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ResourcesResearch IntegritySystems Matter: Research Environments and Institutional Integrity – Harvard Law (Petrie-Flom Center | May 2018)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Systems Matter: Research Environments and Institutional Integrity – Harvard Law (Petrie-Flom Center | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 21, 2018 | Posted by Admin on July 25, 2018 / , ,
 


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This post is part of a series on emerging research challenges and solutions. The introduction to the series is available here, and all posts in the series are available here.

By CK Gu¬nsalus, Director, National Center for Professional and Research Ethics (NCPRE), University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

This item is great reading for institutions considering the effectiveness of their research integrity arrangements (which all Australian institution should be doing, or gearing up to do as part of our implementation of the Australian Code (2018). While there’s nothing new per se it’s a great prompt for effective practice).

We know what it takes for institutions and scholars to produce high-quality, high-integrity research, and yet we do not always act upon that knowledge. As far back as 1988, Paul J. Friedman described both the roots of systemic shortcoming and approaches for conducting trustworthy research. Despite a clear understanding of the issues and steps that would improve our research and educational environments, the academy continues to be dogged by those same systemic issues. A recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine consensus study, Fostering Integrity in Research, in which I participated as a panel member, explores that same disconnect and makes recommendations. The bottom line is this: we must shift our attention and energy away from individual bad actors—though they exist and must be addressed—and toward the highly complex ecosystem within which research is conducted.
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An update of an earlier appraisal published 1992, the 2017 NASEM report describes the transformation of research through advances in technology, globalization, increased interdisciplinarity, growing competition, and multiplying policy applications. It identifies six core values underlying research integrity—objectivity, openness, accountability, honesty, fairness and stewardship—and outlines best practices, including checklists, for all aspects of the research enterprise. I encourage you to read it and use these tools in your own work.
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All the reports in the world won’t improve research integrity, however, if we don’t do the work in our institutions, departments, and research groups. There are many components to this effort, some of which are discussed in separate posts by my colleagues John P.A. Ioannidis and Barbara A. Spellman elsewhere in this symposium. Let’s focus here on institutional infrastructure.
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Read the rest of this discussion piece



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