EnTire: Mapping Normative Frameworks for EThics and Integrity of Research

EnTire

 

Background: The areas of Research Ethics and Research Integrity (RE+RI) are rapidly evolving. In the EU and internationally, new legislation, codes of conduct and good practices are constantly being developed. New technologies (e.g. gene editing), complex statistical methods (e.g. biostatistics), pressure to publish and obtain grants, and growing emphasis on stakeholder driven science (e.g. public-private partnerships) increase the complexity of conducting science. In this complex and dynamic environment, researchers cannot easily identify the correct rules and best tools for responsible conduct of research. This also increasingly constitutes a challenge for RE+RI experts.

Aim: Our aim is to create a platform that makes the normative framework governing RE+RI easily accessible, supports application in research and evaluation, and involves all stakeholders in a participatory way, thus achieving sustainability. The platform will foster uptake of ethical standards and responsible conduct of research, and ultimately support research excellence and strengthen society’s confidence in research and its findings.
Vision: Our vision is that in order to make the normative framework governing RE+RI accessible, a dynamic online Wiki-platform, owned by the community of RE+RI stakeholders, is needed. The value of this platform will lie in the availability of practical information on how to comply with EU, national and discipline-specific RE+RI standards and legislation, including information on rules and procedures, educational materials, and illustrative cases and scenarios. Adopting open science (open source and open data) approaches, the platform will be easy to use, by applying novel techniques for data collection and comparison, enabling users to navigate quickly and intuitively to appropriate content. In order to keep the platform up-to-date and sustainable, it will be based upon active involvement of the RE+RI community, and will contribute to further development of this community by providing a podium for reflection and dialogue on RE+RI norms and practices.

Objectives: EnTIRE’s work packages (WP) will: undertake an in-depth stakeholder consultation across EU countries exploring RE+RI experiences and practices in order to define the boundaries of data to be collected, and developing a mapping structure adapted to user needs (WP 2); assemble the relevant normative elements, including RE+RI rules and procedures, educational materials, and illustrative casuistry, and identify relevant institutions across EU countries (WP 3-5); develop a user-friendly Wiki-platform and online resources to foster and facilitate responsible research practices and to promote compliance amongst European researchers with RE+RI standards and pertinent legislation and regulations (WP 6); and foster further development of the RE+RI community, that will support the platform and be supported by it, will keep the information up-to-date, disseminate the project’s findings and develop innovative strategies for maintaining the platform and building relationships to relevant organisations for further dissemination, including sustainable funding (WP 7).

Relevance to the work programme: The proposed project responds directly to the core requirement of call SwafS-16-2016 to ‘provide a dynamic mapping of the RE+RI normative framework which applies to scientific research conducted in the EU and beyond’. Our proposal does this by using a participatory approach, stimulating knowledge transfer regarding codes and regulations, resources and institutions, and cases, by applying innovative ICT solutions and open science approaches, and by further developing a community of active users, to enable sustainability after the end of the project.

More info at entireconsortium.eu