Researchers’ behaviours can seriously enhance or, on the contrary, undermine research integrity. Such behaviours are primarily driven by the attitudes and professional values of individual researchers, the institutional research climate, and the research system as a whole. The 7th edition of the World Conference on Research Integrity showed how much fostering it can create greater trust and knowledge.
Research Integrity as a driver of research excellence and public trust
Trust plays an important role in carrying out scientific research. Firstly, trust enables the promotion of relationships and cooperative activities between researchers. It includes collaborative work, publication, peer review, and data sharing. Trust is also at the heart of many different relationships in scientific research. When researchers work together on a project, they trust that they will receive appropriate credit, such as authorship. Similarly, when scientists read an article published in a professional journal, they trust that the work has been carried out as described, that the information relevant to evaluating the methods and results has been disclosed, and that the data has not been fabricated or falsified. Ultimately, research integrity is a moral duty intrinsic to the research profession. It is about ensuring that scientific practices are valid and reliable.
As far as society is concerned, researchers are expected to generate knowledge and expertise that can inform public policy. As such scientific research takes a leading role in policy debates on societal and social topics such as public health, climate change, sustainable economic development, and education. In this relation, the results of scientific research ought to be an honest and accurate reflection of the researcher’s work to inform public policy decisions.
LARI as an advocate for research integrity in Luxembourg
The Luxembourg Agency for Research Integrity (LARI) has a dual objective: to promote responsible conduct of research; and to ensure an independent inquiry and investigation in cases of alleged scientific misconduct.
LARI’s activities focus on investigating allegations of misconduct in research, including corrective actions. All of its interventions take place within an adversarial framework, in strict compliance with the principles of confidentiality and the presumption of good faith.
LARI makes its knowledge available for the sake of preventing research misconduct and raising awareness. As such, LARI provides established and early stage researchers with applied ethics training sessions.