When it comes to conducting rigorous and well-documented research, there are a lot of very unappealing details to deal with, aside from the dream of having a huge breakthrough and winning a giant prize. Responsible conduct, avoiding plagiarism, generating a data management plan and participating in training for research reproducibility and accountability are the unglamorous but essential foundations for the success of research and protecting the reputation of both the scientist and the institution.
The Advancing Scientific Integrity, Services and Training (ASIST) program at the Duke Office for Scientific Integrity (DOSI) develops and maintains resources and tools that promote and support scientific integrity and accountability for the Duke research community. Their services range from comprehensive training programs for the responsible conduct of research to assistance with software and electronic tools such as plagiarism detection software and electronic lab notebooks. ASIST also organizes outreach activities and hosts individual consultations.
Jenny Ariansen, in collaboration with four others, administers the program.
“Because the Duke research landscape is so diverse, it is challenging to create content with relevance to the whole spectrum of its research community,” Ariansen says. “It really helps that people on our team come with a variety of research backgrounds and our work is very collaborative. I love to have a lot of shared responsibilities with my staff and be in close communication with other folks under the DOSI umbrella.”
Most researchers reach out to ASIST when they have an issue – a training requirement they need to fulfill or a need for help with their data management plans. As Jenny explains, “people are genuinely curious about research integrity practices. But every once in a while, we work with a faculty member who says things like, ‘oh you’re insinuating that I’m not conducting research with integrity so I have to be trained’. But then after a conversation, they usually realize that this is rather about being in a research community, and they are usually glad they contacted us.”
Ariansen is a North Carolina native and divided Tarheel/Blue Devil fan. She completed undergraduate and graduate degrees at UNC working the field of neurobiology, studying drugs of abuse and dopamine release in the brain. Before coming to Duke, Ariansen worked in science facilitation at FHI 360 - an international nonprofit working to improve health and well-being of people in the United States and around the world.
Outside of work, Ariansen is a busy parent who loves spending time with chosen and blood family, riding motorcycles and fixing things around the house.
So even if you are one of those who compare research integrity training to eating spinach just because it’s good for your health – try reaching out to the ASIST team. You will be pleasantly surprised.