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Langlais Invited to Speak at International Conference on Research Ethics


Old Dominion University administrator Philip Langlais, who has emerged in recent years as a prominent proponent of university initiatives to bolster responsible conduct in research (RCR), has been invited to give a talk and help lead a workshop at the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity July 21-24 in Singapore.

The title of Langlais' presentation will be "Challenges and Solutions to Establishing an Institutional Culture of Research Integrity." He is also an organizer of a post-conference workshop on international RCR education.

"This conference is planned to get participants to focus on the major thematic challenges in research integrity and to come up with solutions to those challenges," Langlais said. "We are interested in sharing best practices, and in developing a code of ethics. This is not easy to do because there is an enormous range of understanding around the world about research ethics. Still, I think we can come away with consensus about what needs to be done."

Langlais, a neuroscientist who is stepping down in late July as ODU's vice provost of graduate studies and research to work full-time as a professor of psychology, participated in the first World Conference on Research Integrity in Lisbon in 2007. Through leadership roles in the national Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools, he has promoted an RCR agenda he started at ODU more than six years ago.

As vice provost he led ODU's participation in a CGS pilot program to develop best practices for comprehensive ethics and RCR education in graduate programs. ODU got an initial grant in 2004 to fund its participation and in 2006 the university successfully applied for support in the second wave of the CGS program. An ODU task force led by Langlais conducted research on campus to gauge student and faculty perceptions and skills regarding ethical decision-making and to frame a general plan for the ethics training. These efforts culminated in the establishment of an ODU policy that requires all graduate students to receive training in RCR.

At the upcoming World Conference, Langlais will address two major areas critical to the effectiveness and sustainability of an institutional culture of research integrity: 1) faculty and administration buy-in and commitment; and 2) institutional priority setting and practices.

"The talk will include assessment of current attitudes, practices and values; rewards for quality mentoring and RCR training; committees of respected faculty to guide and deliver training and build cultural norms, and university requirements for training in RCR," Langlais said.

The four key aspects of research integrity that the conference organizers have selected for discussion are:

• National and international structures for promoting integrity and responding to misconduct

• Global codes of conduct and best practices for research

• Common curricula for training students and researchers in best practices and

• Uniform best practices for editors and publishers.

Participants will also have an opportunity to discuss and consider affirming a general Singapore Statement on Research Integrity as a starting point for identifying the fundamental values and principles that are common to research wherever it is undertaken.

This article was posted on: June 28, 2010

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