A word from Michelle Hadchouel

Emeritus Director of Research, INSERM
"My involvement with research integrity is really linked to the changing conditions of the research profession..."

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Michelle Hadchouel

My involvement with research integrity is really linked to the changing conditions of the research profession, and the nefarious consequences these changes have had for the way laboratories are run. There is a temptation to do things quickly and badly, without respect for the ethical principles with which both young researchers and their senior colleagues are all too often unfamiliar.
I was INSERM’s research integrity officer from 2008 to 2016. The organisation of our research system, with members of the same laboratory attached to different research bodies, meant that I soon learned the importance of getting all the relevant institutions involved when investigating reported ethical breaches. The need to set out clear, common rules for French researchers and institutions was one of my biggest priorities. The National Charter for Research Integrity was published in January 2015. The charter was the first of its kind in Europe to insist upon the importance of responsibility in collective projects, which is how most research work gets done. We felt it was indispensable to establish a national structure dedicated to research integrity, something that already exists in many European countries. The creation of the OFIS will help to further spread the culture of research integrity in France.  Last but not least, my collaboration with ENRIO (the European network of research integrity officers) was a crucial experience, and my second major project was to establish the French network of research integrity officers in 2017.