Research integrity


The value and impact of scientific discovery would be very limited without the communication of findings to peers. Such communication may occur under many forms but most typically, as scholarly publications validated by peer-review. OSR values the quality and integrity of peer review and firmly discourages submission of manuscripts to, and their publication in journals that undermine the accepted quality control standards of scholarly publishing1. OSR also encourages investigators to avoid wilful participation in the editorial boards of such journals.

Authorship of research articles in scholarly journals is the most visible and prestigious form of academic recognition and credit. Funders, policy-makers and institutions rely on the published record to identify the authors of scientific findings and their interpretation, and consequently to establish resource allocation, funding attribution, career progression and make hiring decisions. Also, intellectual creative work is protected by copyright law, including the right to prevent others from modifying it without consent and the moral right of an author to be named as such (European IPR Helpdesk, 2013). The crucial importance of authorship attribution thus extends well beyond personal gratification. Indeed, authorship has evolved to also confer direct accountability for accuracy and integrity of the work, i.e. with honour comes great responsibility.

Because of this decisive significance and therefore not surprisingly, authorship issues often surface in disputes and allegations of research misconduct (RM). These and other reasons explain why the correct assignment of authorship is a central tenet in RCR. Hence, a solid, transparent and clear authorship policy is of the essence in RCR.

1 See Research Misconduct and Detrimental Research Practices for more details on illegitimate journals