Dilemma Game

The game lets researchers consider, choose and defend (and possibly reconsider) alternative courses of action regarding a realistic dilemma regarding professionalism and integrity in research. Participants will also come to appreciate the dilemmas that others are faced with, how they resolve them and the reasoning behind these solutions. The game encourages participants to discuss issues relating to professionalism and integrity, and to help one another to find solutions for their own dilemmas.

The game can be used in a variety of settings. It can be used in a course setting, for instance with a group of PhD students. Or it can be used in a research strategy meeting of a department or institute. Depending on the objectives, it may be used primarily as an exercise to let people exchange opinions and experiences, or also as a step towards defining more formally defined principles, on for instance co-authorship. Often, it may be effective to let participants come up with their own dilemmas, after playing a number of dilemmas from the game. Whichever setting or objective, the game may be helpful in bringing attention to “The Netherlands Code of Conduct for Scientific Practice” (Association of Universities in the Netherlands, 2012), which is applicable to every university scientist in the Netherlands.

The 75 dilemmas included in the game have been collected through sessions at different EUR schools, and among researchers who use different research strategies and who are in different stages of their careers. In that way, we have aimed to develop a set of dilemmas that are relevant to a diverse population of researchers. While the dilemmas are based on actual cases, they should be recognizable and relevant to many researchers. Should you wish, you can preselect a particular set of dilemmas to ‘play’, based on for instance a particular phase of the research process you want the discussions to focus on.

The dilemma game is available (in English) in a ‘tangible’ box-format, one box for each group of 4 participants. It is also available for download on www.eur.nl/integrity, both in English and Dutch.