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“ Researcher awareness and engagement with research integrity ” SRHE 5 October 2012. Dr Andrew C. Rawnsley Dr Fiona Denney. C ontext. From research ‘ethics’ to research ‘integrity’… …a brief historical tour... …the contemporary landscape… International and UK policy

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researcher awareness and engagement with research integrity srhe 5 october 2012

“Researcher awareness and engagement with research integrity”SRHE 5 October 2012

Dr Andrew C. Rawnsley

Dr Fiona Denney

c ontext

From research ‘ethics’ to research ‘integrity’…

…a brief historical tour...

…the contemporary landscape…

  • International and UK policy
  • Distinguishing compliance from ethics/integrity in HEIs
  • Current practice in training & development
  • Challenges: institutional ‘resistance’
from research ethics to research integrity
From research ‘ethics’… to research ‘integrity’…
  • Planning

Objectives, design, pre-project ethical review, risk management, collaboration

  • Conducting

Safety, record keeping, data collection, data recording, analysis, collaboration

  • Reporting

Writing, authorship, publication, review, use of outputs, collaboration

Categories from: Steneck, ORI Guide to Responsible Research

international and uk policy
International and UK policy
  • Singapore Statement
  • European Code of Conduct for RI
  • UKRIO Procedure for Investigation/Code of Practice
  • RCUK Code of Conduct
  • UUK Concordat for Support of RI
integrity or compliance
Integrity … or Compliance?
  • Dangers of box-ticking exercises
  • Where does the responsibility lie?
  • Risk; reputation; research competitiveness

development of effective ethical practice not accomplished by imposition

compulsion-driven or value-led?

cannot use administrative systems on attitudes linked to behaviours

focus on the ‘person'

“The key to reform of almost any kind in higher education lies not in the way that knowledge is produced. It lies in the way that the producers of knowledge are produced.”Louis Menand- The Marketplace of Ideas

current practice in training development
Current practice in training & development
  • In comparison with US, UK not consistent in delivery/support
    • Duke & Michigan models; Federal funding linked to training
  • Expertise at institutional level, alignment with RECs, staff development?
  • Relationship to Vitae, ‘skills’ training – RDF ‘professionalisation’
  • Nurturing good practice in novice researchers, doctoral students
    • Supervisory models, mentoring, local –v- central delivery/support
challenges institutional resistance
Challenges: institutional ‘resistance’


  • “Too basic” or “too scary” (polarisation of researcher perceptions)
  • “RI’s about misconduct which is rare and we’d never do it”
  • Professional self-regulation and peer review prevent RI breaches
  • Managerial bureaucratic ‘transparency’ designed to remove autonomy


  • Unwieldy administrative systems, risk averse, procedure driven
  • Poor inter- and intra-institutional communications
  • Conflicting priorities in policy requirements
  • ‘Publish or perish’ environments
the researcher awareness and engagement survey
The ‘researcher awareness and engagement’ survey
  • kind of HEI, role within institution, kind of department
  • awareness of codes and bodies dealing with research integrity
  • opinion of way RI should be handled by HEIs (regulated? external agency?)
  • ethics/RI topics in which training is offered and how well established
  • how frequently, who, and how is RI training delivered
  • how is RI training publicized, how well attended is RI training
  • how engaged are attendees, ways of improving engagement
  • institutional strategy for support and training in RI
  • awareness and attitude of senior managers, administrators towards RI
  • support provided by senior managers, administrators
  • institutional barriers for improving awareness and engagement with RI
  • institutional and policy changes for promoting RI
q21 w hat would significantly improve the level of engagement with ri training in your institution
Q21: What would significantly improve the level of engagement with RI training in your institution?
  • a culture change; greater awareness of what it means and involves and why it matters
  • prioritisation at the highest level
  • better support from supervisors and academic units
  • a national monitoring body
  • compulsory sessions for award of qualification prior to research being conducted
  • make it compulsory for academic/research staff with sanctions for non attendance
  • consistent availability of staff able to organiseand deliver training
  • integrating RI with other training that has greater resonance for many researchers
  • research integrity is seen as something so fundamental they do not think they will gain additional knowledge, or think they already know what they need to on this subject so it is difficult to attract them to attend training
Q22: What do you think is the most significant barrier to better engagement with training in RI at your institution?
  • Academics’ belief that there are no ethical issues in their discipline/subject areas
  • Academics reluctant to engage based on assumption that it isn’t relevant or that they don’t need training
  • Academics see it as questioning their professionalism
  • Completing priorities for staff and time
  • Lack of staff time
  • Some people will never attend training… always feel there is something else they have to do that takes higher priority… the difficulty is reaching this group of people
  • Lack of higher level support
  • Senior management needs to be more engaged
  • Poor management of non-compliant staff
  • Researchers misunderstand what is meant by “research integrity”
Q27: What kind of support from senior management or administrators would best assist in improving RI training at your institution?
  • A consistent message of the importance of RI
  • Add RI to student curriculum
  • Better understanding of the issues
  • Financial resource
  • Explicit endorsement showing they take it seriously
  • More time, more money, recognition that it is really good for reputation
  • They could attend themselves
uuk concordat commitment 3
UUK Concordat – Commitment #3

We are committed to supporting a research environment that is underpinned by a culture of integrity and based on good governance, best practice and support for the development of researchers

  • Maintaining the highest standards in research requires the right environment. It is the responsibility of employers of researchers – and all those undertaking, supporting or otherwise engaged with research – to maintain a culture that nurtures good practice. A research environment that helps to develop good research practice and embeds a culture of research integrity should, as a minimum, include:
    • clear policies, practices and procedures to support researchers
    • suitable learning, training and mentoring opportunities to support the development of researchers
    • robust management systems to ensure that policies relating to research integrity… are implemented
    • awareness among researchers of the standards and behaviours that are expected of them
    • systems within the research environment that identify potential concerns at an early stage and mechanisms for providing support to researchers in need of assistance
  • researchers should take a proactive role in their own personal development
  • employers of researchers will:
    • embed these features in their own systems, processes and practices
    • work towards reflecting recognised best practice in their own systems, processes & practices
    • implement the concordat within their research environment
singapore statement on research integrity
Singapore Statement on Research Integrity

Research Environments

“Research institutions should create and sustain environments that encourageintegrity through education, clear policies, and reasonable standards for advancement, while fostering work environments that support research integrity”

What do encouragement and support look like in your institution?