Research misconduct is best prevented by nurturing a culture of scientific integrity among all members of research institutions. Educating and training staff and collaborators and establishing ethical standards can help to prevent misconduct [9]. Within research establishments and collaborating centres, standard operating procedures can help to discourage misconduct. The following principles should help.

♦ Avoid requesting data that are unnecessary.

♦ Identify who is responsible in collaborating centres for supervising the collection and reporting of trial data and for sending them to the trials office.

♦ Conduct source data verification.

♦ Ensure that all information is clearly and legibly recorded and that laboratory reports are kept and filed logically and are available for verification, even after publication of the results of a trial.

♦ In the collaborating centre, keep copies of data forms sent to the trials office.

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