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Research integrity study gets international recognition

Wednesday, 20 Sep 2017

Research reporting practices in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) recently received global attention when Ms Anke Rohwer, from Stellenbosch University's Centre for Evidence-based Health Care (CEBHC), not only presented her PhD project on the topic on a global stage, but also won an award for it.

Although Rohwer started her career as a midwife, she switched career paths to study Clinical Epidemiology at Stellenbosch University (SU). She has been working at the CEBHC since 2011. Her work on research integrity as part of the Effective Health Care Research Consortium was acknowledged when she was presented with one of the Excellence in Doctoral Research Awards at the World Conference on Research Integrity (WCRI), held in the Netherlands earlier this year.

Her PhD project focusses on integrity when reporting on health research. “I am exploring perceptions and experiences around plagiarism, conflict of interest and authorship among health researchers from LMICs," she explains.

The project consists of five phases and is still ongoing. “Once completed, I will collate the findings to propose priorities for further activities related to research and capacity development to promote research integrity in LMICs. Most of the work on research integrity is done in high-income countries. The topic is, however, becoming increasingly important in LMICs, since researchers need to live up to global standards."

With her research, Rohwer hopes to raise awareness of research integrity and encourage discussions on this topic among researchers, both at a departmental and an institutional level. “I also want to motivate researchers to explore interventions that could address some of the problems in LMICs."

The World Conference on Research Integrity, an international initiative that started in 2007 in order to promote good research practices, took place for the fifth time this year.

“I feel humbled and honoured to have received this award. It really means a lot to me that research from LMICs is recognised. Attention is often directed towards research from developed countries.

“This has motivated me to keep going during this final stage of my PhD."

Rohwer also expressed her appreciation for the ongoing mentorship and support by her supervisors, Prof Taryn Young, Prof Paul Garner and Dr Liz Wager.


Article credit: Stellenbosch University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (www.sun.ac.za/health)