Recognizing the need for increased transparency, reach and impact, today Integru.org launches Interact (beta), with a first wave of features designed around the idea of community: you can now participate directly and easily in resolving all cases of (alleged) misconduct on Integru.org!
The experts in the field who provide the reviews are still the cornerstone of the Integru platform, however most of the work for resolving a case is done elsewhere, by many independent people: searching for appropriate experts in the field and inviting them to participate are two of the most daunting tasks. Highlighting and annotating documents is another behemoth.
The idea is simple: Everyone — literally everybody — with an internet connection, from the general public to the most prestigious academic, can now easily participate and are highly encouraged to do so!
So what is Interact (beta)? For now, a first wave of 3 features: Recommend, Invite, and Answer.
Input their brief contact info as a first step. It’s Ok if you don’t know their email, but it would be nice if you made an effort to find it and include it. Otherwise the process takes longer as someone else will have to do it.
You may know them, or you may be their student, or you may work in similar fields … or simply you know of them … then why not invite them to participate? After entering their contact details, you will see the Invite form (try it out), where you can choose to send an invitation to them or just submit their contact details to Integru.org.
You can edit the text of the invitation to your liking (it is after all signed off by you). You can also choose from an Informal or Formal invitation template to start you off — normally you don’t have to edit the text too much. The whole process is a matter of minutes or even less!
You are not asked to provide your email but you are asked to sign off the invitation as a matter of courtesy to the invited experts. Don’t worry about spamming the experts or anyone else. Your invitations are not sent blindly. They are first reviewed before they are emailed on your behalf. The experts who receive such an invitation can click the link to visit the case page, and provide answers on the spot … see below!
You can also choose to only send their contact details to Integru.org, but that means that someone else needs to invite them and the process takes longer. However, we appreciate that there are many of you who know of experts in the field but do not feel comfortable emailing them personally.
Many of you have expertise in the field of a case. Why not answer the review questions yourself as well and join all other experts who participated on Integru.org? You can do that now directly from the review page using the Answer form (try it out). Consider yourself warmly invited!
First, provide your contact details and institution or company you are affiliated with. Then include a webpage address which shows the affiliation you have with the institution. This is for verification and to protect the Integru platform from the less well-intentioned individuals.
Then proceed and answer the review questions. Your submission will be reviewed and if everything looks Ok — and why shouldn’t it? — you will be contacted for confirmation. Once that happens, your review is published and you become the latest spearhead taking a public stance against academic misconduct, deserving all the merit!
You may also become an Integru.org Independent Collaborator!
An Integru.org Independent Collaborator?
Sounds great … but what does that mean? Many times the admins contact and invite the active contributors to become a closer collaborator. You will have an account on the website and access to Editorial features. These include inviting other experts recommended to Integru.org by others, interacting with the invited experts, helping with document preparation, the writing and publication of new cases, be involved in improving the Integru platform etc.
For instance, all invitations to experts until now were sent by such independent collaborators, signed by themselves, and now you can invite experts in the same way using the Invite form. Another example are the highlighting of documents and recommendation of experts in Review 10 and 9 and others in the past: they were done by such independent collaborators.
You can even remain anonymous to us if you wish. For example, the documents in Review 10 where highlighted by an anonymous independent collaborator. Yes, all those 400+ pages! We have no idea who he/she is, and we don’t ask either. It’s their work which is important, which makes a difference, and which is appreciated by the community and the general public.
Integru.org is really just a platform. A peer-driven one. The general public and the academics (in other words, you) are in control and it will grow and become more open. Today’s launch is just a first step.
Engage in discussion
We have an Opinions section where anyone can contribute with a piece related to academic/education integrity and other linked issues.
First, you are warmly invited to write an Opinion. Just use the contact form or to get in touch.
Second, do engage in the discussion of the articles published. Comments are open to everyone, and you can remain anonymous if you wish. The authors of the articles are very eager to interact with the readers as many of them have not written on the subject before.
Professor Andrew Galloway, the Chair of the Department of English at Cornell University, USA, has just written an Opinion article which is also a direct invitation for a public discussion and debate, and he has expressed keen and genuine interest in learning more about the Romanian system and what could be done, from you, the readers! You can start now by sharing your thoughts on Professor Galloway’s Opinion.
Spread the word
There is a Facebook page, also a Twitter feed and of course the Integru.org website. Public comments are welcome so do participate in the discussion on Opinion articles but also one the published Reviews – you can post public comments to provide more details about a particular case or potential corrections. The comments are moderated so if you wish to provide private information, just mention that in your comment and we won’t publish it; or use the contact page.
Spread the word about the new Interact (beta) features and have your friends and colleagues participate!
In short … plenty! There will be dedicated web interfaces for pretty much every task that goes on during the lifetime of a Review case, from its inception to publication and afterwards, including submission of a new case, searching for experts initially, etc. These are already in the works so stay tuned!
Remember, Integru.org is just a platform. It is driven by the general public and independent academics and experts … you are part of it.
There is no central authority for academic integrity, yet education and research are international and without borders. It is thus down to us to implement an efficient mitigation system and to participate in it and maintain it open and independent, just like academia is meant to be.
This launch is just the first step.