IAFNS’s Core Values:
Scientific integrity and transparency are core values of IAFNS.
We bring scientific experts and leaders together to catalyze science for confident decision-making by all sectors. IAFNS believes researchers from the public and private sectors can and should work together on science and public health issues. Public-private collaboration - where all interests are declared and all funding is acknowledged - can advance science for public benefit.
Integrity in Science - It's Who We Are
Scientific integrity is essential to advancing credible science for the purpose of improving society. IAFNS is a recognized leader in addressing issues of scientific integrity, research public-private partnerships, and conflict of interest through our work with federal agencies and scientific professional societies. We are proud of our extensive programs on scientific integrity, and we integrate scientific integrity into every step of our research programs.
Assembly on Scientific Integrity
The Assembly on Scientific Integrity includes the IAFNS Board of Trustees, IAFNS Scientific Leadership Council, and all IAFNS members from government, industry, and academia. With representation from all three sectors of our membership, the Assembly is active in ensuring IAFNS achieves and promotes the highest standards of scientific integrity.
Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines
The Center for Open Science's Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines provide actionable steps for institutions to practice and promote transparent, reproducible, and rigorous research. IAFNS is a TOP Guidelines signatory. As a signatory, IAFNS supports the principles expressed in the guidelines and supports the implementation of these principles by our funded researchers. All new projects moving forward will work to adhere to the TOP Guidelines.
Our commitment to transparency is evidenced by our establishment a Collection page on the Open Science Framework. The IAFNS Collection aggregates all IAFNS-supported research projects that are registered on the Open Science Framework in one place. It provides greater visibility of the breadth and rigor of research that has been undertaken by the investigators we support, and allows the scientific community to more easily discover our work.
IAFNS's Leadership in Scientific Integrity:
IAFNS is one of six partners whose goal is to improve public health and the sharing of open data by expanding and enhancing the USDA National Nutrient Database — now known as USDA FoodData Central — with nutrient composition and ingredient information on branded and private label foods to better reflect the food supply.
The Scientific Integrity Consortium developed a set of recommended principles and best practices that can be used broadly across scientific disciplines as a mechanism for consensus on scientific integrity standards and to better equip scientists to operate in a rapidly changing research environment.
Risk of Bias (ROB) study pinpoints ways to improve quality of food & nutrition research.
Read more about Using Risk of Bias Domains to Identify Opportunities for Improvement in Food- and Nutrition-Related Research: An Evaluation of Research Type and Design, Year of Publication, and Source of Funding
This paper provides an overview of key existing efforts on scientific integrity by federal agencies, foundations, nonprofit organizations, professional societies, and academia from 1989 to April 2016.
- Promote a strong, non-governmental, scientific publishing enterprise that assures access to information and exchange of scientific ideas and information among all parties with legitimate uses while appropriately protecting copyright and security-related information.
- Assure the quality of science and technological advancement through open, rigorous and inclusive peer review.
- Promote institutions and guidelines to assure that governments make appropriate and open use of scientific and technological information in making policy decisions.
- Assure the most open interactions possible among scientists, engineers, and students from across the globe.
ACS also lists policy priorities in scientific integrity and other areas.
ACS released its 2017 advocacy agenda in January. The Society's highest priorities fall into three broad categories, one of which is to ensure scientific integrity and the role of science in the public policy arena.
The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) has compiled resources for authors on the ASM ethics portal; including a particularly useful module on avoiding image manipulation. The ASM website includes a Compendium of Resources highlighting ASM policies/procedures, ASM publications on ethics, and resources on both publishing and research ethics.
ASA has a Code of Ethics that sets forth the principles and ethical standards that underlie sociologists' professional responsibilities and conduct. These principles and standards should be used as guidelines when examining everyday professional activities. ASA's Code of Ethics consists of an Introduction, a Preamble, five General Principles, and specific Ethical Standards. This Code is also accompanied by the Rules and Procedures of the ASA Committee on Professional Ethics which describe the procedures for filing, investigating, and resolving complaints of unethical conduct. ASA is proposing revisions to the Code of Ethics in 2018.
Since 2013, COPE has released a monthly newsletter, the COPE Digest: Publication Ethics in Practice.
COPE has developed flowcharts that are designed to help editors follow COPE's Core Practices and implement its advice when faced with cases of suspected misconduct. The flowcharts have been translated into a number of different languages.
The CSE website includes many documents describing CSE policies that are to be used as resources by CSE members, including:
Approved by the CSE Board of Directors
- Predatory or Deceptive Publishers - Recommendations for Caution
- CSE Recommendations for Group-Author Articles in Scientific Journals and Bibliometric Databases
- Who's the Author? Problems with Biomedical Authorship, and Some Possible Solutions
Retreat and Task Force Papers
Other Supported Statements
- ICMJE's Statement on Clinical Trial Registration
- WAME Policy Statement on Geopolitical Intrusion on Editorial Decisions
CSE also has compilation of retraction resources that includes primary guidance documents and other materials from COPE, CSE, ICMJE, and others, that provide information related to handling retractions of scientific publications. The materials provided also address publication corrections, errata, partial retractions, and editorial expressions of concern, and include information on how HHS ORI handles suspected scientific misconduct in the research funded by agencies under its governance.Academia Expand
The NYU-University of Ghana Research Integrity Training Program, part of NYU Langone's Division of Medical Ethics, is a collaborative endeavor between the two universities. This program is designed to develop expertise related to research ethics, research integrity, and research governance in Ghana. It consists of the development and implementation of a fellowship program in research integrity, which will be offered to 24 researchers in cohorts of 8 over the course of 3 years, 6 of whom will be selected to complete a master's degree in bioethics at NYU. It is funded by an International Research Ethics Education and Curriculum Development Award (1-R25-TW-010886-01) from the Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health.
In the wake of major research misconduct, Duke University School of Medicine (DUSoM) implemented a new Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) program and expanded its RCR education activities to include all DUSoM faculty and staff engaged in research. The program included formal deliberation of the Translational Omics misconduct case, which occurred at Duke. Over 5,000 DUSoM faculty and staff participated in the first phase of this new program, with a 100% completion rate.
Northwestern's Chicago campus was the site of a two-day national conference on research integrity this spring. Institutional leaders from across the nation converged to discuss strategies, resources, and tools for promoting research integrity. The May 22-23 event welcomed senior institutional leaders from throughout the country to openly discuss strategies, resources, and tools for promoting research integrity for scientists and scholars. Co-hosted by Northwestern, the Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Research Integrity, and the Council of Graduate Schools, the conference featured a keynote address by Michael Lauer, deputy director for extramural research at the National Institutes of Health.
Leading scholars and publishers from ten countries have agreed on a definition of predatory publishing that can protect scholarship. The consensus definition reached was: "Predatory journals and publishers are entities that prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship and are characterized by false or misleading information, deviation from best editorial and publication practices, a lack of transparency, and/or the use of aggressive and indiscriminate solicitation practices."
Leaders in academia with expertise in the professional and ethical conduct of research have formalized a proposal to assemble a research advisory board. The proposal appears in the journal Nature. An independent research integrity advisory board could standardize protocols and practices, and function as a clearinghouse of information and a source of guidance for these institutions. According to the proposal, a U.S. advisory board for research integrity would:
- Foster consistency and exchange of information across funders, scientists and administrators.
- Provide resources to assess research environments and boost integrity.
- Benchmark common practices across institutions and establish best practices.
- Develop guidelines and standards for misconduct investigations and formal disputes.
- Establish lists of vetted experts for external investigations.
George Mason University held a workshop in the summer of 2018 titled "Promoting Research Integrity in Multidisciplinary and Multi-team Based Science Initiatives". The workshop focused on "National Institutes of Health (NIH) principal investigators and will be aimed at clarifying the nature of lapses in the operation of complex multi-team systems when it comes to research integrity, using the insights of participants from both their direct and indirect multi-teams experience. Funded by HHS ORI grant ORIIR170033.
In September 2018, Ohio State University's Office of Research sponsored a one-day summit titled "Seeking Solutions in Research Integrity: A View from All Perspectives." The conference brought together researchers, institutions, publishers, funders, scientific societies, the press, and federal agencies to discuss concerns in research integrity and current efforts to discuss those concerns, laying the foundation to detail next steps in fostering changes to enhance integrity in research.
In April 2018, Purdue University and Indiana University hosted "Plagiarism: A Conference on the Identification, Processing, Prevention and Cultural Context of Plagiarism," funded by HHS ORI grant ORIIR170031-01-00. The conference brought together Research Integrity Officers (RIO), Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) instructors, faculty, and federal partners to explore the breadth of plagiarism issues and their subtleties in the modern, multicultural research environment."
In March 2018 CASBS launched the "Impact Evaluation Design Lab" to build an evidence-informed decision framework to help policy makers assess large-scale public policy programs and engage researchers in advancing social scientific methodology through real-world evaluation design challenges. King County, WA and Stockton, CA are the first two partners in the design lab.
BITSS is providing funds for Texas A&M University to develop a graduate health online course in research integrity, transparency, and reproducibility to respond to the growing recognition within the scientific community that flexibility in study design, data analysis, and the reporting of research findings is increasingly leading to the publication of misleading results that capitalize on chance and cannot be replicated. It has been suggested that the use of such practices, if not made apparent in a manuscript describing the results of a study, is a form of research misconduct. This course will examine various threats to the integrity of research, the professional and organizational factors that produce these threats, and the solutions that have been suggested to improve research quality (such as registered reports, open data, and team of rivals). Upon completion of the course, students should have the ability to differentiate research that is conducted with integrity and capable of producing valid and reproducible findings from research that is conducted without integrity and produces chance results that are trivial and non-reproducible. Students should also have the ability to incorporate practices into their own research that will increase its transparency and ensure it is conducted with integrity.
Through the BITSS Catalyst Program, Soazic Elise Wang Sonne has trained more than 150 African researchers via workshops in South Africa, Cameroon, the UK, the US, and the Netherlands on research transparency and reproducibility. At these trainings, participants reflect on how research transparency norms and practices can be better entrenched in African academic higher institutions. Building the capacity of African researchers to conduct reproducible and transparent research will help ensure findings used by policy makers to make key decisions are based on credible evidence. It will also strengthen trust and partnerships between policy makers and the academic community. Further information is found here.
In March 2018, University of Minnesota held a conference titled "Research Integrity and Trustworthy Science: Challenges & Solutions." The conference was part of Research Ethics Week, during which the University focused on professional development and best practices to ensure safety and integrity in research. The conference brought together leading thinkers from multiple disciplines - biomedicine, the social sciences, law, ethics, and others - to analyze the challenges for researchers, universities, journals, and the community and map a way forward.
The Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library at the University of Utah provides several resources including classes and workshops on the reproducibility of research. In June 2018 the University offered a five-day course that "explored issues of research reproducibility in-depth in a seminar-type setting, followed by hands-on sessions to learn actionable, practical solutions to make research work more reproducible." On the last day a conference on Building Research Integrity Through Reproducibility funded in part by HHS ORI grant ORIIR170034 was held.
In September 2018, Vanderbilt Linkages held the third Growing Research Integrity Together (GRIT) Conference. The 2-day online workshop focused on the role of researcher administrators in promoting research integrity. The event featured U.S. experts from various fields of research integrity and research administration. The GRIT series was developed in part under a grant from HHS ORI ORIIR160029.
BITSS has created the Catalyst Program. Catalysts are graduate students, academic faculty, and other researchers in the social sciences who are committed to changing norms by educating the current and next generation of economists, psychologists, political scientists, and other social scientists on transparency tools and practices. The Catalyst program formalizes a network of professionals to advance the teaching, practice, funding, and publishing of transparent social science research. The overarching goal of this program is to connect and empower individuals to make changes in their own classrooms, in their universities, and across their network, thereby achieving far-reaching change. BITSS is supporting 100 academics and research practitioners working in 75 institutions in 28 countries (across five continents) as leaders in the open science movement. Catalysts:
- Educate: Catalysts deliver at least one training per academic year on research transparency. Catalysts can identify the appropriate delivery mechanisms for integrating training on research transparency, including integrating into existing curricula, seminars, workshops, or boot camps.
- Develop, share, and strengthen educational materials: Catalysts share existing resources and new materials that complement and extend the BITSS library, as well as provide feedback on the existing BITSS educational materials library. All materials will be shared through OSF, GitHub, or other sharing mechanisms for the benefit of other Catalysts and the broader community.
- Advocate: Catalysts lead advocacy efforts that will affect policy change at the department or academic senate levels (e.g. among university governing bodies). This may include writing blogs, OpEd pieces, meeting with administrators and other decision makers to discuss and develop additions and or revisions to curriculum.
- Catalyst Training Grants: BITSS offers grants to Catalysts to develop and deliver trainings in the form of workshops, conferences, short-courses, or university-level curriculum development.
BITSS funds Social Science Meta-Analysis and Research Transparency (SSMART) Grants. SSMART aims to improve the quality of research in economics, political science, psychology, and related disciplines by funding research related to transparency and reproducibility issues. With catalytic funding from the LJAF, SSMART is also partially funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. There are three core categories of projects funded through SSMART:
- Develop new methodology: These projects develop innovative methods to improve the transparency and credibility of research findings.
- Produce new meta-analysis: These projects develop new tools and approaches for meta-analysis.
- Study research culture and the adoption of new methods: These projects study researcher norms and strategies to promote the practice of open science.
BITSS has awarded their 2017 Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science. There are two types o of awards: Leaders in Education and Emerging Researchers.
CCRE, located at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, offers a Professionalism & Integrity (P.I.) in Research Program called "Helping Researchers Become More Effective Professionals." Using a career-coaching model, the P.I. Program offers personalized assessments, a group workshop, and post-workshop coaching calls to help researchers operate professionally in today's complex environments. A variety of individuals have profited from the P.I. Program, including researchers who: (1) Find it challenging to balance scientific and compliance demands in today's complex regulatory environments, (2) Have been investigated for noncompliance or misconduct and wish to move forward constructively, (3) Have staff who have been investigated for noncompliance or misconduct, and want to learn how to provide strong professional leadership and oversight. http://integrityprogram.org/ The P.I. Program offers webinars and courses.
The HHS ORI (see HHS ORI under Federal Agencies) awarded a grant to the P.I. Program to expand its recruitment and assessment efforts. New assessments will examine the work habits of participants. The project builds on work from the recent NIH K01 Award received by Dr. Alison Antes, the P.I. Program's most recent faculty member, which includes studying the work habits of research exemplars. Drs. Antes and DuBois recently interviewed 52 researchers who conduct high impact research and enjoy a reputation for great leadership and integrity in research. Data from these projects will inform recommendations on best practices for lab leadership and management.
The CCRE Dr. Daniel Bisno Ethics in Medicine Fund was established in 2001 to provide experiences designed to raise awareness of ethical issues in medical practice and to improve ethical decision making. The fund is used to support diverse activities, including lectures, curriculum development, small group meetings, publications, and other activities sponsored by the CCRE.
Launched in April 2014 with a founding grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, METRICS is a research to action center focused on transforming research practices to improve the quality of scientific studies in biomedicine and beyond. METRICS fosters multi-disciplinary research collaborations to help produce solutions that increase the effectiveness and value of scientific investigation. By serving as a lens that both focuses and helps magnify the impact of scholars, policymakers and others working on meta-research issues, METRICS hopes to enhance the public discourse and advance the development of policies and practices that maximize the use of best research practices. METRICS has three main goals:
- Build the meta-research field and catalyze solutions-focused research to develop best scientific practices
- Provide leaders with the skills and knowledge needed to support the development and implementation of high-quality research
- Transform research practices to strengthen the evidence base for informed decision-making
METRICS promotes research and drives innovation in a broad domain of subjects, which are divided into five focal areas corresponding to critical phases of the research cycle:
- Methods: The phase of designing and conducting research
- Rigorous research methods are at the heart of good science. These methods include everything from question formation to study design, conduct, statistical analysis and interpretation. Meta-researchers use both theoretical and empirical approaches to identify flaws and biases in the research enterprise, then develop and test methods to minimize them and define best practices.
- Reporting: The phase of communicating research
- For research to be useful it needs to be communicated properly to scientists and others who use the results. This reporting is done through research papers, written by scientists, or by various forms of media that convey scientific results to broader audiences. Meta-researchers are developing standards for reporting results and experimenting with new means to improve communication to scientists, policy makers, patients, and the general public.
- Evaluation: The phase of evaluating research
- Scientific quality is constantly evaluated in journal publications, funding decisions, academic promotions, industry investment, medical practice guidelines, standard setting, and policy decisions. Peer review has long served as the cornerstone of such evaluations, but it is widely acknowledged to be imperfect and inefficient. Meta-researchers across multiple disciplines are assessing its effectiveness and experimenting with new approaches to improve the assessment of scientific quality.
- Reproducibility: The phase of verifying research
- Replicating research results is central to scientific credibility. Meta-research has repeatedly shown that accurate reporting and sound peer-review do not by themselves guarantee the reproducibility of a scientific claim and that active replications of previous research are too rarely done. Meta-researchers are developing new ways to assess the reproducibility of findings, make experimental data available, and promote policies that can make verifying research more routine and more effective.
- Incentives: The phase of rewarding research
- Research is a rewarding activity in itself, but funding, recognition, and career advancement are critical to a successful scientific career. If the scientific reward system is not aligned with the adoption of best scientific practices, such as study replication and publishing negative results, such practices will happen rarely. Changing the criteria and processes by which rewards are distributed in science can help ensure that the most reliable research is encouraged.
METRICS' publications database provides the latest in meta-research across METRICS five focal areas. Publications can be filtered by author, publication year, region, and METRICS faculty and affiliates.
Beginning in 2017, METRICS will offer a limited number of research fellowships for doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars to help advance the Center's research agenda.
NCPRE is located within the Coordinated Science Lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. NCPRE creates and shares resources to support the development of better ethics and leadership practices. The Center focuses on leadership in a variety of institutional settings, from academia to business. NCPRE is part of the Coordinated Science Laboratory in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The NCPRE project began with a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Current work includes studying and promoting improved research practice in university and private settings. One of NCPRE's flagship initiatives is the SOURCE project, which provides universities with tools to assess their research ethics climates and benchmark themselves against institutional peers. Another important current activity is a multi-year leadership development institute, in collaboration with Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
In all its activities, NCPRE is committed to forming, developing, and supporting communities of responsible professional practice. NCPRE:
- Recognizes that no one seeks disaster; small choices are important in personal and ethical pathways.
- Creates tools, systems, and resources to help universities and others educate about ethics, the responsible conduct of research, and leadership.
- Educates about ethics as the smart choice, not just the right choice.
- Helps institutions assess the integrity of their environments.
- Develops leaders using evidence-based, practical, applied strategies.
- When things go wrong, NCPRE provides strategies for salvage and for returning to business as usual.
- Helps emerging professionals, from high school on, understand the importance of ethical and professional choices, and to lead effectively.
NCPRE offers online instruction in professional development and ethical decision-making. The 4-course series, "Professional IQ: Preventing and Solving Problems at Work," is targeted towards people seeking or starting new jobs, who are facing dilemmas in their current job, who have just been promoted or who want to be more marketable for a promotion, or who possesses strong technical skills and want to develop leadership skills. The course series is available now as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) through Coursera.
PSI is currently working on projects in the following areas:
- A Recruitment and Assessment Project for the Professionalism and Integrity in Research Program
- Preventing Ethical Disasters in the Practice of Medicine
- How Do Clinical Research Coordinators Learn About Good Clinical Practice?
- Sharing Qualitative Research Data: Identifying and Addressing Ethical and Practical Barriers
Please help keep this document current by pointing out areas that need to be expanded or updated or additional organizations that should be included. Please send comments or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Scientific Integrity."
Citation: Kretser, A., Murphy, D., & Dwyer, J. (2017). Scientific integrity resource guide: Efforts by federal agencies, foundations, nonprofit organizations, professional societies, and academia in the United States. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 57(1), 163-180. http://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2016.1221794
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