New Report From UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Looks at Research Integrity Issues
From the UK House of Commons Website:
The Science and Technology Committee report looks at what is known about problems arising from errors, questionable practices, and fraud in research, and what can be done to ensure that problems are handled appropriately.
As part of its inquiry, the Committee wrote to 136 universities to ask them whether they publish information on the number of misconduct investigations undertaken each year.
The Committee’s report found that:
- Despite a commitment in the 2012 Concordat to Support Research Integrity, a quarter of universities are not producing an annual report on research integrity.
- This lack of consistent transparency in reporting data on the number of misconduct investigations, and inconsistency in the way the information is recorded, means it is difficult to calculate the scale of research misconduct in the UK.
- While compliance with Concordat is technically a prerequisite for receiving research and higher education council funding, non-compliance has not led to any funding actions against institutions.
- There has been a lack of co-ordinated leadership in implementing the Concordat’s recommendations in universities.
Due to the potential weaknesses in the UK’s approach to research integrity, the Committee is recommending that:
- A tightened Concordat on Research Integrity should be produced, with a timetabled roadmap to 100% compliance.
- The Government should establish a national Research Integrity Committee to provide a means of verifying that university investigations into research misconduct are handled appropriately. The primary responsibility for investigating misconduct should remain with the employer, but the new committee would improve confidence in the existing system of self-regulation and would be alert to the potential conflict of interest of universities ‘self-policing’ research misconduct.
- The new committee should publish an annual report on the state of research integrity in the UK.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.