Skip to Main Content

Research Integrity

Tilburg University is committed to protecting and guaranteeing scientific integrity.

Questionable research practices (QRPs)

Questionable research practices (QRPs) are problematic research practices that do not constitute ‘research misconduct’, but fail to align with the principles of scientific integrity.  QRPs may be categorized as ‘questionable research practice’ or, in the least serious situations, as ‘minor shortcomings’ that should be avoided. QRPs impede truth finding and/or damage the interests of other scientists and society. By encouraging debate and offering training, Tilburg University aims to create a culture in which academic staff and students are aware of the necessity of transparency and are willing to share and openly discuss the dilemmas and 'grey areas' inherent to responsible research.

Questionable research practices are for example:

  • Inaccurate referencing of ideas and concepts
  • Failing to keep accurate records of the research process
  • p-hacking: running statistical tests on a set of data until some statistically significant results arise
  • Incomplete reporting of relevant aspects of the study design
  • Selectively reporting studies that ‘worked’
  • Claiming to have predicted an unexpected finding
  • Failing to report or discuss relevant contrary evidence
  • Not providing appropriate credits to those who contributed to the research or writing
  • Failing to share data or relevant information on the research with peers who would like to verify research results
 

Dilemma

I am a researcher in a tenure-track position and really need an additional paper to be published. The main hypothesis in the paper I am working on is that A influences B. During the research I used multiple variables for control purposes. During the analysis it becomes clear that there is no impact of A on B unless I remove one of the control variables. What do I do?
A: I remove the variable and do not mention it in my paper.: 8 votes (1.78%)
B: I remove the variable and look for scientific arguments for doing so and mention it in the paper.: 128 votes (28.44%)
C: I submit my paper without removing the variable even though it might mean that my paper will not be published.: 300 votes (66.67%)
D: I ask a peer what she would do. I follow her opinion.: 14 votes (3.11%)
Total Votes: 450