Scholars need to be able to trust each other, because otherwise they cannot collaborate and use each other’s findings. Similarly trust is essential for research to be applied for individuals, society or the natural environment. The trustworthiness is threatened when researchers engage in questionable research practices or worse. By adopting open science practices, research becomes transparent and accountable. Only then it is possible to verify whether trust in research findings is justified. The magnitude of the issue is substantial with a prevalence of four percent for both fabrication and falsification, and more than 50% for questionable research practices. This implies that researchers regularly engage in behaviors that harm the validity and trustworthiness of their work. What is good for the quality and reliability of research is not always good for a scholarly career. Navigating this dilemma depends on how virtuous the researcher at issue is, but also on the local research climate and the perverse incentives in the way the research system functions. Research institutes, funding agencies and scholarly journals can do a lot to foster research integrity, first and foremost by improving the quality of peer review and reforming researcher assessment.
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author.