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[ RESEARCH INTEGRITY ] September 9, 2022

Who's responsible for research integrity? Publishers, researchers, or conference organizers

The world’s learners rely on published research to further their knowledge, but poor research integrity threatens trust and confidence in science. This article aims to better inform stakeholders on their roles in collectively putting a stop to the growing research integrity concerns.

Importance of scholarly integrity and negative effects of misleading publications

Scholarly integrity is an issue that affects both science, academia, and the society at large. It is essential to ensure that new ideas, knowledge, and future research are built upon accurate and factual data.

Furthermore, acknowledging and respecting research done by others when publishing your findings shows transparency and fairness. It also allows learners to know what influenced your discovery, thereby creating a pathway for new ideas to build on.

To uphold the integrity of scientific research, stakeholders need to develop innovative approaches and foster a feeling of responsibility across the scholarly community. Without this, the growing research integrity concerns will continue to threaten the trust and confidence in methods used and findings that result from the research. 

Science has the potential to transform the world, but first, people need to know they can rely on the data, discoveries, and breakthroughs made by scientists.


Role of stakeholders in ensuring research integrity


Role of conference organizers

As a conference organizer, one of your top priorities should be to ensure that the papers presented at your event are carefully reviewed in a way that underlies accuracy, honesty, and transparency.

It's important to have conference paper submission policies that promote and uphold research integrity while putting measures in place to mitigate research quality risks. The early-stage research presented at conferences is much further upstream in the research lifecycle. Therefore, ensuring comprehensive research integrity at this stage will cascade to all future publications.

It's advisable to provide your peer reviewers with digital tools and training on what constitutes misconduct in research integrity for better quality. Conference organizers must also ensure that integrity is maintained in all aspects of their event from start to finish.


Role of editors

The science publishing community has a major role to play in ensuring research integrity in science. Their publishing platforms are the avenue through which research reaches world learners. Editors in the publishing community should be responsible for the task of ensuring that data collected, methods applied, findings made, and results presented reflect the highest standards of integrity.

Trust, transparency, and reliability are the foundation of any research process. Research quality directly affects the impact of research on the future of science. Therefore, editors must actively engage in peer review and use innovative digital tools to evaluate and assess research work.


Role of researchers

As a scientist, research misconduct can be detrimental to your career and your organization’s reputation. Conducting research with honesty, transparency, and integrity will enable you to further your career and attract citations without negative scrutiny.

Researchers should not let the pressure to publish get in the way of research quality. By properly acknowledging other contributors and upholding every standard of research integrity, your work can better educate learners and have an impact on science.


In conclusion

Research misconduct is sometimes driven by financial and reputational incentives. Whether it's researchers entrenched in the ‘publish or perish’ mindset or publishers and conference organizers who need to publish more to make a profit. But all stakeholders in the science community need to act responsibly and actively uphold the standards.

To address the various research integrity concerns, the industry needs to employ innovative peer review tools and put policies in place to set the expectations for early career researchers. Morressier has innovative peer review tools and integrity checkers that help publishers ensure research quality.

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