among the best solutions to avoid the repetition of the mistakes linked to the recent and past history of research.

Subject Areas

Scientific research; Frauds; Reliability; Distrust; Distributed Ledger Technologies

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