Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dingwall: UK May Enact Research Integrity Rules With Little Scholarly Input

Writing on social science space, Robert Dingwall warns that the United Kingdom's Economic and Social Research Council seems to be crafting burdensome regulations on research integrity without defining the problem to be solved, considering the costs of regulation, or consulting scholarly associations:

A document drops into my inbox that purports to be a draft Concordat between the major UK funders and university managements on research integrity. It seems that publication has already been set for July 2012, but someone belatedly thought that it might be a good idea to get disciplinary associations on board. The result is a six-week consultation period across two public holiday weekends and a university vacation. This does not encourage respect for the consideration that will be given to responses or the integrity of those who have thought this would be adequate.

He notes the precedent: human subjects regulations. "This process resembles the way in which the academic community was bounced into ethical regulation by the particular concerns of US biomedical sciences, and their indifference to anyone else’s views, as documented by the recent work of Schrag and of Laura Stark."

[Robert Dingwall, "Research Integrity in the UK – the Spawn of Satan?," social science space, 6 April 2012.]

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