Institutional Approaches to Research Integrity in Ghana

Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (6):3037-3052 (2020)
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Research misconduct remains an important problem in health research despite decades of local, national, regional, and international efforts to eliminate it. The ultimate goal of every health research project, irrespective of setting, is to produce trustworthy findings to address local as well as global health issues. To be able to lead or participate meaningfully in international research collaborations, individual and institutional capacities for research integrity are paramount. Accordingly, this paper concerns itself not only with individuals’ research skills but also with institutional and national policies and governance. Such policies and governance provide an ethical scaffold for the production of knowledge and structure incentives. This paper’s operational definition of research therefore draws from Institute of Medicine’s articulation of health research as an inquiry that aims to produce knowledge about the structure, processes, or effects of personal health services; and from an existing health systems framework. The paper reviews the research regulatory environment and the ethics apparatus in Ghana, and describes a project jointly undertaken by Ghanaian researchers in collaboration with New York University to assess the perceived adequacy of current institutional practices, opportunities, and incentives for promoting RI.

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