For knowledge to benefit research and society, it must be trustworthy. Trustworthy research is robust, rigorous, and transparent at all stages of design, execution, and reporting. However, assessment of researchers still rarely includes considerations related to trustworthiness, rigor, and transparency. Thus, and as part of the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity, the authors have developed the Hong Kong Principles (HKPs) with a specific focus on the need to drive research improvement through ensuring that researchers are explicitly recognized and rewarded for behaviours that strengthen research integrity. This article presents five principles: responsible research practices; transparent reporting; open science (open research); valuing a diversity of types of research; and recognizing all contributions to research and scholarly activity. For each principle, a rationale for its inclusion are provided as well as examples where these principles are already being adopted.
Related and linked to the Hong Kong Principles, a survey was conducted and published in 2016. Asking 1353 attendees of four past World Conferences of Research Integrity, the survey was aimed to score 60 research misbehaviours according to their views on and perceptions of the frequency of occurrence, preventability, impact on truth (validity), and impact on trust between scientists.
As a result, importantly, the score values suggest that selective reporting, selective citing, and flaws in quality assurance and mentoring are viewed as the major problems of modern research. Respondents were much more concerned over sloppy science than about scientific fraud. Adequate supervision and mentorship, proper handling and storage of data, adequate record keeping and adherence to principles of quality assurance were identified as potential solutions (summarized in Table 3 below):