Office of Research Integrity
Recent years have witnessed an increase in the cases of misbehavior being reported in research activities that could significantly compromise the trust in scientific research. In order to prevent such misconduct before it occurs, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan established the “Guideline for Responding against Misconduct in Research Activities” in August 2014, thereby encouraging universities and other research organizations to steadily educate research integrity.
In order to enhance research integrity education, JST obtained a license from the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), US Department of Health and Human Services, created a Japanese version of “The Lab” (visual educational material), and then published it on the internet. The Japanese version was supervised by Jun Fudano, director of the Applied Ethics Center for Engineering and Science at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology (also the JST research integrity advisor).
This material offers a virtual experience to help viewers acquire ethical judgment and problem-solving skills. The viewer selects the behaviors of four persons (i.e. a principal investigator, a postdoctoral researcher (PostDoc), a graduate student (Grad student) and a university research integrity officer) concerning wrongdoing in a university lab, in order to learn about the consequences of viewer’s choice.
For example, a Grad student (Kim) involved with an case; one of her colleague PostDoc (Greg), an excellent researcher of the laboratory of physiology changed her previous research data to the one which is consistent with their hypothesis and publish it as a paper. Kim found something wrong after the paper was published, and wondered who to consult and how to raise an accusation against Greg. The viewer can virtually experience various situations to learn about a selected behavior at a given stage, resulting in a specific consequence.
Concerning the other three persons, the viewer can also make decisions regarding Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), and simulate various consequences so as to acquire ethical judgment and problem-solving skills. This material is expected to facilitate an education of research integrity in research organizations, and help prevent research misconduct.
Menu screen of The LAB.
The viewer can simulate an issue of research
misconduct relative to the positions of four persons.