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  • 00:18

    ZOE HAMMATT: I am Zoe Hammatt and Iam delighted to be here today to speakwith you on the topic of international researchintegrity structures.I have been really delighted to beable to learn about structures around the world.And perhaps this emerged from my beingborn in Edinburgh in Scotland and then

  • 00:40

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: growing up mostly in Hawaii.So I already have not only two passports but alsoa perspective that enables an understanding and empathyand humility when we approach international issues.So research integrity structures vary fundamentally

  • 01:02

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: in the way they are promulgated around the world.Similarly, with research integrity,the field has evolved over time.And the United States happens to bethe oldest in the world with its structure around a morenarrow definition, which is fabrication, falsification,

  • 01:22

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: and plagiarism in research.And even the federal agencies havevariation in how they handle the oversight function and somehave investigative powers, such as the National ScienceFoundation.Knowing that there is this narrow definitionbut also that the prevalence of many

  • 01:43

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: of the other undesirable or detrimental researchpractices that occur is actually much higher.So many policies at the institutional level,although the National definition may be more narrow,have chosen to address much broaderissues, including the mistreatment of human

  • 02:05

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: or animal subjects or the failureto follow institutional policy, couldbe a form of academic or scholarly misconductfor example in the conduct and proposing, performing,and reviewing of research.So other countries have tended to turn to the US particularly,

  • 02:26

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: initially as they establish their own national regimesfor research integrity.And some in the last five or six yearshave come up with national systems that have--whether they follow the US definition, a much broaderapproach, a much more creative way of addressing,

  • 02:47

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: the more recent examples include France, Denmark and Taiwan,for example.And a more established regime thatis also really very useful and also a bit more positiveand a little bit less like a crimeshow than the United States approach is that of Canada,

  • 03:07

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: with the tri-agency framework, wherethere is much more of an emphasison a breach of integrity rather than on the words researchmisconduct.And Australia has tended to follow this in a National Code.And as part of the acknowledgmentof the tremendous prevalence of collaborative research,

  • 03:29

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: there are also regional codes such as the European Codeof Conduct for Research Integrity, whichwas recently updated in 2017.Perhaps one of the most valuable avenuesfor learning in this context is through networks.So the Asia-Pacific Research Integrity Network,

  • 03:51

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: the African and Latin American Research Integrity Networks,and the established European Network of Research Integrityoffices are just a few examples of thosethat have emerged around these topics,where collaborators from a variety of disciplinescan come together and learn from each other

  • 04:14

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: not only around how to promote training thatis effective and exemplary mentoring in this context,but also how to apply policies and procedures that give riseto appropriate levels of oversightin the context of research integrity and breaches of such.

  • 04:34

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: So my exposure to those networks,really, I was fortunate to be involved through my roleas the Director of the Division of Education and Integrityat the US Office of Research Integrity.And thankfully, my involvement has continued since as well asthrough the World Conference on Research Integrity Foundation,

  • 04:57

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: which is another beautiful forum for coming togetherto learn and exchange ideas around these and other topics.So countries, as I mentioned, have varying approaches.They may have a committee that oversees

  • 05:21

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: the actual implementation of institutional policiesor such implementation and oversightmay trickle down from funders, who provide funds for research.It may also be that there is a collaborative approach thatoccurs among the fundamental research intensive institutions

  • 05:45

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: and universities and institutes within the country.And some, again, have made it a little more strict, like the USapproach, while others have not reallygot binding power and authority in the waythat, for example, the United States does with the power

  • 06:06

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: to bar, for example, individuals whoare found guilty of research misconductfrom receiving federal research funds,and also to make public findings, which really can harmnot only the reputation of the individual,but also the rest of their careers.

  • 06:28

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: So it is a very serious finding in the United States,which is partly why there is a very high legal barand requirement the mens rea or mental requirement--mental state requirement is that of intentional knowingor recklessness, which has to be proven by government lawyers

  • 06:50

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: and it's very hard to make a case of research misconductin the US.However, when one is made there are significant repercussionsfor the institution, as well as for the researcherwho has committed the misconduct.

  • 07:13

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: So some settings may have more limited resources.For example, we recently did a webinarwith our wonderful colleagues from the African ResearchIntegrity Network, whereby we discussedthe fact that there is this established infrastructure,if you will, for research ethics committees

  • 07:36

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: in order to protect human participantsbut that the structure and oversightand institutional awareness around research integritywas less robust.And so there was a really vibrant discussionaround the possibility of using some of the research ethicscommittee members to help establish research integrity

  • 07:60

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: structures, and also really draw upon the mostvaluable resources and insights without overburdeningthe typically volunteer faculty members who find themselvesin this oversight role, which can be very, verystressful for those who are overseeing a research

  • 08:21

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: misconduct or a breach of integrity investigation.It can have serious repercussions,not only for their own time burdenbut also the implications of findinga peer possibly guilty of misconduct,or a breach of integrity.

  • 08:42

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: So it's a really important responsibilitythat ethics committees and investigation panel members,or inquiry panels as they are sometimes called,to take upon that role as part of the community of researchersthat are dedicated to upholding excellence

  • 09:04

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: and integrity in research so that it may be trustworthy.Probably most important is to acknowledgethe contextualization of systems and structuresand policies and procedures that relate to a particular setting.So that within the environment in which the researchers are

  • 09:25

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: working and the institutional officials are doing their bestto ensure that the promises they make to the funders who providethe funding for the research and the national and internationalcodes that overlay and underlie the work they're doing,

  • 09:46

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: is to really have conversations on the ground with the peoplewho are conducting research, students, staff, faculty,and active researchers to understand whattheir needs are, what their concerns are,and really the level of their awareness.

  • 10:06

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: University of Glasgow is one prime exampleof this with Elizabeth Adams and her collaborators at Universityof Glasgow.The first thing they did in orderto understand how to enhance their structures for researchintegrity was sit down and hold stakeholder groups and fora

  • 10:29

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: with various individuals so that they could developsystems and mechanisms that were effectivebut also really reach people on the ground as opposedto having some tick the box complianceexercise imposed upon the people who are actuallydoing the work.The research integrity champions which

  • 10:51

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: emerged there and elsewhere have beenreally vibrant in helping provide access to individualsrather than having to go to a very high ranking mucky muckkind of office to report a concernas a whistleblower which can be veryintimidating and threatening.

  • 11:11

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: It may be easier to speak with someone within the departmentor within the staff who has been chargedwith serving as a sounding board and providing a safe spacewhere one can explore through hypotheticals for example.Or even just checking one's own assumptionsto make sure that an allegation that

  • 11:33

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: might relate to a human ethics violation or a researchintegrity breach can be aired and handled appropriately.Another critical element in this conversation is training.

  • 11:55

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: So as I mentioned, the paradigm around research ethicshas been around for a long time.Conversely and again, it's perhaps in the last 20-25 yearsthere have been conversations around responsible conductof research training.And there is very little information longitudinally

  • 12:20

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: around how effective responsible conduct of research trainingprograms actually are.However, there are many different examplesof rather than a one off trainingwhere people will listen to a few slidesand click, click, click and take a test and be finished.It's become much more recognized in the field

  • 12:43

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: of research integrity that mentoring is key.And that the conversations that happenon the ground with the supervisorsand among the research team can allowfor a much more vibrant exploration of the gray zones,for example, that occur in the context of research,

  • 13:03

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: and allow people to have very frank and candid conversationsaround mistakes that happen or what mightbe perceived as negative data.Instead, acknowledging I could not get my experiment to work.I don't know what to do.And bringing that to the table asopposed to quickly trying to make up dataso that your experiment is good for a deadline tomorrow.

  • 13:27

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: Those are the things that have reallybrought the conversation to a much more realistic levelbut also acknowledging the role that each of ushas in promoting, not only research ethics in the contextof human subjects research but also research integrity as we

  • 13:48

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: all seek to benefit whether it's the environment, human beings,a light bulb that lights up the room,or a particular essence that may come from flowersand be good for your health.Each of these things requires a respect and a sense of trustso that we all may derive benefit.

  • 14:11

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: And there may be positive effects from the researchthat we're doing no matter how small.Both the field of research integrity and research ethicsare constantly evolving.National regulations and institutional policies

  • 14:34

    ZOE HAMMATT [continued]: are perpetually being revised in an attemptto continue to foster integrity and also protecthuman subjects in research.Thank you for watching, and I hopeyou find this useful and perhaps even inspiring.


Zoë Hammatt, President of Z Consulting, discusses international research integrity structures, including how approaches vary by country, how research integrity structures can be developed and enhanced, and how effective training can be carried out.

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Research ethics

The field of moral philosophy dealing with the standards by which behaviour should be regulated within research.
Research ethics
International Research Integrity Structures

Zoë Hammatt, President of Z Consulting, discusses international research integrity structures, including how approaches vary by country, how research integrity structures can be developed and enhanced, and how effective training can be carried out.

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