Academic misconduct distorts the relationship between scientific practice and the knowledge it produces. The relationship between science and the knowledge it produces is, however, not something universally agreed upon. In this paper I will critically discuss the moral status of an act of research misconduct, namely plagiarism, in the context of different epistemological positions. While from a positivist view of science, plagiarism only influences trust in science but not the content of the scientific corpus, from a constructivist point of view both are at stake. Consequently, I argue that discussions of research misconduct and responsible research ought to be explicitly informed by the authors’ views on the relationship between science and the knowledge it produces.
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