ETHOS – Exploring Research Integrity Policies and Practices in “the Houses of Science”

Research integrity and responsible conduct of research have moved to the forefront of the political agenda, not least driven by a number of high-profile scandals; in Denmark for instance the Penkowa case and recently the socalled ‘meat scandal’. Research integrity is increasingly seen as both an individual and institutional responsibility, effectively addressing all stakeholders in the research process and even reaching far beyond, impacting society’s trust in science. To address these scandals and perceived problems of integrity, policies and guidelines have been developed both on supranational, national and organisational levels, specifying desired academic practices and procedures. However, we still know very little about integrity practices ‘on the floor’ of the academic institutions.

The ETHOS project aims to explore how the everyday lives and practices of researchers are affected by policies and norms. By identifying tensions in the processes of turning integrity policies into practice in academic environments, the project aims to explore how integrity actually emerges in academic practices and their institutional context and how academics ‘live with integrity’ in their daily work.

Through three substudies, the ETHOS project aims to answer the overall research question:

How do the academic and public discourses shape the problem of research integrity and how do such problematizations affect academic practices and perceptions?

The substudies will combine policy analysis, qualitative data collection with large scale text analyses, in order to explore i) tensions between different levels of the

science systems, where various actors may understand and act upon research integrity in very different ways; and (ii) the tension between how factors leading to research integrity challenges on the one hand, and solutions to those challenges on the other are being located.

The ETHOS project is funded by The Carlsberg Foundation and is led by Associate Professor Lise Degn. You may read more about the specific sub-studies and the project here.

The project will begin in September 2022 and run until September 2025.