Areas of interest

  • Research Integrity
  • Ethical aspects in research and technology (e.g. biological sciences)
  • Legislation and protocols for clinical trials (medicine field)
  • Nanotechnology (exposure to nanomaterials, development of international standards for understanding interactions of the engineered nanoparticles with the environment and the living world, ….)
  • Safety and health issues in occupational field
  • Regulatory framework in national states, organizations and associations – review, development and harmonization
  • Public health and the Precautionary Principle
  • Ethical aspects of risk assessment and risk management
  • Informed consent in workers’ and consumers’ protection and in corporate liability
  • Workers’ education

Research integrity

The responsible and ethical conduct of research is critical for achieving scientific excellence as well as for safeguarding societal and public trust in the honest and accurate performance of scientific research. Misconduct jeopardizes the good name of any institution and any practice. Inevitably, the way in which research misconduct is identified, policed and corrected reflects the integrity of the whole enterprise of science.

Research integrity is the reflection of public trust in the scientific research system. It is the basis for continued investment in research and reliance on scientific findings in decision-making. Integrity must be a bedrock value of the scientific community and it is of critical importance to all stakeholders, including research professionals, funders, oversight agencies, administrators and scholarly journals. Compromises to the integrity of research through misconduct or other improprieties threaten financial, political and social support for research as well as the autonomy of research professionals and the academy. Research integrity and research ethics are two sides of the same coin. They both have a strong impact on society and affect societal views on the research endeavour and researchers as well as the institutions and private companies that are involved. Codes of conduct and legislation frame the environment within which research integrity and research ethics principles and values are observed.

Research ethics issues such as the protection of humans are linked to research integrity issues such as plagiarism, data manipulation and fraud in ways that affect the reputation of persons and institutions and affect the public trust and, potentially, research funding decisions, both public and private. Misconduct in research has increased over the past several year [1], given that withdrawing articles from publication increased ten-fold in the last few decades and that one out of three scientists admits to questionable research practices [2]. Currently over 7.1 million researchers in the world today (a significant change from the 5.7 million that existed in 2002) compete to have their research published in over 25,000 scientific, technical and medical journals whereas the number of scientific publications internationally has grown rapidly, with an increase in the number of publications from 1.09 million in 2002 to 1.58 million in 2007 to 1.94 million in 2010. It is also worth noting that iThenticate saw twice the number of new customers in 2011 from the previous year, with more than 3,000 organizations and researchers or authors seeking plagiarism checker software to screen manuscripts before publication [3].

[1] Steen, Grant R. “Retractions in the scientific literature: is the incidence of research fraud increasing?” Journal of Medical Ethics. December 24, 2010. 

[2] Van Noorden, Richard. “Science publishing: The trouble with retractions.” Nature. October 5, 2011. 

[3] “True Costs of Research Misconduct”