An Interview with Melissa Anderson

"People know worldwide what fabrication, falsification, plagiarism are," says Dr. Melissa Anderson, Associate Dean of Graduate Education and Professor of Higher Education at University of Minnesota. So a pressing question in international research is: what are the structural issues that could explain the variation in research misconduct between the United States and other foreign countries? People often highlight cultural differences as the key explanatory factor for this variation. However, Dr. Anderson believes that people jump too quickly to cultural differences, while overlooking the tremendous variation in standards and codes of ethics. Thus, international research ethics should track the differences in laws and regulatory standards in science (the organization of science, funding sources, training programs, etc.) in order to understand the source of international research misconduct and also, in order to foster future international standards of research integrity.

Who is Melissa Anderson?

Melissa S. Anderson is associate dean of graduate educationand professor of higher education at the University of Minnesota. Her work over the past 25 years has been in the areas of scientific integrity, research collaboration, and academy-industry relations, with particular attention to the research environment. She was principal investigator of a study funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health on international research collaborations and co-editor, with Nicholas Steneck, of International Research Collaborations: Much to be Gained, Many Ways to Get in Trouble (Routledge, 2010). Professor Anderson serves on the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and on the editorial boards of Science and Engineering Ethics, the Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, and Accountability in Research. She serves as co-chair, with Sabine Kleinert of The Lancet, of World Conference on Research Integrity (Montreal, May 5-8, 2013 and Rio de Janeiro, 2015).