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[ RESEARCH INTEGRITY ] December 15, 2023

This year in research integrity

From groundbreaking advancements to shocking scandals, let’s explore the defining trends that shaped research integrity in 2023.


This year, AI has left its mark on every industry, extending well beyond scholarly communications. With concerns about the changes it could bring, the new standards it might introduce, and the precedents it could set, a common question is often asked whenever AI is brought up: will artificial intelligence eventually take over the world and replace human effort?

While time will either prove these fears to be extreme or valid, in scholarly publishing, the potential of automated tools to streamline the peer review process has been a key focus. Despite being a traditional element of science, peer review has flaws, primarily in terms of slowness and lack of rigor, leading to poor-quality or error-prone work slipping through the cracks. Shockingly, the global time spent on peer review in 2020 reached 15,000 years. Many have wondered how AI could reduce this time, relieving the strain on reviewers, allowing academics to prioritize science, and potentially eliminating biases inherent in the field.

Fears persist regarding the use of AI-generated text. Yet, there is optimism that AI can help reduce bias, especially for researchers whose first language is not English.

Moving forward, as we look to 2024, we anticipate a world where AI-generated text is easier to spot, enabling societies and organizations to regulate and detect its use. At Morressier, we're actively developing tools to make this vision a reality.


Integrity scandals abound

This year, integrity scandals have been widespread, reaching from the highest seats of academia to retractions worldwide. In June 2023, Francesca Gino, a respected professor at Harvard Business School known for her research on dishonesty and unethical behavior, faced accusations of submitting work containing falsified results.

Several individuals, including a colleague, came forward with allegations that Gino manipulated data in at least four papers, leading to her current administrative leave.

Later this summer, Stanford University ran into controversy when its President, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, faced concerns regarding the integrity of his research on brain degeneration and diseases like Alzheimer’s. Misconduct allegations surfaced initially on PubPeer, a platform where scholars discuss their research.

On July 19, Tessier-Lavigne announced his resignation as university president, effective August 31. 

These incidents underscore that integrity issues emerged unexpectedly this year, emphasizing the urgent need to enhance our detection methods for misconduct. Strengthening these mechanisms is crucial to prevent the spread of scandals and to uphold public trust in science.


Increasing collaborative efforts

The idea that there's strength in numbers is more than just a saying; it holds deep truth. This year has highlighted the challenges posed by new technologies and integrity concerns. However, it has also underscored the power of unity, emphasizing the need to create a collaborative community involving authors, publishers, editors, and technology providers. By collectively building workflows tailored to the academic community's needs, we can overcome the hurdles together.

Together, we can shift our perspectives away from a rigid "publish or perish" mindset, valuing each phase of the research lifecycle and safeguarding its integrity.

Morressier made significant announcements this year, establishing integrations with esteemed publishers like AIP and IOPP, technology providers including Copyleaks and Cactus Communications, and academic experts. We've also recently formed a Strategic Advisory Board to stimulate positive change in the scholarly communications industry.

As we look ahead to 2024, coming together even more will result in heightened efficiency, bolstered integrity, and a multitude of new possibilities.



The future remains uncertain, yet at Morressier, our dedication lies in implementing and propelling our strategic roadmap ahead, striving to make a meaningful impact within the academic community.

 It's vital for publishers and the scientific community to embrace innovative approaches and cultural changes to secure efficiency and ensure sustainable revenue while sharing research.