To build our focus group guide, we inspired our style and questions from the focus group guide developed by Raymond De Vries, Melissa S. Anderson, and Brian C. Martinson and used in a study funded by the NIH [16]. We obtained a copy of the guide after approval from the original authors, and revised the guide to tailor questions to the topics we wished to target, namely ‘success in science’ and ‘responsibilities for research integrity’. We revised our focus group guide several times before data collection and discussed it with Raymond De Vries — expert in qualitative inquiries and part of the team that built the original guide upon which we inspired ours. We built interview guides based on our revised focus group guide. We adapted specific questions (e.g., responsibilities, evaluation) to each actor group, but preserved the general structure and themes for all interviewees. A general version of the interview and focus group guides are available in Supplementary file parts 3 and 4. More specific group guides can be provided upon request. All guides were constructed around the following four topics:

Success in science: What makes a researcher successful? Are these characteristics captured in current assessments? What are indicators for success? What do you feel is most satisfying, most rewarding about your career (specifically for researchers and research students)?

Current problems (including misconduct and questionable research practices): Do you have experience with research that crossed the lines of good science? How can we draw the line, what are red flags? Why do bad practices happen? Can they happen to anyone?

Responsibilities towards integrity: What is your responsibility towards integrity? Where does it end? Who else is responsible? In what ways are other actors responsible?

If you were granted a fairy wish and could change one thing in how science works, what would you pick?

It is important to consider that the interview guide was not used mechanically like a fixed questionnaire, but sometimes shortened, expended, or reordered to capture responses, interest, and to respect time constraints. In this manuscript, we mainly report findings from the first (i) and fourth (iv) topics, although we sometimes captured the discussion from other questions when relevant.

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