Research Integrity

National Research Integrity Forum

Research integrity relates to the performance of research to the highest standards of professionalism and rigour, and to the accuracy and integrity of the research record in publications and elsewhere. It is essential that the Irish research system as a whole protects its reputation for the quality and integrity of its research activity and outputs, in order that we and our international partners may rely on those outputs to promote economic and social development and growth.  Unfortunately instances of research malpractice and misconduct are increasing worldwide. Research integrity is best ensured, in so far as possible, when individual researchers, institutions and funding bodies work together to create effective processes.  This should ensure that the research for which they are responsible is conducted to the highest standards, and any shortcomings in process or practice are identified and taken in hand.

These principles are captured in the National Policy Statement on Ensuring Research Integrity in Ireland, first published in 2014 and revised in 2019.

About the Forum

Research Integrity National Forum

The National Forum on Research Integrity was established in June 2015. It is coordinated by the Irish Universities Association (IUA) and the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA). The Forum membership is drawn from research funders, research performing organisations and other relevant organisations. The Forum is chaired by Professor Anita Maguire from University College Cork and the Deputy Chairperson is Dr. Jennifer Brennan from the Technological Higher Education Association. It is tasked with facilitating and coordinating research integrity in Ireland in Innovation  2020, the national research and innovation strategy, and reports annually to the Innovation 2020 Implementation Group on progress against key actions.

Key responsibilities of the Forum include:

  • Supporting the implementation of research integrity policies and processes in a harmonised manner across the research performing organisations;
  • Supporting national research funders in implementing harmonised research integrity statements in grant conditions and associated assurance processes;
  • Supporting the development and roll-out of research integrity training programmes for staff and students in the research performing organisations;
  • Monitoring international developments and policy in the area of research integrity, and periodically reviewing the terms of reference of the Forum and research integrity policy and practice in Ireland in this context;
  • Communicating the importance of research integrity to the Irish research community and to the general public;
  • Sharing experiences on the number and types of research misconduct that have been dealt with through formal mechanisms within the institutions;
  • Engaging nationally and internationally in forums considering research integrity and related issues and make recommendations as appropriate to policy development, review and implementation.

Key Outputs of the Forum

  • A series of position papers and guidance documents regarding the establishment of research integrity policies and procedures in Irish research performing organisations.
  • A written contribution to the revised text of the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity.
  • An inaugural seminar Responsible research and innovation: Fostering a climate of excellence for Irish research” in February 2017. See the seminar report here.
  • The roll-out a three-year pilot to provide research integrity training to staff and students at all higher education institutions and publicly-funded research organisations in Ireland, supported with funding from national research funding organisations, the IUA and THEA.
  • Raising the international awareness of the work of the Forum via presentation at several international research integrity conferences, including the 5thWorld Conference on Research Integrity.
  • Representing Ireland in a Mutual Learning Exercise on Research Integrity led by the European Commission.
  • Annual statistics report on instances of research misconduct formally investigated in Irish research performing organisations. National-Statistics-on-Formal-Investigations-of-Research-Misconduct-2016.pdf

Position Papers:

Activities of the Forum:

8 March 2019 – Joint Workshop by the National Research Integrity Forum and the National Open Research Forum 

9 Feb 2018 – Prof. Anita Maguire and Dr. Jennifer Brennan present progress towards Innovation 2020 Actions on research integrity to the I2020 Implementation Group

5 Feb 2018 – The work of the National RI Forum is presented at the PRINTEGER Research Integrity conference in Germany. Jennifer-Brennan-PRINTEGER-Conference-Feb-2018.pdf

6 June 2017  – Report Published of the inaugural seminar of the National Forum. National Forum on Research Integrity Seminar Report Feb 2017 web version

31 May 2017 – Forum member Dr. Maura Hiney presents the National RI Forum at the 5th World Conference on Research Integrity in The Netherlands.

25 Nov 2016 – Prof. Anita Maguire presents the National RI Forum at the SATORI Mutual Learning Workshop in London. A-Maguire-UCC-SATORI-workshop-Nov-2016-FINAL-1.pdf

National Forum Members:

  • Anita Maguire, University College Cork (Chair)
  • Jennifer Brennan, Technological Higher Education Association (Deputy Chair)
  • Cork Institute of Technology
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Dublin City University
  • Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Enterprise Ireland
  • Health Research Board
  • Higher Education Authority
  • Irish Research Council
  • Irish Universities Association
  • Quality and Qualifications Ireland
  • Mary Immaculate College
  • Marine Institute
  • Maynooth University
  • National University of Ireland Galway
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • Royal Irish Academy
  • Science Foundation Ireland
  • Teagasc
  • Technological University Dublin
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • University College Cork
  • University College Dublin
  • University of Limerick
  • Waterford Institute of Technology