Relationships Between the Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SORC) and Self-Reported Research Practices

Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (3):835-850 (2013)
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Abstract

The Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SORC) is a validated tool to facilitate promotion of research integrity and research best practices. This work uses the SORC to assess shared and individual perceptions of the research climate in universities and academic departments and relate these perceptions to desirable and undesirable research practices. An anonymous web- and mail-based survey was administered to randomly selected biomedical and social science faculty and postdoctoral fellows in the United States. Respondents reported their perceptions of the research climates at their universities and primary departments, and the frequency with which they engaged in desirable and undesirable research practices. More positive individual perceptions of the research climate in one’s university or department were associated with higher likelihoods of desirable, and lower likelihoods of undesirable, research practices. Shared perceptions of the research climate tended to be similarly predictive of both desirable and undesirable research practices as individuals’ deviations from these shared perceptions. Study results supported the central prediction that more positive SORC-measured perceptions of the research climate were associated with more positive reports of research practices. There were differences with respect to whether shared or individual climate perceptions were related to desirable or undesirable practices but the general pattern of results provide empirical evidence that the SORC is predictive of self-reported research behavior

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