Hosted by the Methodology and Statistics Department at Utrecht University, the Scientific Integrity in Qualitative Research (SCIQUAL) 2017 seminar focuses on the basic rules of good scientific practice and researchers’ commitment to (or lack thereof in) adhering to these rules. Especially in the case of qualitative research, where there is a lack of standardized measures to ensure the quality of the methods, scientific integrity is a fuzzy concept and a big concern. To add on to this, increasing demands to publish or perish compel researchers to produce strong, concrete, evidence-based contributions (Jones, 2013) at an alarmingly fast pace. Other factors like financial constraints, competition etc. also might tempt scientists to achieve success swiftly through the use of unfair research practices (Salathé, 2008). This is an alarming trait since good science is supposed to be credible, authentic, trustworthy and ethical.
SCIQUAL 2017 therefore brings our attention to a few topics which would come under the umbrella term of scientific integrity. Some of these topics are listed below:
- Research misconduct (falsifying or fabricating data)
- Questionable research practices
- Ethical dilemmas
- Data sharing
- Integrity during the research process (conflicts of interest, anonymity, confidentiality etc.)
- Pressure to publish and its effects on scientific integrity