Stakeholders' Experiences of Research Integrity Support in Universities: A Qualitative Study in three European Countries

Natalie Evans*, Ivan Buljan, Emanuele Valenti, Lex Bouter, Ana Marusic, Raymond de Vries, Guy Widdershowen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Fostering research integrity (RI) increasingly focuses on normative guidance and supportive measures within institutions. To be successful, the implementation of support should be informed by stakeholders’ experiences of RI support. This study aims to explore experiences of RI support in Dutch, Spanish and Croatian universities. In total, 59 stakeholders (Netherlands n = 25, Spain n = 17, Croatia n = 17) participated in 16 focus groups in three European countries. Global themes on RI support experiences were identified by thematic analysis. Themes identified were: ‘RI governance and institutional implementation’, ‘RI roles and structures’, ‘RI education and supervision’, and ‘Infrastructure, technology and tools supporting daily practice’. Experiences of support differed between countries in relation to: the efforts to translate norms into practice; the extent to which RI oversight was a responsibility of RE structures, or separate RI structures; and the availability of support close to research practice, such as training, responsible supervision, and adequate tools and infrastructure. The study reinforces the importance of a whole institutional approach to RI, embedded within local jurisdictions, rules, and practices. A whole institutional approach puts the emphasis of responsibility on institutions rather than individual researchers. When such an approach is lacking, some stakeholders look for intervention by authorities, such as funders, outside of the university.
Original languageEnglish
Article number43
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
EnTIRE aims to create an online platform that makes RE and RI information easily accessible to the research community. The EnTIRE Consortium is composed Amsterdam UMC and VU University, Amsterdam, Gesinn.It, KU Leuven, University of Split School of Medicine, Dublin City University, the Central European University, University of Oslo, University of Manchester, European Network of Research Ethics Committees. The authors would also like to thank Coosje Veldkamp (CV), Hugh Desmond (HD), Jonathan Lewis (JL) and Nadza Dzinalija (ND) for their valuable support, as well as the anonymous reviewers whose comments greatly contributed to the development of the article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


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