Personal Experience on the Problem of Ethical Behavior in Scientific Publications

Maurizio Bottoni


The American Scientist published in 2011 an article by Anderson Melissa S. et al. dedicated to the problem of ethical conduct in the publication of technical and scientific papers. The author of this article was motivated to reconsider events which occurred to him in the years 1990-1996 at the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) U.S., under the viewpoint of the analysis made in the mentioned article. While at ANL the author invited Prof. Katsuhiro Sakai, of the Osaka University, Japan, to cooperate with him, during a one-year stay, on numerical problems related to thermal and fluid-dynamics computer simulations. At the end of the stay Prof. Sakai wrote a report documenting his work made with the author. The section manager, who had not cooperated to the technical work, pretended to be considered as co-author of the report, excluding the author of this article. This blatant violation of professional ethics was reported to higher management levels which, however, engaged in a cover-up policy, thus violating the Code of Ethics established by the Laboratory. Those events are summarised in this article and reviewed from the viewpoint of the considerations illustrated in the article by Anderson Melissa S. et al.

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