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'Helicopter Research' Statement Expected

A new statement on "helicopter research" is expected to arise from a recent conference held in Cape Town, South Africa, Science reports.

World Conference on Research Integrity attendees, who included scientists, ethicists, and others, say "helicopter research" in which scientists from wealthy countries conduct research in low- to middle-income without engaging or supporting the local research ecosystem is exploitative, Science says, adding that local experts often are not given proper credit as authors and often cannot access the resulting articles . It notes that the University of Cape Town's Sue Harrison further called it a form of scientific colonialism.

According to Science, conference attendees have generated ideas to feed into a "Cape Town Statement" to guide how institutions, funders, and journals can address matters of fairness in collaborations. It adds that Francis Kombe, co-chair of the African Research Integrity Network, said previous guidelines have focused on what individual researchers or small groups can do, but that this approach will focus on institutions.

Science notes that the conference attendees plan to submit the completed statement to an academic journal.