Authors : Inge Lerouge, Ton Hol
This advice paper identifies ways in which universities can develop a research integrity culture within their institutions. At a time when public trust in information is increasingly challenged by misinformation, the need for sound and trustworthy research has never been so important.
Universities have a key role in supporting research integrity as this maintains and strengthens confidence in their researchers’ work. This paper shows how this could be achieved.
The paper first examines how universities can tackle the issues of ‘sloppy science’ or ‘questionable research practices’ by improving research design, conduct and reporting, then identifies how researchers could be educated about research integrity.
It then gives ideas on the internal structures that could be put in place to deal with research integrity and incidents of research misconduct. It highlights the benefits of transparency and accountability at universities, and what universities can do to instil a culture of research integrity within their institutions.
The paper includes a section giving examples of how LERU universities are developing research integrity policies which may act as inspiration for other universities wishing to develop or further strengthen their own research integrity practices.
A summary of recommendations is included, this can be used by readers to identify elements of the paper which they may be particularly interested in, or act as a quick check list by which an individual university’s research integrity strategy can be assessed.
The paper’s key message is that research integrity is a vital issue for universities and that there are a number of ways in which this could be realised. The options employed by universities will differ based on their individual circumstances.