S. Koby Taswell, Anousha Athreya, Madhavi Akella, Carl Taswell
Brain Health Alliance, Ladera Ranch, California, USA
Truth, honesty, and integrity remain crucial to the pursuit of science as a
self-correcting discipline to explore, discover, and process information about
the world around us.
When following the scientific method,
we hypothesize, experiment, and repeatedly retest our results,
investigating whether or not those results can be confirmed as reproducible and valid.
Conducting this process rigorously with unbiased and objective investigations
enables greater confidence in obtaining results we consider more reliable and trustworthy.
Such truthful information can be used to avoid harm and prevent injury
by those who may wish to apply it in their daily
lives in the form of a medicine, machine, or method of some kind.
However, in recent years, some scientists and lay persons have violated these
tenets of truth in science to further their professional or personal agenda
by spreading false information in scientific literature and on social media.
This misconduct can be evaluated by assessing the authors'
awareness of the document's truthfulness prior to publishing it and their
willingness to correct the mistakes and false information when brought to their attention.
Identifying these key characteristics about incidents of scientific misconduct
enables analysis and introduction of a consistent collection of definitions and criteria for the terms
mis-information, dis-information, anti-information, caco-information, and mal-information.
Clarifying different categories of misconduct in this manner should enable
more effective interventions to remediate and/or prevent each one appropriately.
Without adequate safeguards to maintain reproducible science as a self-correcting endeavor
with retractions of publications when necessary,
false information will continue to pollute the published literature and threaten the core of science.
Scientific reproducibility, research integrity,
mis-information, dis-information, anti-information, caco-information, mal-information.