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Capacity building for African Research Ethics and Review Boards

Exploring Research Integrity's influence on the lifecycle of researchers and how different existing ecosystems can benefit the academic community.

Published onMar 27, 2024
Capacity building for African Research Ethics and Review Boards

Digital Science, Addis Ababa University, Consortium of Ethiopian Academic and Research Libraries (CEARL), and the Training Centre in Communication (TCC Africa) partnered to provide capacity support for African Research Ethics and Review Boards. The blended webinar marks the initiation of a series of upcoming webinars under the Africa Research Integrity Project. It is the first webinar of the project in Africa, hosted by Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.

The librarians from 40 universities in Ethiopia were engaged in discussions about existing ecosystems and how they can support their academic communities. At the Africa Research Integrity webinar, distinguished experts with extensive experience in research integrity and scholarly publishing shared valuable insights and practical advice. Their hands-on involvement in these areas enriched the discussion, providing attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and best practices in research ethics and integrity. The speakers' expertise and diverse perspectives were instrumental in making the webinar successful, highlighting the crucial role of ethical practices in academic research.

Why this is important:
Research integrity is the cornerstone of scientific research, emphasizing honesty, transparency, and ethical standards. It ensures the credibility of research and is upheld by review boards, such as Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), which assess research proposals and promote responsible research conduct.

Preserving confidence in scientific inquiry, ethical considerations, and preventing research misconduct are key aspects of research integrity. Review boards play a vital role in ensuring adherence to ethical standards and data governance, as well as in providing support and education for researchers facing ethical challenges.

In scholarly communication, research integrity is crucial for credibility and trust. It includes ethical behavior, openness, and adherence to rigorous standards. Upholding research integrity enhances the credibility of individual researchers and research organizations, fosters trust in scientific knowledge, and promotes collaboration and reproducibility in research.

Publication ethics, peer review, and international collaboration are integral to research integrity in scholarly communication. They ensure the reliability and accuracy of research findings, which is essential for public trust, policy-making, and career advancement in the scientific community.

Here are the distinguished speakers who presented at the session:
Ivan Oransky from Retraction Watch is The Transmitter's distinguished journalist and editor-in-chief. He teaches medical journalism at New York University’s Carter Journalism Institute. His previous roles include editorial positions at Medscape, MedPage Today, Reuters Health, Scientific American, and The Scientist. He served as president of the Association of Health Care Journalists from 2017 to 2021 and taught at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism. He holds a bachelor’s from Harvard, an MD from New York University School of Medicine, and has received awards for excellence in biomedical communication.

Dr. Leslie McIntosh, Ph.D. , is the founder of Ripeta and the Vice President of Research Integrity at Digital Science. Her mission is to improve scientific research quality and integrity. She previously led the US region of the Research Data Alliance and is active in the RDA. With expertise in biomedical informatics and data science, she leads teams to deliver meaningful data for scientific decisions. Dr. McIntosh mentors aspiring data scientists and holds a Masters and Ph.D. in Public Health from Saint Louis University, with a Certificate in Women’s Leadership Forum from Washington University Olin’s School of Business.


About the organizers

Training Centre in Communication

The Training Centre in Communication (TCC Africa), the first African-based training centre to teach effective communication skills to scientists. TCC Africa provides capacity support in improving researchers output and visibility training, scholarly and science communication.
Learn more about TCC Africa at

Addis Ababa University

Addis Ababa University (AAU), which was established in 1950 as the University College of Addis Ababa (UCAA), is the oldest and the largest higher learning and research institution in Ethiopia. Since its inception, the University has been the leading center in teaching-learning, research and community services.
Addis Ababa University webpage:


Ripeta is a company that focuses on providing tools and solutions to improve the reproducibility and transparency of scientific research. The company aims to address issues related to research integrity, such as the lack of reproducibility in scientific studies.

Ripeta develops software solutions that help researchers and publishers assess the transparency and reproducibility of scientific articles. Their tools assist in identifying and highlighting key elements of a research paper, such as data availability, code availability, and other critical information necessary for reproducing the study's results.

Improving reproducibility in scientific research is crucial for ensuring the reliability and credibility of scientific findings. By providing tools to assess and enhance transparency in research, Ripeta contributes to the ongoing efforts in the scientific community to promote open and reproducible science.

Digital Science

Digital Science is a technology company that offers research workflow solutions, as well as data and analytical insights, to the research community. Digital Science’s approach is differentiated from others by focusing not only on publications and citations, but also integrating funded grants, datasets, publications, citations, altmetric data, clinical trials, patents, and policy documents to provide more complete views into the research and innovation lifecycle. Furthermore, as mentioned above, the disambiguated researcher profiles have been found to be vital in support of questions regarding research security and integrity.  
Learn more about Digital Science :

Consortium of Ethiopian Academic and Research Libraries (CEARL)

CEARL is a consortium of Ethiopian libraries and research institutes focused on enhancing information access and utilization in Ethiopian higher education and research institutions.

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