Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 813–834

Development and Validation of the Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SORC)


    • HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research
  • Carol R. Thrush
    • Office of Educational DevelopmentUniversity of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • A. Lauren Crain
    • HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11948-012-9410-7

Cite this article as:
Martinson, B.C., Thrush, C.R. & Lauren Crain, A. Sci Eng Ethics (2013) 19: 813. doi:10.1007/s11948-012-9410-7


Development and targeting efforts by academic organizations to effectively promote research integrity can be enhanced if they are able to collect reliable data to benchmark baseline conditions, to assess areas needing improvement, and to subsequently assess the impact of specific initiatives. To date, no standardized and validated tool has existed to serve this need. A web- and mail-based survey was administered in the second half of 2009 to 2,837 randomly selected biomedical and social science faculty and postdoctoral fellows at 40 academic health centers in top-tier research universities in the United States. Measures included the Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SORC) as well as measures of perceptions of organizational justice. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses yielded seven subscales of organizational research climate, all of which demonstrated acceptable internal consistency (Cronbach’s α ranging from 0.81 to 0.87) and adequate test–retest reliability (Pearson r ranging from 0.72 to 0.83). A broad range of correlations between the seven subscales and five measures of organizational justice (unadjusted regression coefficients ranging from 0.13 to 0.95) document both construct and discriminant validity of the instrument. The SORC demonstrates good internal (alpha) and external reliability (test–retest) as well as both construct and discriminant validity.


Research integrityOrganizational climateReliabilityValidityOrganizational survey

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012