Montreal Statement on Research Integrity in Cross-Boundary Research Collaborations

From The Embassy of Good Science
Guidelines

Montreal Statement on Research Integrity in Cross-Boundary Research Collaborations

What is this about?

The Montreal Statement presents 20 good principles underlying successful research collaborations. The message of the statement is that partners in collaborations need to "take collective responsibility for the trustworthiness of the overall collaborative research”.[1] The statement covers the topics of general responsabilities and the responsibilities of managing collaborations, relationships and outcomes of research.

Why is this important?

A lot of scientific work happens through collaboration. Yet, collaborations can also lead to conflict when there is lack of clarity about the roles of different collaborators, or when expectations are not met. Collaborative work has become more important over the past few decades, partially due to the rise of interdisciplinary research. For instance, the average number of co-authors on research papers for the PNAS rose from 3.9 in 1981 to 8.4 in 2001[1] .
  1. Vicens, Quentin, and Philip E. Bourne. 2007. “Ten Simple Rules for a Successful Collaboration.” PLOS Computational Biology 3 (3): e44

For whom is this important?

What are the best practices?

The European Code of Conduct states that good research practice with regard to collaborations are based on the following principles:

  • All partners in research collaborations take responsibility for the integrity of the research.
  • All partners in research collaborations agree at the outset on the goals of the research and on the process for communicating their research as transparently and openly as possible.
  • All partners formally agree at the start of their collaboration on expectations and standards concerning research integrity, on the laws and regulations that will apply, on protection of the intellectual property of collaborators, and on procedures for handling conflicts and possible cases of misconduct.
  • All partners in research collaborations are properly informed and consulted about submissions for publication of the research results. (ECC 2017, section 2.6)

Vicens and Bourne (2007) suggest the following rules: [1]

  1. Do Not Be Lured into Just Any Collaboration
  2. Decide at the Beginning Who Will Work on What Tasks
  3. Stick to Your Tasks
  4. Be Open and Honest
  5. Feel Respect, Get Respect
  6. Communicate, Communicate, and Communicate
  7. Protect Yourself from a Collaboration That Turns Sour
  8. Always Acknowledge and Cite Your Collaborators
  9. Seek Advice from Experienced Scientists
  10. If Your Collaboration Satisfies You, Keep It Going
  1. Vicens, Quentin, and Philip E. Bourne. 2007. “Ten Simple Rules for a Successful Collaboration.” PLOS Computational Biology 3 (3): e44