Written evidence submitted by Professor Andrew George MBE and Professor Rachael Gooberman-Hill, Co-chairs, UK Committee on Research Integrity

(RRE0104)

 

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us last week; it was great to meet you. We are writing to provide you with some further updates.

 

The committee member appointments have now been announced. As we indicated we are very pleased with both the calibre of the people we have been able to appoint and their varied professional and academic backgrounds.  Further information can be found on https://www.ukri.org/news/uk-committee-on-research-integrity-panel-members-announced/

 

The inaugural UK CORI meeting will take place on 20th May 2022.

 

The first annual report of UK CORI will be published in May 2023. We would be pleased to provide you with a briefing in advance of it being released.

 

UK CORI will be working to design its strategy and conduct workstreams in the coming months, including those relating to misconduct and to indicators of research integrity. We are currently developing a workplan.

 

UK CORI will serve as a hub, bringing the different players from across the research integrity landscape together. To deliver our work as a national committee that promotes research integrity, UK CORI wishes to work broadly across the whole research sector, including with government, industry, third sector, funders, publishers, universities and research active organisations. We were grateful for your support for this approach.  

 

We look forward to reading the report from the ongoing STC inquiry on reproducibility and research integrity when it is released. It was good to hear that transparency in research was a central theme of the work. All eight current inquiries are of great interest. In particular, we are looking forward to the report from the inquiry on diversity and inclusion in STEM as there may be learnings for UK CORI.

 

We found the discussion about AI interesting. It's a rapidly moving field and shares parallels with other areas of work where research generates rather than tests hypotheses. There may be potential for work on integrity and AI, and there may be useful insights from groups focused on philosophy of science.

 

We also found the discussion about publication of confirmatory results helpful. It's a complex area with many incentives and levers in place. We discussed how researchers may not choose to prioritise publication of confirmatory results, and also how decisions are made in research about what would be deemed worth ‘writing up’ for publication. These decisions sit alongside, or relate to, decisions made by journals. More broadly, journals have championed some changes that relate to research integrity including processes such as open peer review, retractions and notes of concern. Levers that influence researchers are multiple, and the work at URKI to pilot the résumé for research and innovation (R4RI) is an example of an initiative to give researchers the chance to demonstrate their broader contribution to research as well as their publication record.

 

We welcome ongoing engagement with yourself and the Select Committee and are pleased to offer UK CORI’s expertise as appropriate.

 

May 2022