This week’s Times Higher Education discusses whether UK higher education needs to fundamentally change its approach to cases of research misconduct and isues of research integrity.
UKRIO agrees that there should be a more systematic and visible effort to promote integrity in UK research. We must always remember that the UK has a justified reputation for conducting innovative and high quality research and it has excellent researchers who deliver robust results. But while the UK is not overrun with misconduct, it is important to recognise that we cannot dismiss issues of questionable and fraudulent research.
The UK has a variety of mechanisms for demonstrating good research practice. They are complex and not especially transparent. Justice may be done but often it is not seen to be done. More consistent and complete structures are needed, to support good professional practice and to encourage research of the highest ethical standards and quality. It is risky for the UK to demonstrate confusion about managing research misconduct. Instead it could – and should – be an example to the rest of the world on these issues.