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Good Practices

National research on misconduct

The Netherlands is going to ask all its researchers whether they have been involved in cases of misconduct or committed other mistakes, in an effort to improve the standard of that country’s research integrity.  It plans to spend €5 million, equivalent to R$18.2 million, to determine the extent of the problem and search for solutions.  Responses from researchers will be protected by anonymity, but the consolidated results for universities and research centers will be reported directly to each institution.  “During the last 10 years, we have seen three or four serious warning signs,” said Lex Bouter, a professor at the Free University of Amsterdam, one of those in charge of the initiative, according to the Times Higher Education website.

One of these cases involved Diederick Stapel, who was dismissed from Tilburg University for fabricating data in several social psychology articles.  The Dutch effort will also invest €3 million (or R$10.9 million) on studies to reproduce the results of research, especially in the fields of the social sciences and psychology, which have the potential to inspire the formulation of public policies.  Most of the recent scandals in the Netherlands have involved research in these fields knowledge that could not be confirmed in later studies.