Questionable Research Practices

Guidance from UKRIO

Questionable Research Practices range from errors, misunderstandings, sloppiness, incompetence, through to falsification, fabrication, and criminality. The former are often due to mistakes and time pressure, the latter are more often deliberate and due to financial pressure. Credit Kolstoe, S. E. 2023.

The Spectrum of Questionable Research Practices, from


  • Andrade C. (2021). HARKing, Cherry-Picking, P-Hacking, Fishing Expeditions, and Data Dredging and Mining as Questionable Research Practices. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 82(1), 20f13804.
  • Banks, G. C., Rogelberg, S. G., Woznyj, H. M., Landis, R. S., & Rupp, D. E. (2016). Editorial: Evidence on Questionable Research Practices: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Journal of Business and Psychology.
  • Bierman, D. J., Spottiswoode, J. P., & Bijl, A. (2016). Testing for Questionable Research Practices in a Meta-Analysis: An Example from Experimental Parapsychology. PLOS ONE
  • Fraser, H., Parker, T., Nakagawa, S., Barnett, A., & Fidler, F. (2018). Questionable research practices in ecology and evolution. PLOS ONE.
  • Gerrits, R. G., Mulyanto, J., Wammes, J. D., van den Berg, M. J., Klazinga, N. S., & Kringos, D. S. (2020). Individual, institutional, and scientific environment factors associated with questionable research practices in the reporting of messages and conclusions in scientific health services research publications. BMC Health Services Research, 20(1), 828.
  • Hooper, M., Barbour, V., Walsh, A., Bradbury, S., & Jacobs, J. (2018). Designing integrated research integrity training: authorship, publication, and peer review. Research Integrity and Peer Review, 3(1), 2.
  • Kaiser, M., Drivdal, L., Hjellbrekke, J., Ingierd, H., & Rekdal, O. B. (2021). Questionable Research Practices and Misconduct Among Norwegian Researchers. Science and Engineering Ethics, 28(1), 2.
  • Rajah-Kanagasabai, C. J., & Roberts, L. D. (2015). Predicting self-reported research misconduct and questionable research practices in university students using an augmented theory of planned behavior. Frontiers in Psychology.




Last revised October 2023. 

Please note that this list of resources is not intended to be exhaustive and should not be seen as a substitute for advice from suitably qualified persons. UKRIO is not responsible for the content of external websites linked to from this page. If you would like to seek advice from UKRIO, information on our role and remit and on how to contact us is available here.

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