It is more than 20 years since Norway had a national survey on research integrity in all academic fields. Five percent of researchers admitted then that they had practised dishonest or questionable research themselves.

More recently, in a 2009 meta-analysis of several international studies, Fanelli found that 2 % admitted to having fabricated or falsified in their research, while one third admitted applying so-called questionable research practices, such as claiming undeserved authorship and using data selectively.

"We publish more than ever, but not everything is reproducible. Internationally many contributions are retracted, and the quality is sometimes questionable", said PI of the project Prof Matthias Kaiser at the University of Bergen (UiB).

The project, called RINO – Research Integrity in Norway, is a collaboration between UiB, The Norwegian National Research Ethics Committees (FEK) and The Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL). Helene Ingierd, one of FEKs representatives to the RINO-project, says it can provide important knowledge.

"The National Research Ethics Committees (FEK) is an advisory body in the field of research ethics, and we are also supposed to spread knowledge. In order to exert this role in the best possible way, we need a knowledge base", said Ingierd.

Qualitative follow up

The recently distributed survey sets out to map the extent of, attitudes towards and knowledge of falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism (FFP) and questionable research practises (QRP). The research group is then following up the quantitative part by qualitative research aiming to seek insights into systemic conditions that could strengthen research ethical cultures within the institutions.

"Where are we at when it comes to research integrity? What challenges are we facing, individually and institutionally? And what can we do to promote good practices? This is what we wish to investigate", said Kaiser.

Read more in the Project description