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Standard Operating Procedures for Research Integrity

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - SOPs4RI (Standard Operating Procedures for Research Integrity)

Reporting period: 2021-07-01 to 2022-12-31

It is of crucial importance that Science produces reliable, trustworthy results. Responsible research practices are key to ensuring that the frontiers of knowledge are pushed forward and to enabling innovation and informed decision making. Research practices should align with the principles and norms of the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, and misconduct and questionable research practices should be countered.

Research performing organisations (RPOs) and research funding organisations (RFOs) play a decisive role in empowering and enabling researchers to act responsibly in their research practices, and in detecting and handling breaches to the principles of research integrity. RPOs and RFOs should have appropriate policies, procedures, and structures in place to cultivate a responsible research culture and responsible research practices. The steps that RPOs and RFOs take to foster research integrity should be outlined in a detailed Research Integrity Promotion Plan.

To support RPOs and RFOs in their work with Research Integrity Promotion Plans, the SOPs4RI project has developed an online, freely accessible and easy-to-use ‘toolbox’. The toolbox contains SOPs and guidelines that can help RPOs and RFOs develop, implement, and maintain Research Integrity Promotion Plans tailored to their organisational needs and disciplinary context. Besides SOPs and guidelines, the toolbox also contains inspirational cases, videos, cartoons, and other resources that can help RPOs and RFOs in creating Research Integrity Promotion Plans, and which explains the methodology behind the toolbox.
The development of the SOPs4RI toolbox has been carried out in close collaboration with key stakeholders, both in co-creating the content of the toolbox and in testing it. The comprehensive research and development process includes two literature scoping reviews, 20 expert interviews, a three-round Delphi survey, 30 focus group interviews across academic disciplines, a survey of researchers across 31 countries with more than 64,000 respondents, 24 co-creation workshops engaging stakeholders, and pilot testing in 15 selected RPOs and RFOs.

The toolbox was finalised in December 2022 and is available both through the project’s webpage ( and via the Embassy of Good Science (

Partners in SOPs4RI have participated in a high number of events throughout the project period. In all, SOPs4RI partners had given 221 distinct presentations of the project/project-results by the end of the project (December 2022), distributed over 158 different events.
Further, academic papers from the SOPs4RI project have been published in leading international journals such as Nature, Science and Engineering Ethics, Science and Public Policy, Accountability in Research, Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, and PLoS Biology.
The SOPs4RI project goes beyond the state of the art by providing concrete tools that RPOs and RFOs can make use of in their efforts to promote research integrity. In this way, SOPs4RI provides a bridge between fundamental principles of research integrity on the one hand, and actual research practices on the other hand. The SOPs4RI toolbox is grounded in a deep understanding of the constraints and opportunities faced by researchers and organisations and provides novel, practically oriented resources to enhance research integrity and promote responsible research practices.
SOPs4RI consortium, 5th project GA, Aarhus October 2022
Vienna workshop with pilot institutions, November 2022
RPO reception
Toolbox entrance page
Certification ceremony with pilot institutions, Vienna November 2022