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Explaining variance in perceived research misbehavior: results from a survey among academic researchers in Amsterdam

  • Haven, Tamarinde1
  • Tijdink, Joeri1, 2
  • Martinson, Brian3, 4, 5
  • Bouter, Lex1, 6
  • Oort, Frans7
  • 1 Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, Amsterdam, 1081 HV, The Netherlands , Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • 2 Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1117, Amsterdam, Netherlands , Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • 3 HealthPartners Institute, 8170 33rd Ave. S., Bloomington, MN, 55425, USA , Bloomington (United States)
  • 4 Center for Care Delivery and Outcomes Research, Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System, One Veterans Drive, Minneapolis, MN, 55417, USA , Minneapolis (United States)
  • 5 University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware St SE, Minneapolis, MN, 55455, USA , Minneapolis (United States)
  • 6 Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1117, Amsterdam, The Netherlands , Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • 7 University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 127, Amsterdam, 1018 WS, The Netherlands , Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Published Article
Research Integrity and Peer Review
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
May 03, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s41073-021-00110-w
Springer Nature


BackgroundConcerns about research misbehavior in academic science have sparked interest in the factors that may explain research misbehavior. Often three clusters of factors are distinguished: individual factors, climate factors and publication factors. Our research question was: to what extent can individual, climate and publication factors explain the variance in frequently perceived research misbehaviors?MethodsFrom May 2017 until July 2017, we conducted a survey study among academic researchers in Amsterdam. The survey included three measurement instruments that we previously reported individual results of and here we integrate these findings.ResultsOne thousand two hundred ninety-eight researchers completed the survey (response rate: 17%). Results showed that individual, climate and publication factors combined explained 34% of variance in perceived frequency of research misbehavior. Individual factors explained 7%, climate factors explained 22% and publication factors 16%.ConclusionsOur results suggest that the perceptions of the research climate play a substantial role in explaining variance in research misbehavior. This suggests that efforts to improve departmental norms might have a salutary effect on behavior.

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