In a context of tight funding, research and innovation operators tend to look for a rapid return on their investment, including markets near-immediate applications of the funded research results. This amazing will for swift financial returns is also influenced by the increasing use of information and communication technologies which economic models are shorter than those of general research, particularly in the Medical field, but who have nonetheless heavily skewed the perception of these business cycles.
There is therefore an increasing “impatience" of innovation financiers towards funded research projects, which creates significant stress and pressure on research operators and can lead to ethically questionable, if not criminal, practices. Furthermore, the existence of such problems necessarily has an impact and leaves traces, either structural: what is the becoming of research players - these being individuals, public institutions or companies - convicted or even only suspected of such acts?; sociological: how can society as a whole maintain confidence in a sector more and more suspected of treachery and how is this reflected in funding programs and policy as a whole, economic: what is the full cost of such practices in terms of lost training, lost confidence, lost financing, legal action costs or damages spending, and how can the loss of opportunity be evaluated.
- Objective 1 - Analyse the occurrence of research misconduct (RM) through historical case studies, and evidenced examples ; use these case studies to (a) deliver a mapping of different RM situations/types, (b) a noise-free RM occurrences based database, and (c) devise a first reading of procedures, risks and potential impacts ; this to find and prove the existence or not of a sociological and systematic financial impact model related to these topics : has one type of misconduct always results in the same consequences and thus impact? (WP 2)
- Objective 2 - Provide a financial modelisation of RM related risks and loss of opportunity to devise and make public the full costs of such attitudes (WP 3),
- Objective 3 - Propose a methodology and guidelines for anticipating and prevent the appearance of this type of practices, and consider ways - either structural or insurance based - to mitigated the impacts on the research community (WP 4); bearing in mind that tools minimizing RM impact could have dangerous side effects such as an increase in malpractices due to a biased perception of the risks taken. This is why, the ethical impact of a potential risks mitigation policy will also be considered (WP 6). WP 4 will also provide an estimate the economic and scientific benefit that could be derived from a more responsible conduct of research.
- INSTITUT DES HAUTES ETUDES ECONOMIQUES ET COMMERCIALES, France
- University of Crete (UoC), Greece