Authors : Rea Roje, Vicko Tomić, Ivan Buljan, Ana Marušić
Research integrity (RI) guidance documents often lack sufficient details on handling specific RI issues causing the lack of harmonized approaches to RI and opening the way to research misconduct and other detrimental research practices.
Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are developed and implemented by organizations for ensuring the uniformity and quality of performed actions. This study aimed to explore stakeholders’ opinions on SOPs for RI, factors influencing the implementation of RI guidance documents and practices, and ideas for improvements in the RI field.
We conducted semi-structured interviews with stakeholders from different groups. Data were analyzed using the reflexive thematic analysis approach, and three themes were developed. The first theme addressed participants’ knowledge and perceptions on SOPs for RI and their impact on RI promotion and implementation.
The second theme described different factors that have a positive or negative impact on the implementation of RI and RI guidance documents and practices, while the third theme addressed needed changes and ideas for improvements in the RI field.
Participants considered SOPs valuable for RI promotion. SOPs should be developed based on and consistent with more general and aspirational guidance and through the dialogue with researchers and other stakeholders, to ensure their relevancy.