Central in the whole debate on fostering professionalism and integrity in research are dilemmas; in many situations, there is no clear ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. The most important improvements in terms of researchers’ ultimate goal of ‘truth-finding’ are to be found in addressing questionable research practices. Therefore, one of the guiding principles underlying the work of the taskforce has been to help stimulate an open debate on what is questionable and what not.
There are various dilemmas that may arise in such a debate: Can I exclude particular observations from my research? Can I use exactly the same data set for multiple papers? Should I agree on a colleague being a co-author on a paper to which she has not made a significant contribution? The EUR taskforce on Scientific Integrity has developed a dilemma game that aims to support researchers in further developing and honing their own “moral compass”, by exposing individual researchers to such dilemmas in a group discussion.
More information is available here.
ERIM offers a 1 ECTS course on Scientific Integrity (BERMSKL009) as part of the mandatory curriculum for all research master students and PhD candidates. The course is concluded by the signing of the integrity declaration.
ERIM furthermore strongly recommends each of the five ERIM research programmes to organise a half-day session focusing on professionalism and integrity issues, every second year. ERIM also encourages senior faculty to show commitment to openly discussing professionalism and integrity issues in such settings by participating in these dilemma game sessions. Also, directors of research should actively encourage the use of the dilemma-game; the exact way the game is used is up to department, group leader or programme leader.