Digital Science has made a firm commitment to addressing issues of research integrity, with a senior appointment and a world-leading new product that highlights key issues with academic papers. But how will the new Dimensions Research Integrity help researchers, institutions and publishers to build trust in research?

Research integrity issues will be the central theme posing challenges for scholarly communications in the coming years, according to Dr Leslie McIntosh. Dr McIntosh – who has recently taken on the role of Vice President of Research Integrity at Digital Science – should know: she has decades of experience in highlighting the need for reproducible science, transparently reporting science, and the need to build trust in science. She co-founded Ripeta, a company that developed AI technologies to identify key research ‘trust markers’, which are hallmarks of research integrity in academic manuscripts and publications (for example, statements about how the research was funded, where the data can be found, and so on). 

Ripeta, now known as Dimensions Research Integrity, provides a first of its kind solution to detect the presence of trust markers across 33 million research articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, and preprints. Coverage of Dimensions Research Integrity is from 2010, and includes all articles with full text available in Dimensions. A recently released white paper on Dimensions Research Integrity gives in-depth information about trust markers, their development process, and how they work in the Dimensions Research Integrity ecosystem to address reproducibility and transparency in scholarly communication.

“Dimensions Research Integrity allows checks to happen before a paper is published or in aggregate after papers are published to really understand how things are moving or will move,” explained Dr McIntosh when she sat down for a conversation with Simon Linacre, Head of Content, Brand, and Press at Digital Science. In this age of Open Science she stressed the crucial need for collaboration between publishers, government, institutions, funders, and researchers to ensure that ethical, transparent, and rigorous processes are followed to safeguard trust in science. 

Poor research integrity practices, whether intentional or unintentional, not only pose reputational risks but are also expensive. In the US alone tens of billions of dollars are likely spent on research that cannot be built upon as the results are not reproducible. Due to the high societal cost of poor research integrity, the Biden-Harris administration in the United States has committed to increasing the integrity of government and federally funded research as a mechanism to mitigate misinformation and restore public trust in science. Similar measures have been taken in the United Kingdom, the European Union, the African Union, and other regions.

The movement to improve research integrity continues to gain momentum, but a major obstacle to the effectiveness of research integrity programs is the cost of continuously quantifying research integrity over time and defining “what good looks like”. 

This is where the cutting edge solutions offered by Dimensions Research Integrity can step in and boost research integrity. By using Dimensions Research Integrity solutions alongside traditional processes such as peer-review, funding organizations can track the application and adoption of best practices in science, publishers can assess their practices against established policies and comparable publishers, and institutions can pinpoint any local practices that require attention and take corrective action as necessary, even before publication. 

To get more insights into Dimensions Research Integrity, we invite you to download the white paper: Introducing Dimensions Research Integrity.

You can also watch the entire conversation between Dr McIntosh and Simon Linacre to know more about the origins of Dimensions Research Integrity.