Indicators of Research Integrity




UK Research and Innovation, Cancer Research UK, Guild HE

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An exploration of the research integrity landscape, in the UK and internationally, to investigate areas where research integrity indicators may be created.

UKRI | Research Consulting

UK Research & Innovation, Cancer Research UK and GuildHE wished to investigate indicators of research integrity, as current measures are not sufficient to paint a picture of the overall quality and integrity of UK research. Research Consulting was commissioned to conduct a preliminary exploration of the research integrity landscape, to investigate existing and potential indicators of research integrity. This project aimed to help relevant stakeholders to identify and promote high levels of research integrity, building on the principles and commitments in the UK Concordat to Support Research Integrity.
Work included a desk-based review, extracting insights from over 120 sources, and 22 stakeholder interviews, with individuals from the UK, Europe and North America, spanning a range of disciplinary backgrounds. Our findings were coded using NVivo, to identify commonalities and trends.

Through interviews and an international workshop, discussions were held about the purposes of indicators, the potential challenges, benefits and risks in adopting indicators in the area of research integrity and the perceived roles and responsibilities of stakeholders across the sector. In partnership with the UK Committee on Research Integrity, this work is intended to inform further discussions about improving collaboration and ways to recognize efforts and progress towards achieving high integrity in research.

The project outputs include an executive summary and discussion document, which are accompanied by a summary infographic (facets of research integrity) as well as by a report summarising the findings of a validation workshop. The project sponsors additionally published a response to our findings, outlining five principles for developing indicators of research integrity and inviting the sector to join them in taking this work forward.