Preliminary Task

Research integrity and related field

Preparatory work within the consortium produced a comprehensive map of the various ways the notions of research integrity and research misconduct are apprehended and used both in the institutional literature (e.g. RI charters, codes of conducts, etc) and in the academic literature. This preparatory work highlighted a very high degree of heterogeneity. Definitions may vary not only from one country to another, but also from one discipline to another). Following Horbach and Halffman (2017), our working hypothesis is that this strong heterogeneity is not unfortunate but constitutive of scientific integrity, to the extent that it reflects the diversity of scientific practices, rather than a temporary definitional confusion. We consider, as a starting point, that the concept of RI is a multifaceted, geometrically variable concept, resulting from a series of choices made often implicitly along various dimensions. Our first aim will be to clearly identify theses dimensions and choices bearing on various possible approaches: approaches based on norms (or principles) and professional rules vs. approaches based on values (or virtues); positive approaches focusing on positive characterisations of RI vs. negative approaches focusing on characterisations of breaches of RI, etc.

In light of this analysis, we will then assess current propositions as regards the articulation of the notion of RI with neighbouring notions such as research ethics, professional ethics, and responsibility to society. We will elaborate in fine a normative scheme of articulation of these neighbouring notions. It will be important to distinguish between the responsibility of individual actors, collectives of researchers, and academic institutions.