Leading Sino-Swiss experts gather to discuss research integrity
The National Science Library of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NSLCAS), the Swiss Embassy in China, SwissNex and the leading science publisher Frontiers, held a joint workshop on Research Integrity to discuss safeguarding the quality of scientific research in May in Beijing.
Stephan Kuster, head of public affairs at Frontiers Photo credit: Swiss Embassy in China
With Switzerland and China actively participating in international research collaborations, it is essential that both countries address the topic of research integrity together. The discussion around research integrity is also underpinned by the backdrop of China’s fast growth in the quantity and quality of scientific research papers. According to a report published in 2022 by Japan’s National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP), China contributed 27.2% of the world’s most-cited papers between 2018 and 2020, surpassing the US for the first time. Moreover, the recent development of artificial intelligence (AI) tools and their roles in supporting scientific research and its output present both opportunities and challenges for safeguarding research integrity.
The workshop brought together research institutions, universities, foundations, and academic publishers, including representatives from the National Science Foundation of China, NSLCAS Center of Research Integrity (CORI), the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, the Society of Chinese University Journals, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), and Tsinghua University, to name a few.
Diane Wang, Frontiers China general manager, emphasized the importance of long-term commitment and persistence in academic integrity. She said, "Frontiers hopes to work with scientific research institutions and research management institutions to create a fairer and more transparent academic environment, so that academic prosperity can continue to develop.”
CORI introduced its academic article early warning system AMEND, which monitors and warns against problematical publications at the article level. As a publisher of research papers, Frontiers provided practical examples of the use of technology to safeguard research integrity through a demonstration of how its award-winning AI tool AIRA is incorporated into the internal workflow from article submission to final publication to identify fraudulent or low-quality manuscripts.
“The research system as a whole today faces a research integrity challenge. We need communication and collaboration between publishers and funders and research institutions on a global scale to solve it. AIRA helps us at Frontiers to perform nearly 40 checks on each article that we receive. Whether it is image manipulation or peer review fraud, our internal team of 75 plus research integrity experts can now pick it out in a more time efficient manner.” said Stephan Kuster, head of public affairs at Frontiers.
The panelists discussed the role of bibliometrics and technology in safeguarding research integrity, drawing on the perspectives of libraries and journals respectively. They also discussed the issue of teaching research integrity to the next generation of academics and the development of AI-assisted research.
Xiwen Liu, director general of the National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences, said, "We expect that experts and scholars will continue to carry out far-reaching discussions and exchanges, share different experiences and information, and make greater contributions to promoting responsible research and innovation.”
HE Jürg Burri, Swiss Ambassador to China, stated, “I am pleased to witness a fruitful exchange between Swiss and Chinese academia on research integrity. This topic is of great importance and significance for the future of the global academic community. This workshop sets a solid foundation to enhance research integrity through international exchange, which will further encourage scientific advancement.”
As the scientific community continues to grow and evolve, it is crucial to ensure that research integrity remains a top priority. Workshops like this one help bring experts together to exchange ideas and find innovative ways to safeguard research integrity, ultimately contributing to the advancement of scientific knowledge worldwide.
Frontiers is the 3rd most-cited and 6th largest research publisher. We publish groundbreaking discoveries by the world's top experts. Scientists empower society and our mission is to accelerate scientific discovery by making science open. We place the researcher at the center of everything we do and enable the research community to develop the solutions we need to live healthy lives on a healthy planet. Featuring custom-built technology, artificial intelligence, and rigorous quality standards, our research articles have been viewed more than 2.5 billion times, reflecting the power of research that is open for all. For more information, visit www.frontiersin.org