Guidelines for Ethical Review Have Been Presented

On January 11, the Ombudsperson for Academic Ethics and Procedures Dr Loreta Tauginienė presented the Guidelines for Ethical Review to the members of the Rectors’ Conference of Lithuanian University Colleges and on January 15th, to the members of the Science Committee of the Lithuanian University Rectors’ Conference.

During the presentation, the Ombudsperson pointed out that the results of the study conducted by the Office on the practice of ensuring research ethics in research and higher education institutions are worrying. Presenting the results of the survey Responsible Research Barometer 2020, she stressed that every second respondent involved in the survey was not well aware of the provisions on the research ethics and publication ethics (REPE); according to slightly more than half of the respondents, their institutions did not implement the REPE provisions in their activities; more than every third respondent had never deepened his knowledge in the field of REPE in the last three years. She went on with her report by presenting the results of another survey carried out by the Office: The monetary value of REPE violations following the revocation of a research publication of at least EUR 16 thousand.

Explaining the purpose and objectives of the Guidelines for Ethical Review, the Head of the Office emphasized that the ethical review should be considered one of the indicators of research quality and the implementation of open science and international standards and practice. She also pointed out that, during the ethical review, a significant focus is given on the research data management and the prevention of unethical behaviour of the researcher.

Guidelines for Ethical Review have been prepared by adapting good practice in European countries (e.g. the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Norway, Finland), experiences of research-intensive universities (e.g. Oxford University) and by consulting with stakeholders in Lithuania (e.g. Lithuanian Bioethics Committee, the Office of the Ombudsperson for Children Rights of the Republic of Lithuania, State Data Protection Inspectorate).