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Standard Operating Procedures for Research Integrity

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SOPs4RI (Standard Operating Procedures for Research Integrity)

Reporting period: 2020-04-01 to 2021-06-30

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.

The overall objective of the SOPs4RI project is to develop and deliver an online, freely accessible and easy-to-use ‘toolbox’ that can help RPOs and RFOs develop, implement, and maintain Research Integrity Promotion Plans tailored to the organisational needs and disciplinary context. The toolbox will consist of guidelines, standard operating procedures, inspirational cases, and other resources that RPOs and RFOs can apply selectively in their Research Integrity Promotion Plan.
The SOPs4RI toolbox is based on evidence. The project implements a comprehensive empirical research programme in order to develop and test an array of standard operating procedures, guidelines, and other resources that are sensitive to the organisational context and the academic domain in which they will be applied. Throughout, end users of the SOPs4RI toolbox are involved in co-creating and testing the contents of the toolbox.

The research elements of the project include literature scoping reviews, expert interviews, Delphi surveys, focus groups across academic disciplines, a survey of researchers across 31 countries, Co-creation workshops engaging stakeholders, and pilot implementation in selected RPOs and RFOs.
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 deep understanding of the constraints and opportunities faced by researchers and organisations and provides novel, practically-oriented resources to enhance research integrity and promote good research practice.
Toolbox for RPOs
Toolbox for RFOs