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[ RESEARCH INTEGRITY ] October 11, 2023

Are research integrity attitudes consistent across generations?

How do early-career researchers’ attitudes and opinions on integrity issues and the potential of new technology compare to that of senior researchers? Let’s dive right in.

Our Research Integrity Survey was conducted in June 2023 for four weeks, exploring the scholarly publishing community’s feelings surrounding integrity challenges, trends, and the transformative potential of technology.
Discover more insights below.


Is research integrity unraveling?

The academic world is facing unprecedented challenges to research integrity. Retractions are on the rise, and scandals have surfaced even in the most prestigious institutions like  Harvard and Stanford, as well as within academic publishers of all sizes. Understandably, there's growing apprehension about the future of scholarly communication and research integrity, with nearly 80% of survey participants acknowledging that research integrity stands as the most significant issue currently confronting scholarly publishing. But we wanted to understand whether technology could provide a remedy for these concerns. We believe without technology there is no hope of improving research integrity at scale. But how do our partners, and other stakeholders across the academic community, feel about technological risk vs reward?

The emotional landscape of technology in research Integrity

Early-career researchers are filled with enthusiasm and hope for the potential of novel tools and solutions to combat research integrity challenges. An impressive 75% of scholars in the early stages of their careers express optimism and excitement about the possibilities offered by technology solutions for research integrity. However, as we move along the career trajectory, this optimism starts to wane. Among researchers with 4-6 years of experience, only 57% remain optimistic. Senior researchers, those with 15+ years in their careers, display a more divided stance on this issue, with just 50% expressing excitement or optimism. A significant portion, 35.1% of senior researchers, feels a mix of weariness, skepticism, and nervousness toward these solutions. 

These feelings are likely driven by the fact that early-career researchers are far more likely to be digital natives. Early-career researchers have seen technology transform every aspect of their lives, and seen the efficiency and immediacy of the digital world, driving positive expectations for technology in their professional publishing lives. However, for senior academics, these new tools can be daunting, potentially seen as amplifying existing integrity issues rather than mitigating them.

How important is integrity?

As integrity issues increase, could a sense of panic be spreading within the academic world?  While 63% of early-career researchers saw research integrity as a critical point of concern for themselves, that figure dropped to 41% for senior academics with more than years of experience.

This data reveals an interesting pattern: all academics recognize the importance of integrity, but for more senior academics, it's not as likely to be ranked as the most critical issue.  Perhaps that’s because they see a wider context of the research ecosystem, and its changes over the years.   Their perspective shows a sense of resilience and confidence that the academic world can weather these integrity storms once again.



Our survey results reveal a wide range of opinions in researchers across generations. We are interested to see how these opinions evolve over time, and to explore further into perceptions and feelings around AI specifically. You can also watch our recent webinar (and read our Q&A responses) for more context.  

At Morressier, we believe in the power of  adaptive technology. We champion diverse communities and strive to accommodate a broad spectrum of applications for publishing workflows and research integrity. 

guide to research integrity