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DOE Updates Scientific Integrity Policy

FEB 05, 2024
The new policy adds some new requirements but does not significantly alter the processes that researchers must follow.
Jacob Taylor headshot
Senior Editor for Science Policy, FYI American Institute of Physics
doe-sign.jpg

A sign outside the Department of Energy headquarters in Washington, DC.

(DOE)

The Department of Energy released a new scientific integrity policy on Jan. 19 that adds some new requirements but does not significantly alter the processes that researchers must follow.

For instance, the new policy states that DOE personnel cannot “suppress, unduly delay, or alter scientific or technological findings” for reasons such as “political purposes.” The old policy does not explicitly identify political purposes as an example of an unacceptable motivation, nor does it explicitly mention undue delay as an unacceptable practice.

The new policy also contains a new section that raises awareness of whistleblower protections and adds a requirement that DOE produce an annual report on the state of scientific integrity at the department.

These and other provisions aim to bring the policy into alignment with the Framework for Federal Scientific Integrity Policy and Practice put out by the National Science and Technology Council in 2023. Other agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency and National Institutes of Health, have also recently published draft revisions to their integrity policies in response to that report and an associated executive order.

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