The 6th World Conference on Research Integrity addressed new challenges in research integrity and ways of assessing researchers that foster trustworthy research.
Great change in research
There is great change in the way that research is being conducted. International collaborations are now arguably the norm, open research is driving particular behaviours and is more frequently an expectation from funders of research, and a generation of new researchers who grew up with the power of the internet and big data is entering the research workforce. As a result, the way we influence or foster research cultures towards responsible conduct and research integrity is also changing.
There has also never been more research into research integrity and the responsible conduct of research. Applying knowledge and research findings from other fields is providing new insights into the motivations behind research misconduct, the nature of bias and the apparent reproducibility of research findings, and how we might be able to drive more responsible research through mechanisms like education and training, or clear and effective policy.
Exploring new findings
The 6th World Conference on Research Integrity in Hong Kong, which was co-organized with Melbourne, explored the application of these new research findings to develop new and better solutions to address new challenges for research integrity.
The 6th World Conference on Research Integrity considered:
- Open data, methods, access and other moves towards transparency in research;
- Replication, reproducibility and research waste and the levers that can be used to encourage further and deeper consideration by researchers;
- Better ways of managing research misconduct, including its operationalization in norms and standard operating procedures, and updates on better ways of trying to address it;
- The importance of embedding education on responsible conduct of research into institutions and evidence on how this can be delivered in the most effective way;
- Exploring how cultural differences might impact the conduct of research and need to be taken into account while fostering research integrity, like for instance ensuring proper credit and ownership in cultures which different views on authorship;
- Ways we should conduct research so that the end-users of our research – governments, industry and the public - can trust and use the findings; that is how we ensure integrity in innovation and impact; and
- Institutional assessment of researchers.
Hong Kong Principles
The 6th World Conference on Research Integrity joined previous world conferences in preparing an outcome statement. The Hong Kong Principles for assessing researchers were formulated and endorsed at the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity. These principles guide research institutions that adopt them to minimise perverse incentives that invite to engage in questionable research practices or worse.