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Holding it all together: Promoting Integrity in Science Multiteam Systems

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Dubrow S, Kilmoski R, Fletcher L, Zaccaro S. Holding it all together: Promoting Integrity in Science Multiteam Systems. Oral presentation at 2017 SciTS Conference. Clearwater Beach, FL. Jun 13, 2017. Ethics And Integrity In Team Science. Online at:

Concerns around research integrity have grown exponentially in the last ten years. The issues have begun to extend beyond examples of data fabrication and plagiarism to include more nuanced ones, including failure to perform as promised, disputed claims to intellectual property ownership, and the inability to replicate findings or statistical standards for research quality. These issues are often faced by scientists participating in multidisciplinary teams (e.g., Edwards & Roy, 2017; Martensson, Fors, Wallin, Zander, & Nilsson, 2016). These issues will be exacerbated in scientific collective research where scientists are part of multiteam systems (MTSs), which are groups of teams, often interdisciplinary in nature, that are brought together to solve problems that are significant in scale and scope (Zaccaro, Marks, & DeChurch, 2012). Scientific MTSs may give rise to unique ethical challenges. First, when multiple teams come together, differentiation between component teams can lead to disparities in perceived research practices and potentially in ethical standards (Lotrecchiano, 2013; Luciano, DeChurch, & Mathieu, 2015). Different disciplines may have different norms for the scientific publication processes, such as the level of validity necessary to assert a given conclusion. Thus, MTSlevel ethical leadership is a necessary precursor to between-team commonality in ethical norms and practices. Second, each team often has its own leader who is focused mostly on their team’s mission, without necessarily keeping the MTS mission in mind. A laissezfaire leadership structure for the MTS can arise, causing a failure in communication of moral issues for the MTS and down to each component teams (Trevino & Brown, 2004). Due to these potential issues of integrity that may arise in science MTSs, we aim to discuss how the assembly process and MTS governance--including boundary management, ethical leadership, norm setting, and issues of free agency--can be structured to promote scientific integrity in such collectives.



Type of Publication:

Oral presentation


scits 2017 conference, presentation, ethics, integrity

Addresses these goal(s):

  • Learn about the field of team science: history, theory and concepts
  • Conduct research on/evaluate team science

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Resource created by Jane Hwang on 10/5/2017 10:02:01 AM.

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