Research integrity advisers: obscure, ignored

There are research integrity advisers who did not know they were in the job until Adrian Barnett and colleagues* got in touch

Which was not always easy,

“There were multiple institutions where we found it difficult to find anything about research integrity and other institutions where the contact about research integrity was a generic email or generic on-line form.  One of our emails was blocked by a security control and other emails were likely ignored or filtered as spam,” they report.

They were surveying advisors for a study of whether the estimated 709 of them improve research integrity and found,

* the role does not take up many hours

* most advisors think they can help researchers with integrity issues

* the most frequent advice was on authorship and the least on sexual harassment

* some institutions don’t take the role seriously, not having any one in it and when they do not training them

It would all be a job for Research Integrity Australia, if such an agency is ever created, they suggest.

Which may, or may not, happen, what with the Sheil Review of the Australian Research Council Act remarking there could be an arrangement beyond the ARC with, “a broader remit at some point in the future,” (CMM April 24).

* Adrian G Barnett and David N Borg (QUT), Paul Glasziou (Bond U), Emma Beckett (Uni Newcastle) “Are Research Integrity Advisors a useful policy for improving research integrity?  A census of advisors in Australia.”  Open Science Framework (March 2023) @