A Unifying Vision for Scientific Decision Making: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Scientific Integrity Principles

Published:August 28, 2015DOI:


      In 2014, recognizing the need to have a single document to guide scientific decision making at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy), the Council on Research was charged with developing a scientific integrity policy for the organization. From the Council on Research, four members volunteered to lead this workgroup, which reviewed the literature and best practices for scientific integrity from well-respected organizations, including federal funders of research. It became clear that the scope of this document would be quite broad, given the many scientific activities the Academy is involved in, and that it would be unreasonable to set policy for each of these many situations. Therefore, the workgroup set about defining the scope of scientific activities to be covered and envisioned a set of guiding principles, to which policies from every organizational unit of the Academy could be compared to ensure they were in alignment. While many relevant policies exist already, such as the requirement of a signed conflict of interest disclosure for Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo speakers, the Evidence Analysis Library funding policy, and the Academy’s sponsorship policy, the scientific integrity principals are unique in that they provide a unifying vision to which future policies can be compared and approved based on their alignment with the principles. The six principles outlined in this article were approved by the full Council on Research in January 2015 and approved by the Academy’s Board of Directors in March 2015.
      This article covers the scope of the principles, presents the principles and existing related resources, and outlines next steps for the Academy to review and revise current policies and create new ones in alignment with these principles.
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