Digital Badge in the Responsible Conduct of Research

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Coffey, Aoife M.
Burgoyne, Louise
Palmer, Brendan A.
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University College Cork
National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
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Research Projects
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University College Cork is committed to the highest standard of Research Integrity (RI). The recently published National Framework on the Transition to an Open Research Environment aims to move Ireland another step closer to an open research environment (National Open Research Forum, 2019). One of the central elements underpinning the framework is Research Integrity and Responsible Research practice. This is also reflective of the international emphasis on not only a more open research environment but on more transparent and robust research practices generally, with a particular focus on data management and availability (​ Wilkinson et al., 2016).​ In 2016 a Research Integrity Pilot was run in the UCC Skills Centre in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) and interested academics from the UCC community. Working closely with the Dean of Graduate studies, this pilot resulted in the development of the module PG6015 An​ Introduction to Research Integrity, Ethics and Open Science for postgraduate students. The new module did not address the needs of staff however, who needed an offering that was more condensed, targeted yet flexible when required. Along this developmental journey, UCC consulted with some leading experts in the field of Research Integrity (RI) by hosting, Prof. Philip DeShong and Prof. Robert Dooling from the University of Maryland via a Fulbright Specialist Award. This award facilitated real insight and a fuller understanding of what RI means together with the need for discipline specific discussion and debate around the topic of Responsible Conduct in Research in its fullest sense. In 2018, access to the Epigeum online course in Research Integrity was enabled through the National Research Integrity Forum. This course provides a good basis for learning in the area of RI but it does not address a need for a blended learning approach around the topics of Responsible Conduct of Research. Through this process began the genesis of an idea which in 2019 resulted in the development of the UCC Digital Badge in the Responsible Conduct of Research. Micro-credentials are a new and innovative learning platform that rewards learner effort outside of traditional pathways, digital badges are an example of these. The Digital Badge in the Responsible Conduct of Research is a research led, team based initiative developed through a unique interdisciplinary collaboration between central research services at UCC. The collaborative process has resulted in an offering that gives an integrated and comprehensive view of three distinct but related areas, Research Integrity, Research Data Management & the Fair Principles and Reproducible Research. Developed by OVPRI, UCC Library and the Clinical Research Facility-Cork (CRF-C), each of the collaborators were already providing training and resources in there own niche but realised a more holistic approach would be greater than the sum of its parts. The purpose of the Digital Badge is to foster and embed best practice and the key elements of Responsible Research in the UCC research community. It offers researchers an opportunity to address significant gaps in their skills and prepares them for the changes in the research landscape occurring both nationally and internationally.
Research Integrity , Responsible Research , Data management , Open Science , UCC , University College Cork , Digital Badge in the Responsible Conduct of Research
Coffey, A., Burgoyne, L. and Palmer, B. (2019) 'Digital Badge in the Responsible Conduct of Research', Learning Connections 2019: Spaces, People, Practice, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland, 5-6 December, pp. 11-15. doi: 10.33178/LC.2019.03