Caister Academic Press

Research Integrity: The Obvious and the Less Obvious Dimensions

Aceme Nyika
from: Postgraduate Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for PhD and Master's Students and their Supervisors (Author: Aceme Nyika). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2018) Pages: 79-92.


Research integrity is about the authenticity and trustworthiness of research. Research integrity has dimensions that may be relatively obvious and others that may not be so obvious. The obvious dimensions pertain to (1) fabrication of data, (2) falsification of data, (3) research methodology, (4) plagiarism and (5) ethical issues. The not so obvious dimensions are to do with the reporting of findings as well as the environment in which the research is conducted and they include (1) authorship issues, (2) grant-related misconducts, (3) issues pertaining to collaboration, (4) intellectual property rights, (5) institutional and national environment in which research is conducted, (6) post-study issues and (7) other general cross-cutting issues. The different dimensions of research integrity pertain to various phases of the research process, starting from proposal writing through data collection, data analysis and interpretation of results to reporting of findings. Some aspects of research integrity go beyond the research process to the post-study period. Failure to uphold high standards of research integrity can damage the image of various stakeholders that include individual researchers, families of the researchers concerned, research institutions, relevant government ministries and nations. Poor research integrity could also endanger the safety of the public since policies and or products may be based on flawed research findings. In addition, poor research integrity has financial implications which may be difficult to quantify fully. In this article, the different dimensions of research integrity are unpacked read more ...
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