The Rules of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) state that 'The object of the Association is to promote the study of animal behaviour, by the encouragement and publication of results, the holding of meetings and such other activities as may from time to time be held to forward the purposes of the Association'. This objective can be achieved only when there is mutual trust, based upon honest behaviour, throughout the community of scientists working within the subject. Professional integrity in the conduct and reporting of research activity is thus an absolute requirement of the Association.
Any acts that dishonestly compromise advancement of the science of animal behaviour are unacceptable, since they reflect on the reputations of both the Association and the subject in the eyes of other scientists, the government and the public. The results of research should be recorded and maintained in a form that allows analysis and review by other interested scientists. Following publication or presentation at ASAB meetings, the data should be retained in order to be available promptly and completely to responsible scientists. Exceptions may be appropriate in certain circumstances in order to preserve privacy and to assure patent protection or for similar reasons. Fabrication, deliberate biasing or selective reporting of data with the intent to mislead is an egregious violation of the expected norms of scientific conduct, as is plagiarism of the data or research results of others. ASAB, or the Executive Editor of its journal Animal Behaviour, will respond to any such violation in accordance with the guidelines of the UK Committee on Publication Ethics (www.publicationethics.org.uk), including, depending on the circumstances of the case, informing a researcher's institution of the offence.
Questionnaire on Scientific Misconduct
A reprint of an article and associated questionnaire on scientific misconduct, by Bob Montgomerie and Tim Birkhead, is available for download here. The original article appeared in the International Society for Behavioral Ecology (ISBE) Newsletter (Montgomerie B. & Birkhead T., 2005. A beginner's guide to scientific misconduct. ISBE Newsletter 17(1), 16-24).
Members are encouraged to fill out and return the questionnaire to the authors, as well as to use it as a focus for discussion in their own research groups. It is planned to submit a summary of the results of the questionnaire for future publication. Thus, by participating in this survey you will help the authors to determine patterns of scientific behaviour in our community of researchers, and will also be able to assess how your own performance compares.
The questionnaire may be returned anonymously. It is also available to be completed online, at: http://biology.queensu.ca/~montgome/sm. Feel free to photocopy and distribute the questionnaire to students, supervisors and colleagues, or encourage them to fill out the online version.