When Public Discourse Mirrors Academic Debate: Research Integrity in the Media

Research paper by Ilaria Ampollini, Massimiano Bucchi

Indexed on: 03 Apr '19Published on: 03 Apr '19Published in: Science and Engineering Ethics


Most studies of research integrity in the general media focus on the coverage of specific cases of misconduct. This paper tries to provide a more general, long-term perspective by analysing media discourse about research integrity and related themes in the Italian and United Kingdom daily press from 2000 to 2016. The results, based on a corpus of 853 articles, show that media coverage largely mirrors debates about integrity and misconduct. In fact, salient themes in the news include the importance to overcome the so-called “rotten apple” paradigm; the key role of public trust in science; and the need to address flaws in the peer-review system.