CAS trains constituents on responsible conduct of research


February 27, 2023 — The UP Manila College of Arts and Sciences Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Public Service (CAS-OADRPS) conducted an online asynchronous course entitled “Responsible Conduct of Research” from January 23 to February 4.


The course equipped CAS students, faculty, and staff in the areas of research ethics, application of ethical reviews and research grants in UP Manila, iREB navigation, and introductory concepts of research integrity.


Comprised of five modules displayed through video presentations, the course lasted for about three hours and was made available to the participants via Google Classroom. It was accompanied by a short examination and course evaluation to assess the participants’ level of learning and their satisfaction from it.


The OADRPS provided certificates to those who both passed the test and submitted their evaluation forms.


The first module, facilitated by UPMREB Coordinator Edlyn B. Jimenez, tackled briefly the backgrounds of the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Act of 2013, or RA 10532, the National Ethical Guidelines for Health and Health-related Research (NEGHHR) launched in 2017, and the Data Privacy Act of 2012 which are the legislative pillars of ethical review at UP Manila. It also discussed the umbrella of research ethics committees in the Philippines in which UPMREB falls.


Led by UPMREB Chairperson Dr. Jacinto V. Mantaring III, the second module elaborated how the UPMREB reviews submitted manuscripts using the ethical elements set in the NEGHHR 2017. These elements are social value, informed consent, vulnerability, risk benefit safety, privacy and confidentiality, justice, and transparency.


Meanwhile, the proper schemes of navigating the iREB (UPMREB’s online portal) and the roles of the research adviser in ethics review were elucidated in the third and fourth modules by Dr. Man-taring and the late Dr. Marilen Parungao Balolong, respectively. Mantaring also detailed the processes of applying for REB review and research grants.


The last module, divided into four segments, contains preliminary lectures on research integrity and research misconduct. Balolong put emphasis on the practice of honesty, responsibility, rigor, transparency, respect, fairness, and inclusivity in any conduct of research. She warned the participants of the tendency to commit varying forms of research misconduct and the danger to be victimized by increasing predatory practices in the academe.


Research misconduct, Balolong explained, may range from data falsification and fabrication to forms of plagiarism such as verbal and text piracy. On another hand, current predatory practices may come in the form of fraudulent acts such as stealing intellectual properties, declaring inappropriate authorships, spreading fake journals, and conducting fake conferences.


Balolong, CAS former associate dean for research and public service, was able to record her lecture videos for this workshop before she passed away on December 18, 2022.

Francis Nicole Maga | Published in UP Manila Healthscape No. 48 (February 2023)