Initiatives promoting research integrity

From The Embassy of Good Science

Initiatives promoting research integrity

What is this about?

An increasing focus on Research integrity (RI) has provided the impetus for numerous initiatives aimed at fostering good research practice and building public trust in science. These initiatives take various forms, such as codes, guidelines, recommendations, training sessions and workshops. [1] Developed by various institutions and groups, including research performing and research funding institutions, as well as journals and governmental bodies, initiatives to promote RI help researchers to become aware of, and to adhere to, good scientific practices.

  1. Marusic A, Wager E, Utrobicic A, Rothstein HR, Sambunjak D. Interventions to prevent misconduct and promote integrity in research and publication. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016(4);MR000038.

Why is this important?

Initiatives for the promotion of research integrity have a number of aims. First, to help train and educate young researchers and students in how to adhere to ethical research practices so that they can contribute to an honest and open research culture. But initiatives are not only focused on young researchers, they are also valuable for senior researchers when it comes to supervising or teaching research integrity. Initiatives help researchers recognize bad research practices, but they also help institutions in guidance when dealing with cases of misconduct. Their impact and development are not limited to research performing organizations only. Some journals and funders have recognized the importance of building a research integrity culture and starting initiatives for research integrity promotion. [1]

  1. Steneck NH. Fostering integrity in research: Definitions, current knowledge, and future directions. Sci Eng Ethics. 2006;12(1):53-74.

For whom is this important?

What are the best practices?

In the United States, the Office for Research Integrity (ORI) is developing policies, procedures, and regulations related to the responsible conduct of research and research misconduct. Moreover, ORI develops activities and programs aimed to promote research integrity and foster good research practices.

In Europe, the Luxembourg Agency for Research Integrity and Austrian Agency for Research Integrity are good examples of institutions providing all kind of resources for the promotion of research integrity. These organizations have developed guidelines and recommendations that are implemented by research institutions in their countries. Moreover, they offer training and workshops for researchers in different stages of their career and deal with cases of research misconduct.