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Ethics and integrity at the EARMA Conference Prague

Ethics and integrity at the EARMA Conference Prague

By Joana Porcel, EARMA Ethics and Research Integrity Officer Network (ERION) Co-Chair, Susan Hommerson, ERION Co-Chair, and Borana Taraj, EARMA Head of EU Projects

ERION has already turned 5 years old! Born in 2018 as a dedicated network for Ethics and Research Integrity Officers, during these 5 years we have established an open and very dynamic community to discuss the practical and implementation side of Research Ethics and Integrity. 

We are over 450 members forming an instrumental network for implementing best practices, sharing knowledge and experiences, and promoting consistency in ethics and research integrity practices. 10 meetings and 3 webinars have already taken place between 2018 and 2022.

Some of our main achievements during these years have been included in this EARMA article.

In May 2022, we resumed our in-person meetings after the pandemic with a full day workshop focused on the Ethics and Research Integrity implementation in the context of international research.

During the workshop, we discussed the challenges for collaboration in the European Union and at international level with representatives from the European Commission, the Asia Pacific Research Integrity (APRI) Network and the African Research Integrity Networks. Discussions focused on the European Research Area (ERA) Pact, the Global Approach to Research and Innovation as well as on the Research Fairness Initiative (COHRED), the Cape Town Statement on Fostering Research Integrity, and challenges towards international harmonization of research practices. We also approached specific topics such as Ethics review systems and challenges in research Ethics processes in Africa; Knowledge safety and respect for human rights at partner organisations; Transfers of personal (research) data outside of EU; The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing and implications for research 

What we learnt from the May meeting, is that the role of research managers in EU institutions goes beyond our European frontiers and that is crucial to expand our practices and knowledge-sharing efforts globally. 

Our community plays a critical role in facilitating international collaborations and ensuring the highest ethical standards are maintained. We are responsible for guiding researchers in adhering to good research practices, ensuring that institutional policies and guidelines are followed, and providing support and resources to promote ethical conduct. For that, we have relevant tools that can guide us, such as the recent principles of the Cape Town Statement that can help us to ensure research integrity in international collaborations but still we have to face several challenges. We have to navigate cultural and institutional differences and ensure that all parties involved are on the same page when it comes to ethical practices. 

In this context, sharing experiences, and practices and establishing an active and continuous dialogue among us is paramount. We invite you to the session Ethics and integrity on Wednesday April 26 14:45-15:15 CEST where we will reflect on the importance of ethics and research integrity for research managers and administrators in the European and global context.

Read more about this EARMA Conference session.