Research integrity

In this section you will learn about research integrity and your responsibilities as a researcher at QUT under the provisions of the QUT Code of Conduct for Research. QUT researchers are also bound by the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, which provides a range of guidelines for responsible research practices. Failure to comply may result in research misconduct.

What is research integrity? Top

Integrity in research is critical to assuring research and scientific excellence and public trust. Research integrity is exemplified by 'a commitment to intellectual honesty and personal responsibility for one's actions and to a range of practices that characterize responsible research conduct' (Committee on Assessing Integrity in Research Environments, National Research Council, Institute of Medicine, 2002).

For the individual researcher, integrity embodies a range of good research practices and conduct, including:

  • intellectual honesty in proposing, performing, and reporting research
  • accuracy in representing contributions to research proposals and reports
  • fairness in peer review
  • accurate and fair acknowledgement of the work of others (referencing and citing)
  • collegiality in scientific interactions, including communications and sharing of resources
  • transparency in conflicts of interest or potential conflicts of interest
  • protection of human subjects in the conduct of research
  • humane care of animals in the conduct of research
  • adherence to the mutual responsibilities between investigators and their research participants.

The Singapore Statement on Research Integrity is a global guide to the responsible conduct of research.

Academic integrity: Honesty, accuracy, fairness, collegiality, transparency, humanity and duty.

As a researcher at QUT, you are required to conduct your research with honesty, fairness, respect and professionalism. At QUT, the key policy on research integrity is the QUT Code of Conduct for Research (D/2.6 QUT Manual of Policies and Procedures). This policy outlines the key elements for the responsible conduct of research, including advice on data management, ethics, authorship, peer review and collaborative research. It also outlines the consequences of academic misconduct.

QUT researchers are also bound by the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. This Code has relevance across all research disciplines, guiding institutions and researchers in responsible research practices. It explains how researchers and institutions should:

  • manage breaches of the Code and allegations of research misconduct (including the responsibilities and rights of researchers if they witness research misconduct)
  • maintain research data and materials
  • publish and disseminate research findings, including proper attribution of authorship
  • conduct effective peer review
  • manage conflicts of interest.

Ethical misconduct Top

At QUT, research misconduct is constituted by a failure to comply with the specific provisions of the QUT Code of Conduct for Research and the broader Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. QUT policy D/2.7 Procedures for dealing with allegations of research misconduct outlines QUT's procedures for dealing with allegations of research misconduct.

Researchers, journal editors and scientific institutions worldwide also work together to improve communication about misconduct cases, such as published retractions of journal articles where misconduct in the form of plagiarism or scientific misconduct has been formally identified. These published retractions are logged by:

Activity - view a retraction Top

View this journal article retraction.

The retraction includes explanations, case studies and further readings. Using this resource will help build confidence in interpretation and application of the QUT Code of Conduct for Research.

It is in your best interests to undertake workshops offered by the Research Students Centre. The workshops will introduce you to your responsibility for managing and assuring your academic conduct and research integrity. If you commenced your HDR after January 1, 2014 you are required to complete the Code of Conduct quiz as soon as possible (at least within three months of commencement of candidature).

Activity - Code of Conduct quiz Top

Complete the Code of Conduct for Research Higher Degree Students Quiz.

References Top

Data's Shameful Neglect. (2009.) Nature, 461(145). doi:10.1038/461145a

Sharing detailed research data is associated with increased citation rate. (2007.) PLOS ONE. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000308