The Hong Kong Principles for assessing researchers: Fostering research integrity

From The Embassy of Good Science

The Hong Kong Principles for assessing researchers: Fostering research integrity

What is this about?

The Hong Kong Principles (HKPs) are five principles which were developed during the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity and focus on fostering research integrity in the assessment, evaluation and reward system of researchers. The principles were developed by a group of research integrity experts and are meant to be used by research institutions and funding agencies. The five principles, their rationale and examples of implementation have been published as a journal article in PLOS Biology.[1]

  1. Moher, D., Bouter, L., Kleinert, S., Glasziou, P., Sham, M. H., Barbour, V., ... & Dirnagl, U. (2020). The Hong Kong principles for assessing researchers: Fostering research integrity. PLoS biology, 18(7), e3000737.

Why is this important?

The assessment of researchers is considered important for research integrity practices. However, the current research metrics, assessment and reward system includes perverse incentives .[1] This incentivizes researchers to cut corners to receive positive assessments, for instance for grants and promotions. The HKPs address the issue by outlining concrete proposals to make the assessment more comprehensive and more balanced. The HKPs have the aim to acknowledge and reward responsible research practices that make research trustworthy. Implementation of the five principles will increase research integrity and remove perverse incentives.

The five principles

  1.  Assess researchers on responsible practices from conception to delivery including the development of research ideas, research design, methodology, execution and effective dissemination.
  2.   Value the accurate and transparent reporting of all research, regardless of the results.
  3.  Value the practices of open science (open research) – such as open methods, materials and data.
  4.  Value a broad range of research and scholarship, such as replication, innovation, translation, synthesis, and meta-research.
  5.    Value a range of other contributions to responsible research and scholarly activity, such as peer review for grants and publications, mentoring, outreach, and knowledge exchange.


Research institutions, funders, journals, other research organizations and individual researchers can endorse the principles on the website of the WCRI foundation here.

  1. Edwards, Marc A., and Siddhartha Roy. "Academic research in the 21st century: Maintaining scientific integrity in a climate of perverse incentives and hypercompetition." Environmental engineering science 34.1 (2017): 51-61.

For whom is this important?