On May 22, I had the privilege of participating in a terrific national conference that focused on what institutions can do to foster a culture of research integrity (see the agenda here). The DHHS Office of Research Integrity (ORI), Northwestern University, and the Council of Graduate Schools hosted the conference, “The Role of Research Integrity in Promoting Excellence: Tools for Colleges and University Leaders.” The conference organizers’ goal was “to engage university and college leaders in lively discussions about strategies, resources, and tools for promoting research integrity for current and future scientists, and scholars at institutions nationwide.” That goal was met and then some. A number of institutional leaders described a number of concrete, practical, and intriguing efforts to promote integrity and excellence.
I was also given the opportunity to present my thoughts on promoting research integrity, something I have written about before. My May 22 talk dealt with approaches institutions may take to foster a culture of research integrity, and I wanted to share it here as a resource for others. By watching the video below, you will hear me discuss:
- How the vocabulary describing research misconduct is evolving: Over many decades we have been shocked by many stories of egregious fabrications, falsifications, and plagiarisms. Our focus has been on the inappropriate activities of individual scientists. Now there is increasing focus on how the research climate may contribute to misbehavior.
- The NIH vocabulary as described in the Grants Policy Statement: As we’ve discussed before, NIH issues grants to institutions, not individual scientists. The Grants Policy Statement articulates the agency’s expectations regarding institutional steps to assure integrity.
- Thoughts and recommendations of academic thought leaders: Some have identified correlates and possible causes of misconduct along with the need for institutions to gather data and engage in targeted educational efforts. Others have focused on developing “Good Institutional Practice (GIP),” even going so far as to argue that funders should insist on GIP before issuing an award.
- The overarching importance of communication and information sharing: Enterprise-wide efforts involve appropriately framed and at times discrete approaches to gathering and sharing information. Thus, while we reminded the community of the need to share information with NIH about ongoing misconduct concerns, we are also cognizant of the need to do so within confidential channels.
- Institutional and government policies that might enhance integrity and excellence: Among a variety of possibilities, I talk about the promising roles of electronic laboratory notebooks and of policies to promote data sharing.
We hope you enjoy the talk.