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How to create an environment that advances research ethics and integrity within organisations?

Research funding performing organizations that strive to create a favourable environment to research ethics and integrity face external and internal challenges. On the one hand, they are a part of a larger competitive research environment that puts them under pressure to regularly and frequently deliver innovative research outcomes. On the other, researchers themselves are often reluctant to change established practices and introduce deliberations that they might feel out of touch with the everyday reality of their research work.

Navigating through these challenges, organisations can do several things. First, they can adjust their own research evaluation mechanisms to promote quality and integrity, reducing the pressure to take suspect shortcuts. Second, they can create a research ethics framework in a participatory manner, working with researchers to identify their dilemmas and provide needed guidance as well as offer a platform for discussion. Third, they can set up training and awareness-raising activities that equips researchers with knowledge and encourages them to reflect on their practices.

All this requires effort and commitment, allocation of time and resources. This too is not only dependent on the willingness of organisations but also on external factors such as funding opportunities. This is why projects such as GRACE are so valuable: they provide the opportunity to create such an environment in a guided way based on mutual learning.

Rok Bencin,
Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts

 

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