Fostering research integrity in sub-Saharan Africa: challenges, opportunities, and recommendations

Luchuo Engelbert Bain, Larissa Ange Tchuisseu Kwangoua, Oluwafemi Adeagbo, Ngwayu Claude Nkfusai, Hubert Amu, Farrukh Ishaque Saah, Francis Kombe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Integrity and adherence to appropriate ethical standards are important elements of research. These standards are key to protecting research participants´ rights as well as ensuring the reliability and quality of research outputs. Although empirical evidence is scanty, several authors have alluded to the fact that violation of research integrity standards could be common in low-and middle-income countries including subSaharan Africa (SSA). Understanding the issues, challenges, and opportunities of research integrity and ethics in SSA is key to promoting the responsible conduct of research and the protection of research participants. This paper presents the authors´ critical views and recommendations on the current state of research integrity in SSA. We argue that understanding the current research integrity architecture in SSA has the potential to identify opportunities to promote responsible conduct of research in SSA. Such opportunities include, but are not limited to transparency, accountability, and reproducibility of research, which collectively lead to enhanced public trust in the research enterprise. We highlight the need to embrace equity, fairness, diversity, and inclusivity in the research cycle from conception (priority setting), funding, implementation, dissemination of findings, and scale up. We move on to provide a rationale for understanding the differences and similarities between research ethics and research integrity. Governments, research, and academic institutions must develop multifaceted approaches to promote compliance with principles of research integrity by developing and implementing clear research integrity policies and guidelines that foster responsible conduct of research and prioritize capacity building and empowerment of early career researchers, students, and other targeted key stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number182
JournalPan African Medical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Research misconduct
  • ethics
  • integrity
  • sub-Saharan Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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