Research Integrity Conference



Over the past quarter of a century or so, Singapore, with strong Government support, has become a major centre for research and the ‘go to’ place for such endeavours in South East Asia. Research in Singapore ranges from biomedicine and engineering through to the natural sciences and mathematics, to the arts, humanities and social sciences. Singapore’s research is an important driving force underlying the nation’s policy to develop a knowledge-based economy and a ‘smart’ city. Thus, ensuring that our research is conducted at the highest standards of integrity and ethics is essential to the credibility of Singapore as a global centre for research excellence attracting researchers and technology–based enterprises from across the globe.
It is critically important for the research community in Singapore to foster a culture of good research practice in all its endeavours and within all its research institutions, universities other institutes of higher learning and the academic medical centres.
Following on from the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity (2010) that led to the ‘foundational’ Singapore Statement on Research Integrity, and inspired by an initiative from Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman, A*STAR, three institutions (A*STAR, NTU and NUS) came together to organise the first Singapore Conference on Research Integrity in 2016. This was a successful event attracting some 350 participants. It also led to the Joint Statement on Research Integrity relating to Scholarly Publications endorsed by all three institutions and SUTD. Elements of this joint statement have now been incorporated into the respective research integrity policies of these institutions.

About the theme

Research integrity (and good research practice) is now recognised as a sine qua non for all research activities and is at the top of the agenda for research governance policies worldwide. There is an increasing concern about the reproducibility (replicability) of the data underpinning research results. One estimate is that up to one third of all research results contained in research papers in the biomedical field are NOT reproducible. A recent estimate published in PLoS Biology suggested that the prevalence of irreproducible preclinical research in US is as large as 50% This not only undermines the value of research but it also has a deleterious impact on society’s trust of researchers and support for research.
Therefore, it is in our collective interests to promote best practices and ensure that Singapore’s research is both of high quality and trustworthy.
This, the Second Singapore Conference on Research Integrity 2018 will seek to address the issue of research reproducibility and we are fortunate to have two major figures as our keynote speakers. Sir Philip Campbell was, until recently, the Editor of Nature for many years and is a most respected figure in science. He is now the Editor-in-Chief for the Springer-Nature Group. Sir Philip has been an ardent advocate for good research practice and open and reproducible science. Our second keynote speaker is Professor Lex Bouter, former Rector of the Vrieje Universiteit (Free University) of Amsterdam. He was the Co-Chair of the 5th World Conference on Research Integrity and continues in that role for the 6th World Conference in Hong Kong in 2019.
There will also be a speaker from the pharmaceutical industry, Dr Anthony Partridge, from Merck, Sharp and Dohme, Singapore. Following criticisms in the past, the pharmaceutical industry has been very meticulous in recording and assessing its research data and we can learn much from this industrial experience. Two experts, Dr Holger Lorenz (Universität Heidelberg) and Ms Jana Christopher (FEBS) will speak on  the issue of imagery integrity. The conference then splits into three parallel sessions to address reproducibility in research in the arts, humanities and social sciences, a session in two parts - first to report on what the three organising institutions are doing about reproducibility in research, followed by a second part about what scholarly journals are doing about it. The third session will be on ethical considerations in relation to reproducible research.

Who should attend

Academic research institutions senior management and their staffs (including Deans, Chairs and Associate Chairs), Research Institute Executive Directors, senior staff of research institutes and policymakers from government and funding agencies.

For further background reading

Kelly Servick, Social science studies get a 'generous' test, Science Vol 361 p 836 (31 Aug 2018)

L. Teytelman, No more excuses for non-reproducible methods, Nature Vol 560 p411 (23 Aug 2018)

Jeffrey Perkel, A Toolkit for Data Transparency, Nature Vol 560 p513 (23 Aug 2018)

Rik Peels and Lex Bouter, The possibility and desirability of replication in the humanities, Palgrave Communications Vol 4 Article Number 95 (7 Aug 2018)

Publish and don't be damned, The Economist pp 67-68 (23 June 2018)

Rik Peels & Lex Bouter, Replication drive for humanities, Nature Vol 558 p 372 (21 June 2018)

Philip B Stark, No reproducibility without preproducibility, Nature Vol 557 p 613 (31 May 2018)

Catherine Winchester, Give every paper a read for reproducibility, Nature Vol 557 p 281 (17 May 2018)

Richard Van Noorden, Leadership problems in the lab, Nature Vol 557 pp 294-304 (17 May 2018)

Jeremy Berg, Progress on reproducibility, Science Vol. 359 pp. 9 (5 Jan 2018)

Clare Fiala and Eleftherios P Diamandis, How to reduce irreproducibility, Clin. Chem. Lab. Med. Vol 55 (12) pp 1845 (26 Oct 2017)

Monya Baker, Check your chemistry, Nature Vol 548 pp 485-488 (24 August 2017)

Gordon J. Lithgow, Monica Driscoll and Patrick Phillips, A long journey to reproducible results, Nature Vol 548 pp 387-388 (24 August 2017)

Steven N. Goodman, Daniele Fanelli and John P. A. Ioannidis, What does research reproducibility mean? Science Translational Medicine Vol. 8(341), pp. 341-348 (1 Jun 2016)

Monya Baker and Dan Penny, Is there a reproducibility crisis? 1,500 scientists lift the lid on reproducibility: Survey sheds light on the ‘crisis’ rocking research. Nature Vol 533 pp452-454 (26 May 2016)

Reality check on reproducibility (Editorial), Nature Vol 533 (26 May 2016)

Regina Nuzzo, Fooling ourselves, Nature Vol 526 pp182-185 (8 Oct 2015)

Marcia McNutt, Reproducibility, Science Vol 343 pp229 (17 January 2014)

Nature Editorial Checklist