Ensuring research integrity should be one of the key responsibilities for universities and university medical centers. Traditionally, institutions have focused on codes of conducts, procedures for handling allegations and courses on responsible conduct of research. Recently the importance of fostering a culture of research integrity receives more attention. The aim of our project is to explore and clarify the most salient aspects of the research culture in the four academic institutions in Amsterdam and to identify promising ways to promote responsible research practices.
The main research question is:
What do scientists of the four academic institutes in Amsterdam consider to be the salient aspects of the research culture of their institution that promote or hinder research integrity, and which do they believe to be the most important barriers to responsible conduct of research (RCR) and the most promising interventions to prevent research misbehavior (RM) and questionable research practices (QRP)?
Special attention will be given to differences between academic ranks and disciplinary fields.
We will assess the salient aspects of research culture by a web-based survey among all active researchers (n > 5000). Departing from the survey results we will determine with focus group interviews what the perceived barriers for responsible conduct of research are. Also the thoughts and perceptions of scientists on the preventability of research misbehaviors will be explored. As are the solutions and interventions believed to be most effective. Subsequently we will design and try out two pilot interventions that are based on the knowledge gathered in the web-based survey and the focus group interviews: 1) regular moral case deliberation sessions in research groups, and 2) a training program for novice mentors of PhD students.