CNI opened an examination of issues surrounding science nationalism and scientific integrity with an Executive Roundtable in conjunction with our December 2020 Member meeting. You can find the report on this here
Recently there have been a lot of new developments in these areas, and I thought it would be helpful to update the CNI community on some of these. This is not as timely as it should have been due to other demands on my time, and for this I apologize; I hope this summary is still useful.
First off the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has issued an important report on scientific integrity. The announcement is here:
and a direct link to the report is here
Katherine Klosek, Director of Information Policy at ARL (email@example.com) , wrote a superb summary of this for the ARL Public Policy Briefing, a monthly ARL member-only report, and has kindly allowed me to share this with the CNI community. Here’s her report:
White House Scientific Integrity Task Force releases assessment of scientific integrity policies and practices in US government.
This month, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Scientific Integrity Task Force, co-chaired by National Library of Medicine Deputy Director Jerry Sheehan, released a report reviewing federal agency scientific integrity policies. President Biden called for the task force to conduct this review in a January 2021 memo on scientific integrity, just a week after his inauguration. The task force concluded that while “Federal science is fundamentally sound,” political interference may undermine federal decision-making, and erode the public’s trust in science. The task force also concluded that agencies like the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which mostly fund extramural research, are less likely to experience interference in policy-making than science agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has a stronger regulatory role. In the report, the task force lays out a series of “good practices” for federal agencies to consider and adapt, on such topics as building a culture of scientific integrity, protecting the integrity of the research process, communicating scientific information with integrity, procedures for safeguarding scientific integrity, and institutionalizing scientific integrity.
The task force report was informed in part by responses to OSTP’s June 2021 “Request for Information to Improve Scientific Integrity Policies,” (https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/06/28/2021-13640/request-for-information-to-improve-federal-scientific-integrity-policies) including the response drafted by ARL’s Scholarship and Policy Team on data- and information-management practices that improve trust in scientific research. All responses to OSTP’s request are available via the White House website, including comments from SPARC, and a joint submission by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) (see https://t.e2ma.net/click/t16d2d/5qavxes/pqfy9m).
Key issues addressed in the report include the following:
• Open science. The report highlights the importance of open science as an enabler of scientific integrity, and recommends making research publications, data, analytical software and code, and study protocols available in a timely manner for inspection and reuse, creating opportunities to detect interference or other violations of scientific integrity policies. In our comments, ARL recommended making research outputs publicly available as soon as possible.
• Data management. In its chapter on protecting the integrity of the research process, the task force recommended early public disclosure of study plans or protocols, and documentation procedures for collection, storage, management, analysis, and security of data. ARL’s recommendations included investing in machine-actionable data-management and data-governance plans.
• Representation in science careers. The task force suggests that federal agencies offer training and career development opportunities for early career scientists that are inclusive of members from underserved communities and diverse voices within the scientific integrity community. ARL recommended that the federal government prioritize the upskilling of early-career researchers, graduate students, and undergraduates in these areas, with a particular focus on historically underrepresented populations.
Next, the task force will develop a framework that OSTP can use to assess and improve agency scientific integrity policies in line with the report’s recommendations; the framework will include a definition of scientific integrity.
The report received a good deal of press coverage, for example this report from Science:
The National Science Board and the National Science Foundation released their biannual Science Indicators report. See
There’s a lot of interesting data in here. I was surprised by the comparative data on international patents and publications, and how the US position on both has declined in recent years.
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has published implementation guidance for National Security Presidential Memorandum NSPM-33 on improving research security efforts. Our colleagues at the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) has put out a great summary of these developments at
The OSTP guidance is at