Enhancing trust – Work Package 4

WP4 analyses processes that impede or facilitate correction and investigates how scientists trust research results, as well as how this trust can be enhanced; this work package is presented in this post.

The project is organised in five closely connected work packages, each involving all the PIs to guarantee maximum synergy. WP1 creates a corpus of sources mapping nanobiology and its community and is described here. WP2 traces error and controversial claims in nanobiology over time and is presented in this post, see here. WP3 analyses attempts at correction and includes actual attempts at correction and improved communication to discourage error propagation and encourage correction in the future; it is presented here. A fifth work package is devoted to project organisation and integration.


In this work package, we will study how researchers perceive the reliability of knowledge claims and their sources, and how reliability and communication can be improved. WP4 is organised around three key questions that explore the conditions for improved deliberation in scientific communication.

  • How are annotation systems (such as PubPeer) perceived? Study of how scientists perceive the reliability and quality of post-publication reviewing, the information offered through such channels, and the conditions for their reliability (such as the complications associated with anonymisation in light of the importance of scientific reputation).
  • How do nanobio researchers assess the reliability of the literature, compared to more personalised forms of communication? We will analyse hierarchies of trust in the context of changes in the research system and research communication, building on earlier work in STS that examined how scientific authority derives from the reputations of prominent journals and researchers.
  • How can new forms of conference communication contribute to improved assessment of error? A study of scientific conferences can accommodate more dispassionate, less personal, and less biased forms of scientific dialogue, including new ways to organise scientific meetings and improved communications from those meetings, e.g., via related social media.
  • Integration of results for an overall analysis of processes impeding or facilitating error correction in research: bring together key insights to demonstrate the logic of problematic claims, how they are challenged, and how scientific institutions more conducive to scientific self-correction could operate.

Outcomes and synergies

this WP provides overall integration of research results, identifying potential improvements in scientific communication and more realistic assessment of nanobiology’s promise by bringing together Nanobubbles findings from STS, digital methods and nanobiological research.

Risk assessment

Fail to provide any effective propositions. Again, NanoBubbles will benefit from complementary skills (STS, Nano, CS) and so will provide propositions that are effective and fit today’s scientific landscape. Because these propositions will be grounded by a technological and sociological understanding they will clarify the processes behind failed error correction even if our interventions fail.

  • Take the nanobiology field a step forward
  • Contribute to more constructive scientific communication and better use of the published record
  • Provide fundamental insights in error correction and bubbles that can be extrapolated across the sciences

 

Willem Halffman is the lead PI of this WP.


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