During a media chat on Friday, January 28, Matthias Weber, Head of AIT Innovation Systems & Policy, spoke about the joint initiative of 5 social science institutes for more scientific integrity in commissioned studies in policy consulting.
The institutes signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which contains 16 principles for contracting and publication of studies. Back in 2020, the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) and the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) paved the way with a joint initiative to consolidate Good Scientific Practice in the Austrian research landscape.
The "Memorandum of Understanding" between WIFO and IHS has now been extended and signed by the Head of Center for Innovation Systems & Policy at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) Matthias Weber, the Director of Joanneum Research POLICIES (JR) Wolfgang Polt and the Scientific Director of the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw) Robert Stehrer: "We will continue to accept only assignments where our institutes bear sole responsibility for the results of the scientific work. As soon as completed research and analysis results are actively communicated to the public, the underlying publications must also be fully presented to the public to ensure the traceability of the results."
In study production, ensuring traceability of research results is a key issue. Institutes implement this by storing long-term all documents relevant to the study and clearly labeling all ideas and work originating from others. In addition, conflicts of interest and all funders of the study are disclosed. All individuals who have made their own contribution are named as co-authors of the publication. The responsibility for compliance with the standards of good scientific practice is not only a fundamental duty of every scientist, but is also clearly organizationally anchored and institutionalized at the institutes.
With this initiative, the institutes not only want to call for compliance with high standards on the side of science, but also understand it as a call to policy makers to follow and respect these standards.