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Make research integrity training mandatory, say 73% of Australian researchers

The results of the first national survey to investigate research integrity in Australia, a collaboration between the Australian Academy of Science and publisher Springer Nature, indicate broad support for mandatory research integrity training. The survey found that whilst 68% of respondents stated that their institution offered research integrity related training and 50% stated it was mandatory, 73% felt that such training should be mandatory for all those holding a research position.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • When asked to describe Research Integrity, including practices related to it, 86% of the responses focused on positive research traits, the most popular being ethical, honest and transparent. Under 10% of responses made statements related to research misconduct.
  • 68% of respondents indicated that their institution provided training on research integrity, with 88% of institutional management responding in the affirmative, as compared to 72% of senior researchers, 69% of mid-level researchers and 65% of early-career researchers.
  • Current training has a greater focus on policy and guidance than practical skills, yet eight of the top ten subjects that respondents felt would be most beneficial related to practical data-related topics such as data storage and management.
  • A quarter of those surveyed felt that there was a research integrity problem in their field, but this concern was disproportionately distributed, with many more researchers from the life sciences indicating concern than those from the physical sciences.

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