Why am I not first author? Why are you not publishing my work and waiting until you have got some additional results so you can publish in a higher-impact journal? These are some of the complaints that the German Research Ombudsman has to mediate.
In her Editorial in Angewandte Chemie, Katherina Al-Shamery, German Research Ombudsman and University of Oldenburg, Germany, discusses the different sorts of scientific misconduct. She deals with “honor authorships” where “big names” are added (or insist on being added) to papers, as well as plagiarism and fraud, in particular in the context of younger scientists who are under a lot of pressure to produce results, or reviewers stealing ideas from grant proposals. She also questions the use of impact factors and h-indices to judge researchers.
Al-Shamery points out that researchers should be taught about honesty and responsibility in all aspects of research from early on, and concludes that members of the scientific community have to trust and rely on each other.