Representatives of the Office got familiar with news in the field of research (dis)honesty

On June 2–5, the Ombudswoman for Academic Ethics and Procedures Loreta Tauginienė and the Senior Adviser Kristina Pažusytė participated in the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity, WCRI 2019. This year the conference was hosted by the University of Hong Kong. It was attended by over 600 stakeholders from around the world, including international publishers, representatives of the Committee on Publication Ethics, affiliates of the Research Integrity Offices, editors of scientific journals, researchers and others.

One of the news discussed in the field of research integrity was the publication of research papers shared before peer review (preprints). The conference highlighted the benefits of this phenomenon: (1) the ability to get feedback from any member of academia, (2) the possibility to identify statistical errors and to validate the resulting statistics, and (3) the possibility to publish the same manuscript in multiple virtual archives. However, shortcomings have also been discussed, for example, the fact that manuscript authors do not usually inform editors / publishers of scientific journals that the manuscript has already been published (violation of the principle of transparency), a published manuscript is not updated in virtual archives after making corrections and is not linked to a published publication (the risk of continuity of citation errors), thus a publication may be cancelled, there is a confusion about citation statistics, and not all scientific journals accept published manuscripts for review. The Committee on Publication Ethics initiated a discussion on this topic “Discussion Document: Preprints” to encourage the academic community to talk about the publication of manuscripts.

The conference also discussed the importance of open access in ensuring the research integrity and the publication ethics not only among researchers, but also by involving members of the public, for example in the review of manuscripts.

The Ombudswoman Loreta Tauginienė discussed the opportunities for cooperation with the Committee on Publication Ethics in analysing the practice of Lithuanian scientific journals from the perspective of publication ethics.