How can researchers help support research integrity? - F1000

How can researchers help support research integrity?

4 mins


Research integrity refers to aligning research activities with ethical principles and responsible practice. This allows other scholars to have trust in research findings. Not adhering to such standards can lead to the dissemination of low-quality research.  

Open data supports greater transparency and reproducibility 

Making all underlying data openly available is a prerequisite to publishing with F1000. Open data is a core element of our innovative publishing model. Before an article is published, our editorial team checks that authors have shared their data in an open format. But why do we place so much value on open data?  

Greater transparency

Data availability and access play a crucial role in transparent science. Open data nurture transparency allowing researchers to check the authenticity of reported results. Such transparency can help minimize the spreading of fabricated or falsified data.   

Plus, making data openly available accelerates discovery and reduces research waste. Researchers avoid the time-consuming and costly process of generating data from scratch. Instead, they can reuse available datasets for their own projects. Scholars with different skills or expertise can even use data in ways that the original creator had not envisioned.  

Supporting reproducibility

Making research data openly available allows testing of its reproducibility. Reproducibility refers to the extent to which a researcher can obtain consistent results with high reliability using the same data or code as the original study. In this sense, reproducibility can drive and support greater trust in research.  

Replicating studies can show that the research and its methods are robust. Plus, it can uncover errors or even invalidate faulty methods. This can prevent the dissemination of questionable research to the wider research community.  

Open peer review provides checks and balances on research integrity

Our peer review process is fully open and takes place after an article has been published. Our model uses open identities, open reports, and an open user commenting system. This means the whole process is fully transparent to researchers, policymakers, and the general public.  

Open identities

We encourage our authors to suggest 5 potential reviewers for their paper. Our editorial team checks all suggested reviewers for potential conflicts of interest before inviting them to assess an article.  

Reviewer names and affiliations are published alongside the article meaning that all reviewers are publicly accountable for their feedback. This can trigger reviewers to produce higher quality, more constructive peer review reports. “Some of the highest quality and most useful reviews I’ve had on any papers anywhere were on papers published at F1000Research. Not free of criticism of the work! But I know I at least write more thoughtfully as a reviewer when I will be signing my name,” says Kevin J. Black, a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Washington School of Medicine.  

Open identities also ensure all reviewers will receive credit for their contributions. This aspect of open peer review is very important for cases of co-reviewing which often involves early-career researchers. Plus, it can help prevent ghostwriting of peer review reports.  

Open reports

Peer review reports are also published alongside the article for anyone to read. This way, readers can better understand the logic and thinking process of reviewers. Open reports also give context to why a paper might be controversial or why there are conflicting views. 

Open user commenting

We operate an open user commenting system at any stage of the peer review process of an article. This system makes peer review a more constructive, collaborative conversation within the research community by allowing:  

  • Readers to leave feedback without being a part of the formal review process  
  • A greater degree of transparent communication between authors and reviewers  
  • Authors respond to a reviewer’s peer review report  

Upholding research integrity is more important than ever. At F1000, we want to ensure that all published articles meet the highest standards of academic rigor. We believe that the key principles of open research put authors and publishers in the best position to safeguard research integrity.

Discover the fundamentals of open research.

Learn more about the core principles and benefits of open research today.