RESPONSE_ABILITY A Card‑Based Engagement Method to Support Researchers’ Ability to Respond to Integrity Issues

Ulrike Felt, Florentine Frantz

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed


Issues related to research integrity receive increasing attention in policy discourse and beyond with most universities having introduced by now courses addressing issues of good scientific practice. While communicating expectations and regulations related to good scientific practice is essential, criticism has been raised that integrity courses do not sufficiently address discipline and career-stage specific dimensions, and often do not open up spaces for in-depth engagement. In this article, we present the card-based engagement method RESPONSE_ABILITY, which aims at supporting researchers in developing their ability to respond to challenges of good scientific practice. The method acknowledges that what counts and what does not count as acceptable practice may not be as clear-cut as imagined and that research environments matter when it comes to integrity issues. Using four sets of cards as stimulus material, participants are invited to reflect individually and collectively about questions of research integrity from different perspectives. This approach is meant to train them to negotiate in which contexts certain practices can still be regarded as acceptable and where possible transgressions might begin. RESPONSE_ABILITY can be seen as fostering the creation of an integrity culture as it invites a more reflexive engagement with ideals and realities of good practice and opens a space to address underlying value conflicts researchers may be confronted with. Concluding the article, we call for caution that addressing issues of integrity meaningfully requires striking a delicate balance between raising researchers' awareness of individual responsibilities and creating institutional environments that allow them to be response-able.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Number of pages24
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
Issue number2
Early online dateJan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 509017 Social studies of science


  • Borderlands of good scientific practice
  • Card-based engagement method
  • Integrity training
  • Research integrity
  • Response-ability
  • TALK
  • Values in research
  • Humans
  • Universities
  • Scientific Misconduct
  • Research Personnel
  • Biomedical Research
  • Research Design

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