Level of data manipulation and research reporting-related misconduct among Nigerian agricultural research personnel

Abstract

The objectives are to describe the socio-economic profiles of the respondents, determine level and prevalence of data manipulation among them, describe the various research reporting-related misconducts and determine whether there is any syndication of them and, describe the various challenges faced by the respondents in data collection and research reporting. A sample of 500 was randomly drawn from research personnel working in the various tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The data is being collected via questionnaire (Google form) administered through their emails. Data analysis is mainly descriptive but syndication was measured as the ratio of publications to the number of co-authors. Results show that 75% of the respondents are university workers out of which 83% are PhD holders and 42% are in the professorial cadre. The results further show that they have published an average of 68 papers in general but 46 academic papers and the ratio of papers to author (4.25) is quite high, suggesting some syndication among them. Most (50%) publish their papers without attaching raw data and only a few indicated that they could replicate the various research with the same results; this findings was further affirmed by more than 60% who say that they did not preserve the original data. Most of the respondents claim familiarity with common statistical software although majority do not analyse their own data but they have never failed plagiarism test. Majority (67%) claim that they have been mentored although 75% indicated that their various institutions do not have a formal mentoring programme. In terms of authoring, 42% indicated that they are always co-authors in their areas of specialisation but only 50% of them contributed to the research and drafting of the paper. In addition, 58% have never authored a publication with a non-Nigerian. The main constraint faced by majority is funding gap. The high rate of misconduct among the respondents was manifested in high paper/author ratio and lack of research integrity in preserving research data as well as co-authoring paper in other areas of specialisation. High premium should be placed on preservation of research data and funding research for national development.

Publication
5th World Conference on Research Integrity (WCRI 2017), Vrije Universiteit, VUmc Academy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 28-31 May
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Nigeria Agricultural Research Syndication Mentoring programme
Job Nmadu
Professor of Agricultural Economics and Dean, School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology

Research interests are economic efficiencies of small scale farming and welfare effects of agricultural interventions.

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