On 4-6 May the staff of the Office participated in the conference “Ethics and Integrity in a Changing World” (ECAIP2022) co-organised by the European Network for Academic Integrity (ENAI) and the University of Porto. The conference touched upon topics, such as the politics of academic integrity in a changing society, the foreseeable and realistic impact of institutional requirements and processes, continuous professional development in the field of academic integrity, and the integration of academic integrity into teaching and curriculum development practices, programs/systems for identifying dishonest behaviour, contract cheating, the impact of cultural differences, good practices in responding to dishonest behaviour, ethics of publication and dissemination in science, support for victims of dishonest behaviour by others, etc.
During the meeting, the Senior Specialist (senior Analyst) of the Office, Dr Eglė Ozolinčiūtė presented the results of the 2021 study on the supply of contract cheating services in Lithuania. The Office’s Dr Eglė Ozolinčiūtė and Dr Julija Umbrasaitė led a seminar on the links between academic integrity in higher education and citizen science and presented the guidelines being developed by the BRIDGE project on this topic.
The conference highlighted the impact of a changing society and new technologies on developments in academic integrity. Rapid advances in technology (especially artificial intelligence) are helping to both detect and generate breaches of academic ethics. In this context, the adoption of the values of academic ethics becomes particularly relevant, especially in the context of reviewing the concept of responsibility for teaching and the aims and methods of teaching.
The results of various studies reveal a changed situation of academic integrity during the pandemic. While there are conditions for increased student dishonesty, there are exceptions where the results show similar trends to the pre-pandemic period. The variety of plagiarism tools makes it necessary to take a closer look and to question the results or data of each study more closely.
One of the biggest challenges in research ethics is the need to identify and assess the extent and incidence of falsification and fabrication of research results. At least part of the explanation for questionable research practices and fraudulent behaviour is the differences between scientific fields and the associated differences in research complexity and publication strategies. Ways to tackle these bad practices include strengthening publishers’ activities and peer review processes, faster dissemination of results (e.g., preprints), various tools and initiatives to detect fraudulent publications or research results, etc.