Enhanced research integrity policies can significantly contribute to a well-functioning research environment and thus has been a priority policy area for Science Europe since 2013.
The core principles of research integrity are honesty, accountability, fairness, and good stewardship in all aspects of research. Guidelines for good research practice are derived from these principles and are aimed at preventing research misconduct. Research misconduct can cover a broad spectrum of acts which can have potentially harmful effects beyond the sphere of science. Its most detrimental forms are fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism. Other frequent forms of research misconduct include the misuse of research data, authorship-related misdemeanors, inadequate leadership and mentorship, and failure to adequately deal with alleged cases of research misconduct.
Over recent years this topic has gained significant visibility on the European research agenda and the policy debate on research integrity has matured. Science Europe has played a key role in this process by providing evidence-based policy recommendations, and through its advocacy work.
Research organisations, such as Science Europe Member Organisations, play a key role in reducing research waste (which includes lack of reproducibility; waste of funding, assets, and talent; and so on) and ensuring maximum benefit from the public funding of research (for example accountability). Accordingly, Science Europe strives to create a knowledge base on research integrity policies, move from principles to actions, and advocate for policies at both local and European level.
Most recently, Science Europe contributed to the revised ‘European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity’ as prepared by All European Academies (ALLEA) and released in March 2017. The European Commission intends to refer to the revised code in the Horizon 2020 Model Grant Agreement.