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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 89-90  

Ethics of funding of research

1 Department of Microbiology, JIPMER, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Orthopedics, CMC, Vellore, India

Date of Acceptance02-Dec-2012
Date of Web Publication28-Dec-2012

Correspondence Address:
Subhash Chandra Parija
Department of Microbiology, JIPMER, Puducherry
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-5070.105172

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How to cite this article:
Mandal J, Parija M, Parija SC. Ethics of funding of research. Trop Parasitol 2012;2:89-90

How to cite this URL:
Mandal J, Parija M, Parija SC. Ethics of funding of research. Trop Parasitol [serial online] 2012 [cited 2022 Dec 3];2:89-90. Available from: https://www.tropicalparasitology.org/text.asp?2012/2/2/89/105172

Financial support for research is obtained from many sources. The responsibility for ensuring that the funds and resources are utilized optimally without any misconduct rests on the shoulders of the researchers, as well as the respective institute ethics committees along with the funding organizations. This calls for the development of a code for utilization of these funds appropriately.

The basic requirements to conduct any research needs honesty, interest and tremendous amounts of motivation. These ingredients are sustained by academic, administrative, peer and financial support.

Financial support for research is obtained from many sources which exist within the research conducting institute (intramural grants) or from external sources (extramural grants). The extramural grants can be obtained from local level organizations, state and central government organizations, international organizations, corporate sectors and non-government organizations.

A recent editorial by Dadhich highlighted the clandestine association between the researchers/authors and the corporate funding organizations. [1] Strategies to advertise their products and making propagandas about them being safe have raised many questions related to the funding of research by those companies. Suppression of facts in the form of a negative response while disclosing a conflict of interest is another area where the publishers need to be wary of.

The responsibility for ensuring that the funds and resources are utilized optimally without any misconduct rests on the shoulders of the researchers, as well as the respective institute ethics committees along with the funding organizations. [2],[3],[4] Hence, it is important and should be made mandatory that every institute should have a research code which will set down the broad principles of responsible and accountable research practice and identify the responsibilities of institutions and researchers in areas such as data and record management, publication of findings, authorship, conflict of interest, supervision of students and research trainees and the handling of utilization of funds.

One such code is the Missenden code which is concerned with governance of funds and resources. The Missenden code was developed to address the issues and challenges posed by the commercial sources of research funding in universities. The code was initially framed following a number of ethical controversies. [5]

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recommends that Institutes set up ethics committees (IEC) to monitor the sources of sponsorship and funding. [6] The ethics committees are also supposed to ensure that the source of funding is revealed in any publication. Whenever a research is funded by a source which has vested interest in the results, it tends to be biased.

Our chief concern lies with the ethical issues that arise involved in the science community and other key stakeholders. Although the guidelines apply specifically to research projects funded by these organizations, the recipient will eventually have to show that they have met the requirements set out in the framework in order to receive funding. In all areas of scientific study, it is recognized that affiliations, particularly those related to funding, have the potential to influence the way that research issues are defined and findings presented.

On the other hand, to be biased by the media or source of funding and discrediting it also is not acceptable. For example, if it is a corporate body funding the research, we should not always declare it unethical. As long as the veracity of the organization is proven and the legal front is taken care of, there should be no ambiguity. Moreover, no research is truly independent as it is clear that the money must come from somewhere. But the main thing for researchers is to be conscious of the possibility that questions about funding have the potential to affect the credibility of the research and that they should be explicit and transparent about the resources that enabled their research in any publication. [7]

The article has been written only to bring into the fore the pros and cons of funding of research. At no time or anywhere, we have deliberately tried to vindicate any of the available funding resources. The readers are urged to go through the existing list of funding bodies which are under the centre's control and the non-government organizations.

"The first rule of research is that it would not be research if it was clear at the outset where it would lead. It is neglect of that rule which leads pharmaceutical companies to react with hostile surprise when research into which they have put funds fails to endorse the superiority of their product over others."

   References Top

1.Dadhich JP. Tackling Conflict of Interest and Misconduct in Biomedical Research. Indian Pediatr 2012;16:527-31.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Thompson DF. Understanding financial conflicts of interest. N Engl J Med 1993;329:573-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Kassirer JP, Angell M. Financial conflicts of interest in biomedical research. N Engl J Med 1993;329:570-1.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Smith R. Beyond conflict of interest. Transparency is the key. BMJ 1998;317:291-2.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Daly R. The Missenden code of practice for ethics and accountability. Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire; 2002.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Indian Council of Medical Research. Ethical guidelines for biomedical research on human participants Indian. New Delhi, 2006.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Bryman A, Bell E. Business research methods. Ch. 5, 3 ed . Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2011. p. 141-2. Available from: http://www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/orc/brymanbrm3e/. [Last accessed on 2012 Nov 28].  Back to cited text no. 7

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