Friday, February 15, 2013

What should institutions do with (misconduct) investigation reports?

Berkeley shows the way, by putting it all in the public domain. It is possible that it has chosen this route because the investigation led to the exoneration of a member of its faculty. [Harvard's investigation of Marc Hauser, for example, has not been made public.] It is also possible, as Inside Higher Ed reports, that the allegations themselves were made in a very public website. Whatever the motivation, Berkeley has done the right thing.

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While it's not about scientific misconduct, it's worth noting the line taken by MIT's investigation of the role the institution and its people played in the prosecution of Aaron Swartz. The lead investigator, Prof. Hal Abelson, has promised to make the report public. He has already commissioned a public website to collect ideas on the issues and questions to explore in the investigation.