Finkel’s seven steps to reform research

The Chief Scientist has set down seven rules to lift “the rigour and reproducibility” of research practice. Writing in Nature, Alan Finkel reports on ideas, arising from a research leader roundtable.

* “Accredited, practical and respected,” research training as part of PhD programmes. “Institutions must provide explicit instruction in research integrity, data management and professional expectations.”

* Training for PhD supervisors in mentoring and fostering “healthy research culture.”

* Mandatory reporting by supervisors of PhD students’ research impact and career progression

* Alternatives to “simple metrics” for assessing research performance. For example, “the rule of five,” best five papers over past five years, supported by an impact statement

* Completing accredited training programmes as preconditions for public funding. Applicants records in mentoring and peer-review included in assessment

* Journals to be “knowledge custodians” rather than “knowledge distributors.” Custodians do not publish and forget. They ensure that data remain accessible and prioritize concerns about research quality.”

* Grants and promotions are contingent on practice


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