SOURCE: Research Climate Measure

Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SOURCE)

The SOURCE is a 32-item instrument that measures organizational research climates. It allows institutional leaders to gauge the organizational research climate at three levels of granularity (Institutional, College/Area, and Unit/Department). The Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SOURCE) is the only validated instrument specifically designed to measure empirically the climate of research integrity in academic organizations. 

Survey Domains

 The SOURCE contains seven domains: Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), Regulatory Quality (RQ), Advisor-Advisee Relations (AAR), Integrity Inhibitors (II), Integrity Socialization (IS), Departmental Expectations (DE), and Integrity Norms (IN).

What are the benefits of running the SOURCE?

Running the SOURCE annually will demonstrate a commitment to improving the research integrity climate and provide data to assess its effectiveness over time. Several institutions have used the SOURCE in successfully funded NSF ER2 proposals.

Results can help individual academic and research institutions:

  • characterize and compare departmental research integrity climates
  • assess the efficacy of educational and mentoring approaches
  • detect where research policies or practices (e.g., concerning data management, etc.) might need attention through responsible conduct of research (RCR) instruction
  • document and demonstrate for research sponsors institutional commitment to research integrity and RCR education
  • and justify enhanced efforts to foster a climate of integrity education and quality research

More about the SOURCE

The survey contains 32 items (5 point Likert scales) plus classification information about respondents (rank, departmental affiliation, type of highest degree). It takes 10-15 minutes to complete online.

In addition to enabling confidential institution-specific reports on units and the campus as a whole, de-identified data will be compiled in a national comparison database so that the community as a whole may benefit. The norming initiative will permit home institution departments to be appropriately assessed with respect to other comparable units in the same discipline or endeavors. For an insight into how SOURCE results relate to institutional research integrity, please see this Nature article on the subject.

How can you and your university run the SOURCE?

For more detailed information on the procedures involved in implementing SOURCE at your institution, please contact us at: or 217-333-1416.