Science is built on trust. The assumption is that scientists will conduct their work with integrity, honesty, and a strict adherence to scientific protocols. Written by geoscientists for geoscientists, Scientific Integrity and Ethics in the Geosciences acquaints readers with the fundamental principles of scientific ethics and shows how they apply to everyday work in the classroom, laboratory, and field. Resources are provided throughout to help discuss and implement principles of scientific integrity and ethics.
Volume highlights include:
* Examples of international and national codes and policies
* Exploration of the role of professional societies in scientific integrity and ethics
* References to scientific integrity and ethics in publications and research data
* Discussion of science integrity, ethics, and geoethics in education
* Extensive coverage of data applications
Scientific Integrity and Ethics in the Geosciences is a valuable resource for students, faculty, instructors, and scientists in the geosciences and beyond. It is also useful for geoscientists working in industry, government, and policymaking.
THE ORIGIN, OBJECTIVES, AND EVOLUTION OF THE WORLD CONFERENCES ON RESEARCH INTEGRITY
Nicholas H. Steneck1, Tony Mayer2, Melissa S. Anderson3, and Sabine Kleinert4
1 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
2 Nanyang Technological University, Republic of Singapore
3 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
4 The Lancet, London, United Kingdom
The World Conferences on Research Integrity (WCRI) have grown over the past decade from a proposal to convene a joint U.S.-European conference on research integrity into a global effort to foster integrity in research through research, discussion, the harmonization of policies, and joint action. Over the course of the first four WCRIs, held in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2007; Singapore in 2010; Montreal, Canada, in 2013; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2015, participation has grown from 275 participants from 47 countries in 2007 to 474 participants from 48 countries in 2015. The WCRIs have produced two global statements on research integrity: the Singapore Statement in 2010 and the Montreal Statement in 2013. In addition, three sets of proceedings and numerous papers and working reports archived on the WCRI website (www.researchintegrity.org) are available. The WCRI effort celebrated its tenth anniversary at the Fifth WCRI in Amsterdam, May 28-31, 2017. A total of 836 participants from 52 countries attended.
In an ideal world, integrity should be a regular element of all aspects of research. In practice, it is too often a topic that gets attention when there is a crisis and then is put on the shelf until the next crisis arises. Thus, over the 40 or so years that research integrity has been a topic of public discussion, universities, professional societies, and governments have responded to crises, issued reports, and then, too often, moved on to other issues, hoping that no further crises would arise.
The World Conferences on Research Integrity have evolved into an ongoing forum for the study and discussion of ways to promote responsible behavior in research. This was not, however, the goal of the initial and somewhat audaciously titled "World Conference on Research Integrity" held in Portugal in 2007. The aim of the initial conference was more modest.
The World Conferences began as an experimental extension of the U.S. Office of Research Integrity's (ORI) conference program to Europe. In 2000, ORI's authority was "changed to focus more on preventing misconduct and promoting research integrity through expanded education programs" [Federal Register, 2000]. Under its new authority, ORI initiated programs aimed at improving researcher training and engaging researchers and professional organizations in the discussion of integrity in research. The conference program (small grants to organizations and institutions to organize conferences) was part of this effort. In 2006, a consultant working at ORI, Nicholas Steneck, University of Michigan, was heading to Europe for an academic meeting and suggested that he explore the possibility of holding a Europe-United States conference to discuss research integrity issues of common interest. The ORI Director, Chris Pascal, and the Director of the Division of Education and Integrity, Larry Rhoades, agreed to provide $25,000 for this effort, with the understanding that a European partner be found to match ORI funding.
In 2006, a number of European countries and groups of European researchers were engaged in efforts to develop misconduct policies and otherwise promote integrity in research. However, most did not have enough funding to support a collaborative U.S.-European conference. In a series of meetings, World Conference initiator Steneck was assured of European interest in promoting integrity but received no commitment of support until one final meeting in Strasbourg with European Science Foundation (ESF) Chief Executive, Bertil Andersson.
While some countries had responded to research misconduct incidents at the national level, ESF was the first European organization to formally engage the topic of research integrity in its 2000 Science Policy Briefing, Good Scientific Practice in Research and Scholarship [ESF, 2000]. Andersson was deeply committed to taking an active role in promoting integrity in research and quickly agreed to match ORI's funding. More importantly, he also agreed to take the lead in seeking additional support in Europe, starting with the European Commission, and appointed an ESF consultant, Tony Mayer, to co-organize and co-chair the proposed joint U.S.-European conference on research integrity. From this agreement on, Co-Chairs Steneck and Mayer assumed major responsibility for securing funding and organizing the first World Conference on Research Integrity.
1.2. The First World Conference on Research Integrity
With strong encouragement from Andersson and colleagues consulted during the early planning process, Co-Chairs Steneck and Mayer broadened the U.S.-European plan to an International Conference for Fostering Responsible Research, justifying the effort in their unpublished planning report to the ESF and ORI as follows:
Research, which prides itself on its internal self-governance and its integrity, is now faced with a number of well publicized cases of misconduct, fraud and questionable research practices. The research community worldwide has to face this challenge in order to retain public confidence and establish clear best practice frameworks at an international level.
However, planning also included the need to address "questionable research methods and environments in which such methods are tolerated." With these broad objectives in mind, the overall purpose of the first World Conference was
. to assemble an international group of researchers, research administrators from funding agencies and similar bodies, research organizations performing research, universities and policy makers for the purpose of discussing and making recommendations on ways to 1) improve, 2) harmonize, 3) publicize, and 4) make operationally effective international policies for the responsible conduct of research.
At roughly the same time that planning for the first WCRI began, two members of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Canada and Japan, proposed the development of a Working Group on research integrity, with the goal of producing recommendations for action by all OECD members [OECD, 2007]. Steneck and Mayer soon established a collaborative working relationship with this effort and also began working with the International Council of Science (ICSU), which was also interested in increasing attention to integrity by the global scientific community [ICSU, 2002]. And most importantly, through the efforts of Andersson and Mayer, the European Commission agreed to provide major support for the first WCRI and to encourage Portugal to host the Conference during its upcoming presidency of the European Union. Through these and other related developments, what became the founding WCRI was set for September 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal, at and with further support of the Gulbenkian Foundation headquarters.
Opening talks by the Portuguese Minister of Science, the late Jose-Mariano Gago, the European Commissioner of Research Janez Potocnik, and others, challenged participants to engage the issues through discussion and further action. As summarized in the final report [Mayer and Steneck, 2007], over the 2.5 days of meetings, the 275 participants from 47 countries participated in "a series of plenary sessions, three working groups, formal opening and closing sessions, and other events designed to promote discussion and begin a global exchange about ways to foster responsible research practices." More information on the first WCRI will be available on the World Conference for Research Integrity Foundation website: researchintegrity.org.
1.3. The Second World Conference on Research Integrity
One of the outcomes of the first WCRI was support for convening a second global conference, with some preference for a country in the rapidly expanding Asian research world. Given that by the time of the first WCRI, both Andersson (as Provost) and Mayer had moved to the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, Singapore quickly became the logical site for the Second WCRI. The NTU is one of the two highly ranked, research intensive universities in the city state, the other being the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Working within the Singaporean system, Andersson and Mayer were able to mobilize substantial funding for the Second WCRI through the two major universities (NTU and NUS), the Singapore Management University (SMU), and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). All four institutions had high international research profiles and recognized the importance of carrying out research to the highest standards of integrity. In addition to these organizations, the Ministry of Education provided significant extra funding. The organizers also had the financial support of a number of other organizations, including the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), which has supported every WCRI held to date. The level of funding achieved enabled not only the support for the conference program but also provided the wherewithal for Co-Chairs Steneck and...