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NERQ Continues its Work – Strengthening Research Integrity and Quality

The Network for Education and Research Quality (NERQ) will continue its mission to foster research integrity, research ethics, and open science after its successful first hybrid conference in Brussels, hosted by the European Commission. More than 150 participants registered for the conference to gain insights into 11 trending topics related to RI, RE and OS provided by 11 Special Interest Groups.

Two-panel sessions highlighted the connections between NERQ and other initiatives such as WCRI, FORRT, EUREC, EOSC-A, ENAI etc., dispersed throughout the day. Maria Leptin, President of the European Research Council (ERC), delivered a keynote speech emphasizing the importance of research integrity to achieve excellence in Europe and mapped the different ways the ERC pursues this goal.

"Society and research need to be able to trust research results," says Maria Leptin in a video about research integrity. "Important for research in all disciplines is that correct and rigorous methods, as well as correct behaviour, lead to reliable research results."

From Open Science to the Special Interest Group on Research Methodology, these groups showed that they are the heart of NERQ. One discussion, for example, revolved around differences between mentors and supervisors, about what an irresponsible supervisor would do, what institutions can do to prevent irresponsible supervision, and about how the perspective of the PhD student who wishes to make a genuine contribution should not be left out of the conversation.

The conference provided an opportunity to exchange good practices: experiences, formats, and new developments. It also stimulated quality training and trainers in the field and encouraged collaborations on research-based innovations in education. At the event's conclusion, the experts published a position paper, "Seven challenges for research integrity education: current status and recommendations" (in preprint), outlining the challenges and next steps.

NERQ fosters open science and responsible behaviour among researchers by providing resources such as training materials, best practices for research integrity, codes of conduct for universities, and guidelines for handling scientific misconduct cases. Through these efforts, NERQ aims to ensure that researchers learn and accept and be held accountable for their actions while still pursuing their work excellently. The network will reconvene online on September 20th to further discuss strengthening research integrity and quality.

For more information about NERQ and its mission, visit the networks page on the Embassy of Good Science or join the LinkedIn group.