BackgroundThere is increasing evidence that research misbehaviour is common, especially the minor forms. Previous studies on research misbehaviour primarily focused on biomedical and social sciences, and evidence from natural sciences and humanities is scarce. We investigated what academic researchers in Amsterdam perceived to be detrimental research misbehaviours in their respective disciplinary fields.MethodsWe used an explanatory sequential mixed methods design. First, survey participants from four disciplinary fields rated perceived frequency and impact of research misbehaviours from a list of 60. We then (...) combined these into a top five ranking of most detrimental research misbehaviours at the aggregate level, stratified by disciplinary field. Second, in focus group interviews, participants from each academic rank and disciplinary field were asked to reflect on the most relevant research misbehaviours for their disciplinary field. We used participative ranking methodology inducing participants to obtain consensus on which research misbehaviours are most detrimental.ResultsIn total, 1080 researchers completed the survey and 61 participated in the focus groups. Insufficient supervision consistently ranked highest in the survey regardless of disciplinary field and the focus groups confirmed this. Important themes in the focus groups were insufficient supervision, sloppy science, and sloppy peer review. Biomedical researchers and social science researchers were primarily concerned with sloppy science and insufficient supervision. Natural sciences and humanities researchers discussed sloppy reviewing and theft of ideas by reviewers, a form of plagiarism. Focus group participants further provided examples of particular research misbehaviours they were confronted with and how these impacted their work as a researcher.ConclusionWe found insufficient supervision and various forms of sloppy science to score highly on aggregate detrimental impact throughout all disciplinary fields. Researchers from the natural sciences and humanities also perceived nepotism to be of major impact on the aggregate level. The natural sciences regarded fabrication of data of major impact as well. The focus group interviews helped to understand how researchers interpreted ‘insufficient supervision’. Besides, the focus group participants added insight into sloppy science in practice. Researchers from the natural sciences and humanities added new research misbehaviours concerning their disciplinary fields to the list, such as the stealing of ideas before publication. This improves our understanding of research misbehaviour beyond the social and biomedical fields. (shrink)
BackgroundThe emphasis on impact factors and the quantity of publications intensifies competition between researchers. This competition was traditionally considered an incentive to produce high-quality work, but there are unwanted side-effects of this competition like publication pressure. To measure the effect of publication pressure on researchers, the Publication Pressure Questionnaire was developed. Upon using the PPQ, some issues came to light that motivated a revision.MethodWe constructed two new subscales based on work stress models using the facet method. We administered the revised (...) PPQ to a convenience sample together with the Maslach Burnout Inventory and the Work Design Questionnaire. To assess which items best measured publication pressure, we carried out a principal component analysis. Reliability was sufficient when Cronbach’s alpha > 0.7. Finally, we administered the PPQr in a larger, independent sample of researchers to check the reliability of the revised version.ResultsThree components were identified as ‘stress’, ‘attitude’, and ‘resources’. We selected 3 × 6 = 18 items with high loadings in the three-component solution. Based on the convenience sample, Cronbach’s alphas were 0.83 for stress, 0.80 for attitude, and 0.76 for resources. We checked the validity of the PPQr by inspecting the correlations with the MBI and the WDQ. Stress correlated 0.62 with MBI’s emotional exhaustion. Resources correlated 0.50 with relevant WDQ subscales. To assess the internal structure of the PPQr in the independent reliability sample, we conducted the principal component analysis. The three-component solution explains 50% of the variance. Cronbach’s alphas were 0.80, 0.78, and 0.75 for stress, attitude, and resources, respectively.ConclusionWe conclude that the PPQr is a valid and reliable instrument to measure publication pressure in academic researchers from all disciplinary fields. The PPQr strongly relates to burnout and could also be beneficial for policy makers and research institutions to assess the degree of publication pressure in their institute. (shrink)
In this paper, we explore different possible explanations for research misconduct, and investigate whether they are compatible. We suggest that to explain research misconduct, we should pay attention to three factors: the beliefs and desires of the misconductor, contextual affordances, and unconscious biases or influences. We draw on the three different narratives of research misconduct as proposed by Sovacool to review six different explanations. Four theories start from the individual: Rational Choice theory, Bad Apple theory, General Strain Theory and Prospect (...) Theory. Organizational Justice Theory focuses on institutional factors, while New Public Management targets the system of science. For each theory, we illustrate the kinds of facts that must be known in order for explanations based on them to have minimal plausibility. We suggest that none can constitute a full explanation. Finally, we explore how the different possible explanations interrelate. We find that they are compatible, with the exception of explanations based on Rational Choice Theory and Prospect Theory respectively, which are incompatible with one another. For illustrative purposes we examine the case of Diederik Stapel. (shrink)
The research climate plays a key role in fostering integrity in research. However, little is known about what constitutes a responsible research climate. We investigated academic researchers’ perceptions on this through focus group interviews. We recruited researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the Amsterdam University Medical Center to participate in focus group discussions that consisted of researchers from similar academic ranks and disciplinary fields. We asked participants to reflect on the characteristics of a responsible research climate, the barriers they (...) perceived and which interventions they thought fruitful to improve the research climate. Discussions were recorded and transcribed at verbatim. We used inductive content analysis to analyse the focus group transcripts. We conducted 12 focus groups with 61 researchers in total. We identified fair evaluation, openness, sufficient time, integrity, trust and freedom to be mentioned as important characteristics of a responsible research climate. Main perceived barriers were lack of support, unfair evaluation policies, normalization of overwork and insufficient supervision of early career researchers. Possible interventions suggested by the participants centered around improving support, discussing expectations and improving the quality of supervision. Some of the elements of a responsible research climate identified by participants are reflected in national and international codes of conduct, such as trust and openness. Although it may seem hard to change the research climate, we believe that the realisation that the research climate is suboptimal should provide the impetus for change informed by researchers’ experiences and opinions. (shrink)
Addressing the needs of both professionals and laypersons and drawn from the author's varied experiences in psychiatry, this study attempts to locate and describe the elusive therapeutic environment within which psychological healing most effectively takes place.
Both scientists and society at large have rightfully become increasingly concerned about research integrity in recent decades. In response, codes of conduct for research have been developed and elaborated. We show that these codes contain substantial pluralism. First, there is metaphysical pluralism in that codes include values, norms, and virtues. Second, there is axiological pluralism, because there are different categories of values, norms, and virtues: epistemic, moral, professional, social, and legal. Within and between these different categories, norms can be incommensurable (...) or incompatible. Codes of conduct typically do not specify how to handle situations where different norms pull in different directions. We review some attempts to develop an ordering of different sorts of norm violations based on a common measure for their seriousness. We argue that they all fail to give adequate guidance for resolving cases of incommensurable and conflicting norms. We conclude that value pluralism is inherent to codes of conduct in research integrity. The application of codes needs careful reasoning and judgment together with an intellectually humble attitude that acknowledges the inevitability of value pluralism. (shrink)
BackgroundConcerns about research misbehavior in academic science have sparked interest in the factors that may explain research misbehavior. Often three clusters of factors are distinguished: individual factors, climate factors and publication factors. Our research question was: to what extent can individual, climate and publication factors explain the variance in frequently perceived research misbehaviors?MethodsFrom May 2017 until July 2017, we conducted a survey study among academic researchers in Amsterdam. The survey included three measurement instruments that we previously reported individual results of (...) and here we integrate these findings.ResultsOne thousand two hundred ninety-eight researchers completed the survey. Results showed that individual, climate and publication factors combined explained 34% of variance in perceived frequency of research misbehavior. Individual factors explained 7%, climate factors explained 22% and publication factors 16%.ConclusionsOur results suggest that the perceptions of the research climate play a substantial role in explaining variance in research misbehavior. This suggests that efforts to improve departmental norms might have a salutary effect on behavior. (shrink)
This article examines five different Medical-Legal Partnerships associated with Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut to illustrate how MLP addresses the social determinants of poor health. These MLPs address varied and distinct health and legal needs of unique patient populations, including: 1) children; 2) immigrants; 3) formerly incarcerated individuals; 4) patients with cancer in palliative care; and 5) veterans. The article charts a research agenda to create the evidence base for quality and evaluation metrics, capacity building, sustainability, and (...) best practices; it also focuses specifically on a research agenda that identifies the value of the lawyers in MLP. Such a focus on the “L” has been lacking and is overdue. (shrink)