Since the early 2000s, the field of Responsible Conduct of Research has become widely recognized as essential to scientific education, investigation, and training. At present, research institutions with public funding are expected to have some minimal training and education in RCR for their graduate students, fellows and trainees. These institutions also are expected to have a system in place for investigating and reporting misconduct in research or violations of regulations in research with human subjects, or in their applications to federal agencies for funding. Public scrutiny of the conduct of scientific researchers remains high. Media reports of misconduct scandals, biased research, violations of human research ethics rules, and moral controversies in research occur on a weekly basis.
Since the 2009 publication of the 2nd edition of Shamoo and Resnik's Responsible Conduct of Research, there has been a vast expansion in the information, knowledge, methods, and diagnosis of problems related to RCR and the multitude of ethical issues of human subject protections. With the climate surrounding research conduct always shifting, developments in the field make an updated edition a necessity. All chapters have been revised and reflect the most current RCR landscape. New or further-developed topics include social responsibility and misconduct in social sciences, climate-change research, authorship, and peer review. Updates include new information on research involving human subjects or "vulnerable" biological subjects, as well as genetic research. Just like in previous editions, all chapters contain recent case studies and legal examples of various subjects.