Eight projects will receive funding to study responsible research practices. Despite a plethora of theories and opinions, remarkably little scholarly investigation has focused on what makes a “good” scientific research system.

These 8 projects will provide subjective practicable knowledge about what actually works and will contribute to rejuvenate the entire system of scientific research.

The projects

  • Prof. dr. W.J.M.J. Cuijpers (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) will study researcher allegiance, the conviction held by a researcher that a specific treatment is superior to other treatments, in research on psychosocial interventions. Researcher allegiance is one of the biggest problems, because it leads to overestimation of the effects of a treatment. Cuijpers will examine in detail what research allegiance is, how it works and how to reduce the impact on the outcomes of trials on psychological interventions.
  • Dr. S. de Rijcke (Universiteit Leiden) aims to describe the optimal profile of researchers in terms of their propensity to foster responsible conduct in research. This profile will be compared with existing academic incentive and reward systems. The outcome will be a set of concrete policy recommendations for designing (or adapting) an academic reward systems aimed at fostering excellent, socially responsible research.
  • Dr. M.K. Schmidt (Nederlands Kanker Instituut): The principles for ethical, legal, and social acceptable use of residual biosamples, and guidelines following these principles have been captured in a Dutch code of conduct. However, implementation of these principles and guidelines in Dutch hospitals is slow. This research project is therefore aimed at identifying the necessary steps to bridge the gap between these principles and guidelines and their implementation in (clinical) practice. An ‘implementation toolbox’ will be developed to execute the code properly.
  • Prof. dr. M.W. van Tulder (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam): Null-hypothesis significance testing is unsuitable as the default procedure to draw conclusions from empirical data. Nevertheless, this test is often used for this kind of research. As a result researchers draw erroneous conclusions from their data. Alternative statistic methods have been developed to overcome this pitfall, however, researchers do not use these alternative methods for the analysis of empirical data. Why this is the case and which factors are involved will be studied in this project. Based on the results strategies will be developed to implement the use of alternative methods for drawing conclusions from empirical data.
  • Prof. dr. N.S. Klazinga (Academisch Medisch Centrum) explores the prevalence, nature and causes of questionable research practices within Health Services research. He will examine this in the phase where conclusions are derived from findings and disseminated scientific and societal publication.  This will lead to recommendations and tools to improve current practice.
  • Prof. dr. H.J. Paul (Universiteit Leiden) examines causal relations between Competitive Research Funding and Questionable Research Practices. He will develop a model specifying the mechanisms through which Competitive Research Funding contributes to Questionable Research Practices.
  • Dr. mr. C.H. Vinkers (Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht): Clinical trials have systematic methodological flaws, statistical problems, and their results may be biased, exaggerated, and difficult to reproduce. This is highly problematic since clinical trials constitute the backbone of evidence-based medicine. Vinkers aims to identify possible predictors of Questionable Research Practices in clinical trials.
  • Dr. W. Halffman (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen) will assess the effectiveness of measures used by scientific journals to improve peer review’s ability to detect misconduct and error.

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