On May 15, AERA submitted comments in response to a request for feedback on a draft Scientific Integrity Policy for the Department of Education. The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has responsibility for developing the draft. AERA’s comments seek to strengthen and further clarify the policy as IES continues its work.
The draft Scientific Integrity Policy issued on March 30 provides guidance for the assurance of integrity in the research activities conducted within the Department of Education. The policy is part of an overall effort across all federal agencies to enhance research integrity. Further details on these efforts are described in memorandums released by President Barack Obama and by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
AERA’s comments support the work undertaken thus far by IES. AERA executive director Felice J. Levine “applauds the government-wide attention to scientific integrity and the leadership role of IES in addressing responsible research conduct at the Department of Education and IES.” Levine pointed out important strengths to this draft and the commitment to ensuring a culture of scientific integrity.
The AERA comments valued the attention in the draft policy to conflicts of interest, research reporting free of political intrusion, and policies that would allow Department of Education employees to present their research at conferences and submit research for peer-reviewed publications. AERA recommended explicitly incorporating language on merit review for grant and award decisions, shared concerns that the current language could potentially constrain mandated work of the National Center for Education Statistics and encouraged greater emphasis on promoting dissemination of research to the public.
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