Research misconduct (RM) is an alarming concern worldwide, and especially in Italy, where there is no formal training of young researchers in responsible research practices. The main aim of this study was to map the perceptions and attitudes about RM in a sample of young researchers attending a one-week intensive course on methodology, ethics and integrity in biomedical research, held at the University of Insubria (Italy). To this end, we administered the Scientific Misconduct Questionnaire (SMQ-R) to all attendees at the beginning of the course. Thereafter, SMQ-R was re-administered at the end, to assess the impact of the course on the responsiveness of study participants, which is intended as the frequency of responses other than “don’t know”. Results show that respondents rate as high their own understanding about rules and procedures related to scientific misconduct (49.2% of respondents), as well as the effectiveness of their institution’s measures for reducing it (40%). Most of them (44.6%) perceive as low the chances of getting caught for RM. Some respondents believe that cases of misconduct occur in their workplace (20%–46.2%) and that the integrity of a research is not solely the responsibility of the principal investigator (73.8%). Among the main factors contributing to research misconduct, the need for publications, unclear definition of what constitutes misconduct and pressure for external funding do stand out. Respondents are concerned about the amount of misconduct and express a pressing need for training on research ethics. Remarkably, the responsiveness of participants tends to increase with course attendance. This finding may be useful to support education programmes devoted to research methodology, ethics and integrity among young researchers.

Perceptions and Attitudes about Research Integrity and Misconduct: a Survey among Young Biomedical Researchers in Italy

Mabou Tagne A.;Furgiuele A.;Storelli E.;Cosentino M.;Marino F.
2020

Abstract

Research misconduct (RM) is an alarming concern worldwide, and especially in Italy, where there is no formal training of young researchers in responsible research practices. The main aim of this study was to map the perceptions and attitudes about RM in a sample of young researchers attending a one-week intensive course on methodology, ethics and integrity in biomedical research, held at the University of Insubria (Italy). To this end, we administered the Scientific Misconduct Questionnaire (SMQ-R) to all attendees at the beginning of the course. Thereafter, SMQ-R was re-administered at the end, to assess the impact of the course on the responsiveness of study participants, which is intended as the frequency of responses other than “don’t know”. Results show that respondents rate as high their own understanding about rules and procedures related to scientific misconduct (49.2% of respondents), as well as the effectiveness of their institution’s measures for reducing it (40%). Most of them (44.6%) perceive as low the chances of getting caught for RM. Some respondents believe that cases of misconduct occur in their workplace (20%–46.2%) and that the integrity of a research is not solely the responsibility of the principal investigator (73.8%). Among the main factors contributing to research misconduct, the need for publications, unclear definition of what constitutes misconduct and pressure for external funding do stand out. Respondents are concerned about the amount of misconduct and express a pressing need for training on research ethics. Remarkably, the responsiveness of participants tends to increase with course attendance. This finding may be useful to support education programmes devoted to research methodology, ethics and integrity among young researchers.
Italy; Research integrity; Research misconduct; Survey; Training; Young researchers
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11383/2096124
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 4
social impact