New report finds research integrity unsatisfactory

A new report by the Science and Technology Committee on the peer review system indicates that the oversight of research integrity in the UK is unsatisfactory. The paper examines the peer review system that underpins UK scientific research. It concludes that researchers should aim to make their data available for public scrutiny in a bid to raise scientific integrity and increase transparency. Such availability will allow work to be subsequently repeated and built upon.

MP’s argue that the fundamental aim of the peer review process should be to ensure that published work is scientifically sound.. The report however finds the integrity of the process to only be as robustness as reliable as the reviewers.

Chair of the Committee, Andrew Miller MP, said “Although it is not the role of peer review to police research integrity and identify fraud or misconduct, it does, on occasion, identify suspicious cases. While there is guidance in place for journal editors when ethical misconduct is suspected, we found the general oversight of research integrity in the UK to be unsatisfactory and complacent.”

The report calls for the creation of an external regulating body for research integrity across all disciplines. The Committee also recommends that all UK research institutions designate a member of staff to lead on research integrity.