Last week, the Center for Biomedical Research Transparency (CBMRT) hosted the first of three webinars forming this year’s virtual Biomedical Transparency Summit series. The webinar, entitled ‘Research integrity – developments across the Atlantic’, was opened by the CBMRT’s CEO Sandra Petty (recently interviewed by The Publication Plan) and speakers included Professor Ana Marušić (Standard Operating Procedures for Research Integrity [SOPs4RI]) and Dr Michael Lauer (National Institutes of Health [NIH]).
Professor Marušić spoke about the importance of research ethics and integrity, which together contribute to ‘responsible research’. She also shared the ongoing efforts to develop the SOPs4RI toolbox, funded by the European Commission, which aims to assist research-performing and funding organisations to promote research integrity. SOPs4RI have found that few data exist about how institutions can effectively improve research culture, but have also identified many potential actions that can be taken.
While highlighting diverse examples of research misconduct, Dr Lauer discussed the different stakeholders responsible for ensuring research integrity and discouraging misconduct, emphasising that everyone plays a role. He noted that the NIH have previously clarified that institutions receiving funding are responsible for ensuring that their employees (and final funding recipients) adhere to research best practices, such as disclosing conflicts of interest and preventing issues like falsification of data and plagiarism.
Further topics of discussion included:
- how collegiality impacts research integrity
- the role of authors and peer reviewers in spotting research misconduct
- whistleblower protections in research.
The webinar concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Dr Devon Crawford (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) and Dr David Tovey (Journal of Clinical Epidemiology).