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ResourcesResearch Integrity(UK) House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Research integrity Sixth Report of Session 2017–19

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

(UK) House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Research integrity Sixth Report of Session 2017–19

Published/Released on July 11, 2018 | Posted by Admin on July 16, 2018 / , , , , ,
 


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Report, together with formal minutes relating to the report

Summary
Research is fundamental to the process of pushing back the frontiers of human knowledge and understanding. Research helps cure diseases, tackle climate change, and understand the world around us. The UK has an enviable reputation for high-quality research, and researchers are among the most trusted groups of people in the eyes of the public. It is recognised that the vast majority of research undertaken in the UK is of high quality and high integrity.

This House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report nods approvingly towards the Canadian and Australian systems. Not light reading, but it provides a useful international reference point for institutional arrangements.

Nevertheless, error, questionable practices, and outright fraud are possible in any human endeavour, and research integrity must be taken seriously and tackled head-on. The 2012 Concordat to Support Research Integrity provided a set of high-level commitments in this vein, but, six years on, while all the most research intensive-universities are complying with key recommendations of the Concordat, around a quarter of universities overall are not fulfilling the basic Concordat recommendation of producing an annual report on research integrity.
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Compliance with the Concordat has technically been a prerequisite for receiving funding from UK research councils and higher education funding councils since 2013, but non-compliance has not led to any hard consequences. This reflects the fact that the Concordat has only high-level commitments and recommendations, meaning that ‘compliance’ is difficult to assess in practice. More broadly, there has been a lack of co-ordinated leadership to drive the implementation of its recommendations in universities, such as transparency in declaring the number of misconduct investigations carried out each year. The Concordat should be tightened so that compliance can be more easily assessed, with a timetabled route-map to securing 100% compliance. We welcome Universities UK’s plans to convene a meeting of the Concordat signatories to discuss the issues raised in our report and look forward to seeing further action in this area
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Access the full report.

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House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Research integrity Sixth Report of Session 2017–19
https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmsctech/350/350.pdf

 



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