(9 Jun 2022) The results of the first national survey to investigate research integrity in Australia, a collaboration between the Australian Academy of Science and publisher Springer Nature, indicate broad support for mandatory research integrity training. The survey found that while 68% of respondents stated that their institution offered research integrity-related training and 50% stated it was mandatory, 73% felt that such training should be mandatory for all those holding a research position.
Key findings reveal that when asked to describe Research Integrity, including practices related to it, 86% of the responses focused on positive research traits, the most popular being ethical, honest, and transparent. Under 10% of responses made statements related to research misconduct. 68% of respondents indicated that their institution provided training on research integrity, with 88% of institutional management responding in the affirmative, as compared to 72% of senior researchers, 69% of midlevel researchers, and 65% of early-career researchers. Current training has a greater focus on policy and guidance than practical skills, yet eight of the top ten subjects that respondents felt would be most beneficial related to practical data-related topics such as data storage and management. A quarter of those surveyed felt that there was a research integrity problem in their field, but this concern was disproportionately distributed, with many more researchers from the life sciences indicating concern than those from the physical sciences.
Upon publication, a full summary of the results can be found here.
The survey was conducted between December 2020 and November 2021 and aimed to investigate perceptions of research integrity and good research practices and training at Australian research institutions. Questions were addressed to both institutional management and researchers/faculty members to deliver a baseline review of perceived levels of training in research integrity and good research practices at research institutions, including training in statistics, data management, data sharing and mentorship. Almost one thousand responses, including from 35 universities, representing 85% of universities in Australia, were received and analysed.
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