Seminar Syllabus: Research Integrity in International Research Collaborations

Teaching Science Studies
(Photo by Nathan Dumlao on unsplash)

During the summer semester I had the opportunity to teach a course on research integrity with my colleague Tim Flink from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The course was part of a Master-program in science studies and turned out to be very interesting with a lot of input, critique and ideas from the students when we discussed the the texts.

To facilitate the exchange on teaching about this topic, especially with focus on research collaborations with participants from the Global South, I am publishing the syllabus here. Feel free do use the material or add to the course outline through comments. It will be great to discuss further options of how to place the topic in science studies. So my questions to you include:

What are your syllabi? What texts and material do you use when teaching research integrity in your field? And at which departments do you teach these subjects?

So here is our syllabus:

Research integrity matters for North-South collaborations. Colonial histories, continuous economic inequalities, the scientists’ labour migration, a dominance of Northern approaches to scientific topics and unequally equipped research environments are crucial factors that structure these relationships. The seminar invites students to develop a conceptual understanding of research integrity under the aforementioned conditions, of research collaborations and of globalized norms of science. Moreover, in the seminar we will study the operationalization of research collaborations through mobility, co-publications and the funding and we will look at policy responses to these inequalities. Eventually, we will develop a model of research collaborations with African and European participants that tries to factor in the different original conditions, the goals of actors within different systems, their approaches in international scientific/science-policy affairs and their styles of planning and doing research. In the seminar, we will use first-hand empirical data from field research.

1. Session:  What is Research Integrity and what is the difference to Research Ethics

1. Fuchs, S.; Westervelt, S. D., 1996. Fraud and Trust in Science. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 39(2), 249–269.
2. Singapore Statement on Research Integrity, 2010
3. Montreal Statement on Research Integrity in Cross-Boundary Research Collaborations, 2013

2. Session: What do we mean by research collaborations?

1. Katz, J.S., Martin, B.R., 1997. What is research collaboration? 1Research Policy 26, 1–18.
2. Kosmützky, A., 2018. A two-sided medal: On the complexity of international comparative and collaborative team research. Higher Education Quarterly.

3. Session: How did science become international/global?

Short intervention/Lecture: Tim Flink on the base of
Stichweh, R., 2003. Genese des globalen Wissenschaftssystems. Soziale Systeme 9: 3–26.

4. Session: Which particular norms of science evolved when?

1. Daston, L., 1991. The Ideal and Reality of the Republic of Letters in the Enlightenment. Science in Context 4: 367–386.
2. Merton, R.K., 1973. The Normative Structure of Science. S. 267–278 in: N.W. Storer (Hrsg.), The Sociology of Science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations . Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

5. Session: How do we operationalize research collaboration

I: Mobility (Student presentation)
1. Gaillard, J., Gaillard, A.M., Krishna, V.V., 2015. Return from Migration and Circulation of Highly Educated People: The Never-ending Brain Drain. Science, technology & Society 20, 269–278.

How do we operationalize research collaboration II: Bibliometrical analysis (Student presentation)

1. Adams, J., Gurney, K., Hook, D., Leydesdorff, L., 2014. International collaboration clusters in Africa. Scientometrics 98, 547–556.
2. Onyancha, O.B., and Meluleka, J.R. (2011). Knowledge production through collaborative research in sub-Saharan Africa: how much do countries contribute to each other’s knowledge output and citation impact? Scientometrics, 87, 315–336.

How do we operationalize research collaboration III: National and international R&D funding models (Student presentation)

1. Hyden, G., 2016. The role and impact of funding agencies on higher education and research for development, in: Halvorsen, T., Nossum, J. (Eds.), North-South Knowledge Networks: Student presentation Towards Equitable Collaboration between Academics, Donors and Universities. African Minds, Cape Town, pp. 1–39.
2. Gaillard, J., 2010. Measuring Research and Development in Developing Countries: Main Characteristics and Implications for the Frascati Manual. Science Technology & Society 15, 77-111. 4.
4. European Commission, 2014. Mapping of Best Practice: Regional and Multi-Country STI Initiatives Between African and Europe. Publication Office of the EU, Luxemburg, p. 7-10.

6. Session: What integrity-problems arise in North-South collaborations? (Group discussion)

Kombe, F., Anunobi, E.N., Tshifugula, N.P., Wassenaar, D., Njadingwe, D., Mwalukore, S., Chinyama, J., Randrianasolo, B., Akindeh, P., Dlamini, P.S., others, 2014. Promoting research integrity in Africa: An African voice of concern on research misconduct and the way forward. Developing world bioethics 14, 158–166.
Zingerli, C., 2010. A Sociology of International Research Partnerships for Sustainable Development. European Journal of Development Research 22, 217–233.

7. Session: Interpretation of interviews (Group Work and discussion with prior homework)

Introduction to interview analysis
Sources: Two anonymous interviews from field research

8 Session: Policy responses to integrity issues: Guidelines and ethical review committees as institutional safeguards (Student presentation)

1. Maselli, D., Lys, J.-A., Schmid, J., 2004. Improving impacts of research partnerships. Geographica Bernensia, Bern, p. 13-37.
2. Botti, L., IJsselmuiden, C., Kuss, K., Mwangi, E., Wagner, I.E., 2018. Equality in Health Research Cooperation Between Africa and Europe: The Potential of the Research Fairness Initiative, in: Cherry, A., Haselip, J., Ralphs, G., Wagner, I.E. (Eds.), Africa-Europe Research and Innovation Cooperation. Springer  International Publishing, Cham, pp. 99–119.
3. Ndebele, P., Wassenaar, D., Benatar, S., Fleischer, T., Kruger, M., Adebamowo, C., Kass, N., Hyder, A.A., Meslin, E.M., 2014. Research Ethics Capacity Building in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of NIH Fogarty-Funded Programs 2000–2012. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics: An International Journal 9, 24–40.

9. Session: Students present their essays ideas (peer review)

10. Session:  Conclusion and outlook

1. Parker, M., Kingori, P., 2016. Good and Bad Research Collaborations: Researchers’ Views on Science and Ethics in Global Health Research. PLOS ONE 11, e0163579.


Further recommended reading:
Adriansen, H.K., Madsen, L.M., Jensen, S. (Eds.), 2016. Higher Education and Capacity Building in Africa: The Geography and Power of Knowledge Under Changing Conditions. Routledge.

Boshoff, N., 2009. Neo-colonialism and research collaboration in Central Africa. Scientometrics 81, 413–434.

Bradley, M., 2008. On the agenda: North–South research partnerships and agenda-setting processes. Development in Practice 18, 673–685.

Hountondji, P.J., 1990. Scientific Dependence in Africa Today. Research in African Literatures 21, 5–15.

Mouton, J., Gaillard, J., van Lill, M., 2015. Functions of Science Granting Councils in Sub-Saharan Africa, in: Cloete, N., Maassen, P., Bailey, T. (Eds.), Knowledge Production and Contradictory Functions in African Higher Education, African Minds Higher Education Dynamics Series. African Minds, Cape Town, pp. 148–170.

Wagner, C.S., 2008. The New Invisible College: Science for Development. Brookings Institution Press.

Zdravkovic, M., Chiwona-Karltun, L., Zink, E., 2016. Experiences and perceptions of South-South and North-South scientific collaboration of mathematicians, physicists and chemists from five southern African universities. Scientometrics 108, 717–743.