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The Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Research, Innovation and Engagement (RIE), recently held a Research Integrity Seminar via Zoom.

The Programme Director of the event was Vaneshree Govender and welcoming the guests to the webinar was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Research, Innovation and Engagement (RIE), Professor Sibusiso Moyo, who said that such a webinar is vital to have, in order to ensure that DUT has that necessary integrity that research has to have and also leading research in such a way that it allows others to have confidence and trust in the methods and the findings of the research.

She also gave a brief biography on the guest speaker who was Professor Lex Bouter, a tenured chair in Methodology and Integrity at the Department of Epidemiology and Data Science of the Amsterdam University Medical Centres and the Department of Philosophy of the Faculty of Humanities of the Vrije Universiteit.

She further said that he is currently involved in research and teaching on research integrity topics.

“He was a professor of Epidemiology since 1992 and served his university as its rector between 2006 and 2013. Professor Bouter has supervised 77 PhD students, of whom to date 17 were appointed as professors. He is the founding chair of the World Conferences on Research Integrity Foundation,” she said.

Prof Bouter delivered his presentation titled: Fostering Responsible Research Practices needs attention from all stakeholders.

He gave insight into what is meant by research integrity, the challenges for researchers, what can research institutes do, as well as what can journals do. He emphasised on research integrity, research ethics and responsible research and innovation.

“Research Integrity (RI) concerns behaviours of researchers that hamper validity (truth) of research or trust in science and between scientists. Research Ethics (RE) concerns the ethical considerations of research with humans and animals. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) concerns the benefits and harms of research for society and the environment,” he said.

Prof Bouter spoke on the Singapore Statement on Research Integrity which was adopted at the second World Conference on Research Integrity in 2010 in Singapore.

“It is very much aspirational, became the informal global code of conduct, and is referred to in almost all regional, national and institutional codes of conduct for research integrity.

He also spoke on the update document, the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity document.

A question and answer session had ensued, followed by a vote of thanks which was given by Dr Linda Linganiso.

“AT DUT as the responsible members of the research community, we do set to produce research of the highest standard so we are well-informed of the fact that the research findings are used to inform, as you said, in the treatment of human and animal disease. So now also understand that it is critical that research exam integrity are the co-considerations at all stages of research.

Thank you so much for your experiences and expertise in this area, I would like you to know that we will never forget your teachings. In addition, I would like to appreciate all those who have attended this session.

Pictured: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Research, Innovation and Engagement (RIE), Professor Sibusiso Moyo.

Waheeda Peters

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