Serious violations of good research practices – such as Falsification, Fabrication and Plagiarism (FFP) – are relatively rare, with an estimated 1% to 2% of scientists engaged in such practices. However, less serious issues, known as Questionable Research Practices (QRP), such as bad research design, methodology and analyses are much more frequent.
Studies from different disciplinary fields have shown that it is often difficult to reproduce previous studies’ findings. Selective reporting, inadequate description of methods and other such QRPs are often considered to be the cause of such replication problems.
It has been estimated that 85% of all clinical research funding is wasted, mainly due to: (1) not asking clinically relevant research questions; (2) the use of inappropriate methods and poor research designs; (3) not having access to full publications, and (4) poor reporting and the failure to publish negative or ambiguous results (Ioannidis, 2016).
Intended and non-intended breaches of integrity and good research practice reduce the trustworthiness of science. If scientific institutions and practices are perceived to be faltering, public trust in science may be jeopardised.