Research Integrity

What is Research Integrity?

Research integrity is the practice of conducting research in a way that promotes trust and confidence in all aspects of science. This includes the entire research lifecycle, from hypothesis to experiment, through to publication and the formation of the scientific record.

Research integrity is crucial because it ensures that the results of research are reliable and have the potential to be reproducible. Ultimately, research integrity helps to protect the public from harm and maintains the public's trust in science.

The NIH defines research integrity as:

  • the use of honest and verifiable methods in proposing, performing, and evaluating research
  • reporting research results with particular attention to adherence to rules, regulations, guidelines, and
  • following commonly accepted professional codes or norms. (

Steneck's shared values of scientific research include honesty, accuracy, efficiency, and objectivity (STENECK, N. H. 2007. ORI - Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research Link to External SiteWashington D.C. , U.S. Government Printing Office, p.3).  Furthermore, research integrity includes accountability and respect for human and animal participants.

Researchers can promote research integrity by:

  • Educating themselves about the principles of research integrity: There are many resources available to help researchers learn about the principles of research integrity and how to apply them to their research. See the "learning resources" section of this guide.
  • Following institutional policies and procedures: Stanford has policies and procedures in place to support research integrity. Researchers should be familiar with and follow these policies and procedures, which are available via the Dean of Research Office.
  • Utilizing tools to help verify the integrity of the research output:  Stanford has made tools such as Proofig, Vivli, and Dryad available to help researchers verify research images prior to publication and make de-identified research datasets available.
  • Seeking guidance from others: If researchers have any questions or concerns about research integrity, they should seek guidance from Stanford's Research Policy and Integrity Office.