What is Amsterdam’s Academic Research Climate?
The motivation for carrying out the ARCA project is that we have hardly any data on what motivates people to adhere to their integrity in academic research. Being a reliable researcher that takes integrity seriously is important for the trust in research and researchers. There are some ideas up in the air as to what makes researches behave reliably and virtuous, but little empirical evidence is available. ARCA is one of the pioneering studies that looks at ways to foster responsible research practices. To do this, we first need to get insight into which determinants play a role in stimulating responsible conduct of research, but also which determinants fuel research misconduct or questionable research practices.
ARCA seeks to prove a baseline measure of the academic research climate, which is needed if science wishes to improve itself. This is why all active researchers from the Vrije Universiteit, Universiteit van Amsterdam, the VU Medical Center and the Amsterdam Medical Center will receive an invitation to fill out the survey. We are looking for researchers’ views on the climate they work in on a daily basis, so responses are valuable as they provide us with the data to get some grasp on the current state of affairs.
Of course, survey results are not the end. In the second year of the project, we hope to deepen our understanding of the survey results by organizing focus groups to discuss the results. These groups will also be used for (perhaps more importantly), investigating which factors researchers themselves identify as promoting or hindering responsible conduct of research.
The results of the survey are not just to be published in academic journals, we hope to provide the academic community itself with information. Therefore, all faculties or research institutes from the VU, UvA, VUmc and AMC will receive a short report with average and aggregated information. This is to give back some results to the academic community in the short term. In the long term, we are hoping to use the information gained in the survey and focus groups to design effective interventions. You can learn more about those by reading about us or by reading our protocol.
The overall results will be published here, as well as links to scientific publications.