Promoting responsible research conduct in a developing world academic context

Lyn Margaret Horn


As reports of research misconduct seem to increase, research integrity and the promotion of responsible research conduct are important for academic institutions. This paper considers what research integrity means for individual researchers and institutions, and explores trends for promoting responsible research conduct. An Aristotelian concept of ‘the good’ is used to consider the difference between ‘good’ and ‘successful’ researchers. I argue that a balance is required between advancing an ethics of individual responsibility on the one hand, and a compliance-focused approach on the other. I discuss institutional strategies for promoting responsible research conduct, including training and mentorship, developing an appropriate institutional culture that emphasises individual responsibility and accountability, and ensuring that institutions have clear, easily accessible policies available for all aspects of research.

Author's affiliations

Lyn Margaret Horn, Centre for Applied Ethics, Department of Philosophy and Division for Research Development, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Full Text



Scientific integrity; Research integrity; Research ethics; Responsibility;

Cite this article

South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 2013;6(1):21-24. DOI:10.7196/SAJBL.256

Article History

Date submitted: 2013-02-06
Date published: 2013-06-21

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