Reproducibility and Research Integrity top UK research agenda
Digital Science reflections on The House of Commons Science, Innovation and Technology Committee report on Reproducibility and Research Integrity The new Reproducibility and Research Integrity report released by The House of Commons Science, Innovation and Technology Committee is a timely reminder that Digital Science plays a critical role in supporting research integrity and reproducibility across the sector globally. The following is our response to the report’s findings.
Tinker, Researcher, Prompter, Wizard
Until six months ago most of us probably hadn’t placed the words “prompt” and “engineer” in close proximity (except possibly for anyone involved in a construction project where a colleague had arrived to work consistently on time). Today, a “prompt engineer” is one of a new class of emerging jobs in a Large Language Model (LLM)-fueled world. Paid in the “telephone-number”-salary region, a prompt engineer is a modern day programmer-cum-wizard who understands how to make an AI do their bidding.
The importance of adding context
Adding context is one of the most important things that we do at Digital Science, whether that be through the tools that we make available to the research community while they’re making decisions, carrying out research or communicating their findings, or through our direct outreach and engagement with the community such as on our blogs and in our reports. TL;DR is not just a place to write our thoughts – it is a conversation. It is at once a place for us to test ideas and to showcase methods and techniques, and at the same it is a place to connect with a community, to receive feedback and so to better understand our context.
Our new avenue for interesting things
Research integrity will be a dominant theme in scholarly communications over the next decade. Challenges around ChatGPT, papermills, and fake science will only get thornier and more complex. We expect all stakeholders – research institutions, publishers, journalists, funding agencies, and many others – will need to dedicate more resources to fortify trust in science.
Even faced with these challenges, taking the idea of making research better from infancy to integration is exciting. Past and present, our team has built novel and faster ways to establish trust in research. We are happy to have grown a diverse group that will continue to develop the technical pieces needed to assess trust markers.