Responsibilities of the Policy and Education Division[index]
HAG2 develops policies, procedures and regulations, including those applicable to the review panels that hear scientists' appeals. This also includes the analysis of existing policies as well as "studies" to improve research integrity policies and procedures. Thus, HAG2 is the interface through which self-governing entities would provide input to the outside agencies. As discussed elsewhere (see this Engineering and Law series in the September, 1992 and December, 1992 issues of EMB Magazine), there is nothing to plug into the interface because researchers have not made a serious attempt at self-governance.
HAG2 also administers, reviews and approves institutional assurances. Here too, HAG2 is the interface through which institutional entities would provide input. However, many institutions have no system for this interface.
Finally, HAG2 administers the PHS ALERT system. Although there has been a reaction from researchers to the ALERT system, the lack of a principled, pro-active stance has probably done more harm than good. For example, the ALERT system initially included the names of individuals who had been found to have misappropriated federal research funds. Certain well-known, respected scientists cried "Foul!" Apparently, felonies such as stealing research funds were not considered "scientific misconduct," at least not by those scientists. Now the ALERT system no longer contains the names of individuals who had been found to have misappropriated research funds. The hubris of this "victory" is bound to reap mounds of political fallout for future researchers.
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