The survey ‘Responsible Research Barometer’ was carried out for the second time

The Office of the Ombudsperson carried out the survey ‘Responsible Research Barometer’ for the second time. The doctoral students, teachers, scientists and other researchers from the Lithuanian Research and Higher Education Institutions (RHEIs) took part in the survey. In total, the responses of 310 respondents were analysed. The report on the survey reviews how well the respondents know provisions of research and publishing ethics (RPE), and their implementation in their RHEIs. It was also analysed how the respondents were deepening their knowledge in the RPE area, what manifestations of unethical behaviour were noticed in the academic environment, what dishonest behaviour they encountered, what actions were undertaken, what their consequences were and other issues.

According to the survey results, more than half of the respondents did not know the documents regulating RPE well. A similar number of them also do not know whether these provisions are implemented in their RHEIs. Among the best-known documents implemented in the RHEIs, the guidelines and recommendations prepared by the Office of the Ombudsperson, were mentioned the most frequently: Recommendations on the Preparation, Adaptation and Implementation of Academic Ethics Codes by RHEIs, and Guidelines for Ethical Review and Guidelines for Assurance of Academic Ethics during Remote Studies. The respondents also stated that they had been deepening their knowledge in the RPE area rarely in the last three years: almost half ‘sometimes rarely’ or ‘very rarely’, and little more than one tenth, ‘often’ or ‘very often’. Almost half of the people surveyed who had not improved their knowledge in the RPE field, would like to do this in the future. The answers of the respondents about the reasons that had induced them to improve their knowledge, the RPE areas of interest and other topics are analysed in more detail in the report on the survey.

The respondents often do not notice manifestations of unethical behaviour in the academic environment. The most frequently noticed (‘often’ and ‘very often’) forms of unethical authorship are gift authorship, mutual support authorship and inclusion of an underserving co-author. One out of four respondents stated they had encountered dishonest behaviour in the last three years. However, more than half of them had not appealed anywhere because they saw no sense in it. The rest tried to solve the situation themselves or referred to the unit’s manager, ethical committee, etc. However, the answers to open questions about development of the situation reveal that often nothing had changed, or it had negative consequences for the whistleblower. The insights of the respondents about causes of dishonest behaviour are analysed in more detail in the report on the survey.

The extensive report on the survey results is available here in both Lithuanian and English.