Nowadays, cases of scientific fraud and violations of integrity seem to have become a regular topic in the daily news both in the Netherlands and internationally. In many of these cases, the current university environment of “publish or perish” pops up as a major cause of scientists going off the rails.
Quality, Accountability and Trust
Several national and international initiatives have recently made a plea for making changes to the systems of research assessments, such as the international San Francisco Declaration initiative, and the national ‘Science in Transition’ and ‘Platform hervorming Nederlandse universiteiten’ movements.
In its evaluation of the situation of WASS PhD candidates and senior researchers, the WASS ad hoc Committee on Scientific Integrity and Data Management has also come across problems of increased pressure and incentives that might push researchers to the edges of integrity in their scientific practice. The Committee has developed a broad vision on these problems, and would like to jointly devise a plan of action, for example on limiting the number of PhD candidates per supervisor; evaluating quality instead of quantity; avoiding self-plagiarism, and valuing peer review as a crucial academic activity. The results of the meeting on the San Francisco Declaration, organised by the WASS Publication Policy Committee in October 2013, will also be further elaborated.
The Committee cordially invites you all to the seminar and looks forward to a fruitful discussion.
Han Wiskerke (chair)
Ellen van Kleef