Research Integrity

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Some people think that doing a PhD thesis could be seen as an auto-realization path in which the doctoral student is acquiring a deep understanding in its scientific topic. Others, on the contrary, may regard the PhD thesis as an unceasing silent fight between your PhD topic and your personal integrity. One way or another, what it is clear is that doing a PhD is a learning path and depending on your personal attitude, you may see one side or the other of the same coin. Not only your scientific skills are enhanced but also many other transversal skills, such as learning a foreign language or becoming more open-minded thanks to the multicultural environment. These transversal skills that you might be acquiring throughout your doctorate are of utmost importance since they are a clear manifest of your resilience.

Nevertheless, becoming a good researcher passes through stablishing fair research ethics. Frequently, this aspect is not treated explicitly since it is taken for granted. However, not long ago one of my PhD supervisors shared with me a statement related to that topic and I think it is a good thing to keep it always in mind. Indeed, a foundation called “World Conferences on Research Integrity” (WCRI) is responsible of setting up certain rules to guarantee research integrity.

One of the WCRI contributions is the statement called, “Singapore Statement on Research Integrity” which can be easily found in:

This statement tries to stablish a framework where fair principles and professional responsibilities are guaranteed, which is fundamental to the integrity of research wherever it is undertaken.

This statement is based on four principles:

Honesty in all aspects of research.

Accountability in the conduct of research.

Professional courtesy and fairness in working with other.

Good stewardship of research on behalf of others.

For those interested in cross-boundary research collaborations, the “Montreal Statement” might be useful as well.


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