Friday, July 29, 2011

NOAA Issues Draft Scientific Integrity Policy for Public Comment

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a draft scientific integrity policy for public comment.  It joins a similar release by the Department of the Interior in February as a response to President Obama's executive order requiring federal agencies to provide guidance on how they will ensure scientific integrity. NOAA would like interested parties to provide feedback by August 20, 2011.

The policy, which can be read in full here, establishes Codes of Conduct and Ethics and identifies eight "Principles of Scientific Integrity."  They include such things as how NOAA employees conduct, publish, and communicate research and results, and the benefits and limitations of NOAA scientists' participation in professional organizations, as well as rules for receiving awards. The primary goals are to ensure transparency, maintain the highest of levels of scientific integrity, and assist in the accurate communication of scientific findings to the public and policy-makers. 

To support this policy, among other things, NOAA will facilitate the free flow of scientific information online and in other formats, document the scientific findings considered in decision-making, and ensure selection of scientific staff "based on a candidate's integrity, knowledge, credentials, and experience relevant to the responsibility of the position." 

The new draft policy was welcomed by at least one scientific organization, the American Geophysical Union, which issued a press release.

The link for the NOAA scientific integrity policy, and instructions for providing feedback to the Agency, can be found here.

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