Dr. Sergio G. Litewka, Director of International Programs for the Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy, is Principal Investigator on a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Research Integrity for an “Inter-American Encounter on Scientific Honesty.” This one-year project aims to “to foster a culture of research integrity in academic institutions in Mexico.”
Working in conjunction with Mexico’s leading university, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and its Programa Universitario de Bioética, the project includes colleagues from Vanderbilt University and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The project’s abstract follows. For more information, contact Dr. Litewka.
The overarching goal of this project is to foster a culture of research integrity in academic institutions in Mexico through the work of an Inter-American Encounter on Scientific Integrity. This conference will bring together upper-level administrators and research educators from national universities with representatives from funders, scientific journals, and the country’s growing bioethics community to 1) characterize the types and perceived prevalence of misconduct in Mexico’s academic research environment; 2) develop a framework for institutional policies and procedures to prevent and respond to misconduct and questionable practices in research, particularly in international collaboration; and 3) build a multi-disciplinary network of academic researchers, educators, and administrators actively engaged in new approaches to promoting integrity and preventing misconduct in universities across Mexico. Working with Spanish-speaking research integrity educators from the United States, participants in a pre-conference workshop will develop a provisional definition and typology of misconduct relevant to Mexican universities; estimate the scope and perceived frequency of scientific dishonesty in the country’s academic research environment; and set priorities for policy-oriented topics to be addressed in the larger conference. Members of this working group will serve as speakers and discussion group facilitators in a larger, open registration conference that will: address potential policies and procedures on responsible conduct through which academic institutions can support the integrity of their faculty’s and students’ research, particularly in international collaboration; examine the specific challenges to research integrity that arise in the Mexican context and define the obstacles to effective implementation of academic policy in the national context, and propose ways to overcome those obstacles in their own institutions and across the country. Themes to be addressed include: 1) Defining, preventing, and responding to research misconduct; 2) Standards of authorship and responsible publication practices; 3) Conflicts of interest and their management; 4) Data collection, management, ownership, and sharing; 4) Collaborative research and divergent international policies; and 5) Developing a curriculum on research integrity and responsible conduct of research. The conference will enhance academic leaders’ and research educators’ awareness of the positive role of policy in promoting research integrity and their readiness to develop a policy framework in their home institutions.