“Scientific research is being transformed by globalization, interdisciplinary research projects, team science, and information technologies,” said Indira Nath, co-chair of the committee that wrote the report, and former head of the department of biotechnology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. “This new guide emphasizes the importance of having internationally harmonized standards in a rapidly changing research environment.”
In 2012 the InterAcademy Council and IAP - the global network of science academies published 'Responsible Conduct in the Global Research Enterprise: A Policy Report'. While acknowledging that different disciplines and countries have varying research cultures, the report argued that the fundamental values of research – honesty, fairness, objectivity, reliability, skepticism, accountability, and openness – transcend disciplinary or national boundaries and form the basis for principles of conduct that govern all research.
The new publication, which draws upon the 2012 policy report and was written by the same committee, is intended as a practical guide to research conduct. It offers guidance on responsible conduct at different phases of the research process, from planning to reporting results. Chapters also explore how to prevent misuse of science and technology, ways to align incentives with responsible science, and the benefits and challenges of international collaborations. Throughout, the guide includes discussion scenarios - hypothetical situations that raise difficult and complex questions that can be used as springboards for conversations in classrooms and other venues.
The guide is aimed not only at students and new researchers but also at more-experienced ones, as well as research administrators, funders, and policymakers – all of whom are caught up in the same broad trends that are reshaping the research enterprise, the publication notes.
"The matter of research integrity is a challenge that is global in its scope," said committee co-chair Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, emeritus professor at the University of Munich, Germany. "We hope that the booklet thus will find a broad distribution throughout the entire research community."
The guide can be downloaded from the InterAcademy Council website. Print copies are available from the Princeton University Press. A committee roster follows.
The guide will be discussed at a Feb. 14 session during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. The session will start at 8 a.m. in Marriott Balcony A of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Road, N.W. Reporters who have not registered in advance to attend AAAS should visit this page for more information on on-site registration.
The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) is a new umbrella organization formed by the merging of three established inter-academy networks: the InterAcademy Council, IAP - the global network of science academies, and the InterAcademy Medical Panel. IAP currently has 130 member academies,
which together reach governments that represent 95 percent of the world’s population. The official launch of the InterAcademy Partnership is expected to take place during 2016.