Journal of Conservative Dentistry
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 93-94
Author's reply

Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics and Chief, Center for Dental Education and Research, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

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Date of Web Publication4-Feb-2012

How to cite this article:
Shah N. Author's reply. J Conserv Dent 2012;15:93-4

How to cite this URL:
Shah N. Author's reply. J Conserv Dent [serial online] 2012 [cited 2023 Dec 4];15:93-4. Available from:
First and foremost I would like to thank Dr. Pitak-Arnnop et al.[1] for taking interest in my Editorial [2] and sending their comments/remarks on the subject. They seem to have vast experience on this subject matter, which is obvious from the list of their own references they have provided for further reading.

I would like to clarify at the outset that mine was a 'Guest Editorial' and not a full-fledged research article. It was meant to create awareness among the scientific community of teachers, graduates, and postgraduate students and professionals (as made clear in the fourth paragraph of the Editorial). Therefore, the write-up had to be simple enough to understand and short to sustain the interest of general readers, and was therefore not exhaustive. Only very highly relevant points, which were thought to interest the general scientific community, were included, so that those interested in the subject could explore the topic further and learn about the specifics. This also explains the use of word 'norm' in relation to ethics used in the Editorial (last line of the second Para). It was used in a very general sense of the word and not as Dr. Pitak-Arnnop et al. have put forth.

Coming to the specific three areas of concerns raised: Regarding morality, ethics and laws, their definitions, interpretation, practice in different regions of the world and so on, extensive literature is available. It depends on what aspect of these one intends to cover and what is the target audience, besides one's own personal manner in which to communicate the thought. No two individuals are expected to think along the same lines. Therefore, although I agree with whatever the authors have written on these issues, I did not feel the need to elaborate in the same manner or to the same extent.

Regarding scientific misconduct, they have mentioned eight categories. These are very specific points which require elaborate explanations. The Editorial has tried interweaving scientific misconduct with 'other deviations' in simple, readable form, which can easily be understood / identified with / recognized by the health professionals.

The percentage of misconduct quoted in the Editorial was not my imagination. The reference for this is given below:

Shamoo A and Resnik D. 2009. Responsible Conduct of Research, 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press) . It was taken from reference No.2, quoted at the end of the Editorial.

As the authors have mentioned, the other causes of scientific misconduct could be ascribed to journals themselves: Guidelines to authors, journal's mechanism for upholding research, and publication ethics. It was specifically for this reason that it was not covered in the Editorial as it fell in the domain of editors and publishers and not in that of the contributors, which was the prime target audience of this Editorial.

Although 'scientific misconduct' is an issue of grave concern to all committed to scientific ethics, its low percentage, as quoted, was felt to be 'good news,' to end it on a positive note and with an optimism that the awareness created by the Editorial would bring it down further.

I do hope that this 'Letter to the Editor' and my response to it will nudge more general readers (who are not actually working on the subject of 'Research and Publication Ethics' like the authors of this 'Letter to the Editor') to be aware of their conduct while perusing their research projects and publications in future.

   References Top

1.Pitak-Arnnop P, Dhanuthai K, Hemprich A, Pausch NC. Morality, ethics, norms and research misconduct. J Conserv Dent 2011;15:92-3  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Shah N. Ethical issues in biomedical research and publication. J Conserv Dent 2011;14:205-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
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Correspondence Address:
Naseem Shah
Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics and Chief, Centre for Dental Education and Research, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 22368347

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