Alive and kicking

June 14, 2012

Regarding "Hefce's purse strings may be tied to concordat" (News, 7 June). Some readers may be under the impression that the UK Research Integrity Office shut down when its public funding ended in 2010. In fact, UKRIO continues as a charity funded by subscription. Many universities, including more than half the Russell Group, have agreed to support it. We invite others to join this important initiative.

Those developing the Concordat to Support Research Integrity have sought UKRIO's views on the draft document, and we have posed a number of questions about its implications. We are ready to work on these issues with the authors to help ensure proportionate and practical guidance.

We echo the points raised by the University of Edinburgh's Daniele Fanelli. The concordat is an important step in the journey towards improving research integrity in the UK. However, and indeed by the authors' own admission, it is only part of the solution. More in-depth work is necessary to sustain a research environment with integrity at its heart without imposing additional burdens on researchers.

James Parry, Chief executive, UK Research Integrity Office

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