Integrity of our research

We promote a research culture that is committed to responsible and ethical research practices and the open exchange of ideas. Our focus is on multidisciplinary research that responds to market and community needs in Australia and overseas.

Research and training and VU reflects these values:

  • rigour and excellence in critical inquiry
  • innovation, relevance and impact
  • integrity and ethics in research conduct
  • partnerships and collaboration
  • intellectual fulfilment.

Responsible conduct

We adopt best practice in managing research conduct and ensure all research at VU complies with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

COVID-19: NHMRC Guidance for institutions, HRECs, researchers and sponsors. 

To ensure the responsible conduct of research in universities and other research institutions, the code has been jointly developed by:

Relevant documentation includes:

Research integrity

Research includes:

  • any activity associated with an investigation that is undertaken to gain original knowledge, understanding or insight
  • development of new products and processes that have application or uses in society.

Policy and procedures

VU’s Research Integrity Policy encompasses seven broad areas of research conduct that are underpinned by nine principles for the responsible and ethical conduct of research.

VU’s Management of Potential Breaches of the Australian Code Procedure describes the University’s processes in relation to alleged breaches of the Code and applys to complaints or allegations of breaches of research integrity about any Victoria University researcher (student or staff) and/or any research conducted under the auspices of Victoria University.

VU's Authorship Procedure covers the principles and processes for determining authorship and handling disputes between authors of all forms of research output where one or more of the authors are Victoria University staff and/or students.

VU's Research Data Management Procedure describes the University's processes in relation to the management of Research Data at the University, from initial research conceptualisation through to research project conclusion

Area of research conduct

The seven broad areas of research conduct are outlined in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. They are:

  • management of research data and primary materials
  • supervision of research trainees
  • publication and dissemination of research findings
  • authorship (outlined below)
  • peer review
  • managing conflicts of interest
  • collaborative research with organisations and individuals outside VU.

Promoting Excellence in Research Training & Scholarship  

Australian Council of Graduate Research
The purpose of the Council is to promote excellence in research training and scholarship and to seek to maintain and continue to improve national standards for all graduate research degree programs.

Australian Council of Graduate Research – Good Practice Guidelines
Useful resource including good practice guidelines as well as other guides and good practice resources.

Disclosing and Managing Interests in Graduate Research – Guidelines
It is important is that all potential conflicts are identified and appropriately managed, and it is everyone’s responsibility to appropriately declare and manage conflicts of interest.

Principles for the responsible & ethical conduct of research

VU is committed to the nine principles and values underpinning responsible and ethical research.

We aim to ensure that all staff and students undertaking research:

  • respect and protect human research participants, animals and the environment
  • protect the privacy and confidentiality of research participants
  • design, conduct and report research findings in an ethical and safe manner
  • ensure research material and data is safely and securely stored, and disposed of in an appropriate manner
  • encourage and respect freedom of expression and enquiry
  • accurately and honestly report findings within a reasonable time
  • acknowledge the role of others in research
  • are not influenced or affected by conflicts of interest
  • respond to concerns about research integrity in a fair and timely manner.

Animal research: openness agreement

Victoria University is committed to advancing planetary health and conducting research for the benefit of people, place and planet. Where our work involves animals, this means that our institutional values and commitments support minimising the use of animals, and when it does take place, it is limited to biomedical, wildlife and agricultural research and teaching. All research and teaching activities involving animals are overseen by the Animal Ethics Committee and bound by the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes.

That’s why VU is a proud signatory of the Openness Agreement on Animal Research and Teaching in Australia (the Australian Openness Agreement).

Under the Australian Openness Agreement VU is committed to:

  1. Being open about our involvement in the use of animals in research or teaching
  2. Enhancing our communications with the media and the public about our use of animals in research and teaching
  3. Proactively in providing opportunities for the public to find out about research or teaching involving animals
  4. Reporting annually on our efforts to improve openness in our use of animals in research or teaching.


Author responsibilities

The contribution of authors to a research publication will often vary. All authors, however, have responsibility for the validity, originality and integrity of the work. The responsibilities of authors include:

  • adhering to author eligibility criteria
  • ensuring accuracy of reporting and in assigning credit for work contributed
  • reaching agreement on authorship in writing prior to submission of a work for review
  • offering authorship to those who qualify, but not awarding authorship to those who do not meet the requirements
  • acknowledging the contributions of others fairly, including funding agencies
  • disclosing and managing actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest.

Authorship disputes

Disputes over authorship sometimes arise. Such disputes can delay research, hinder publication and damage relationships between collaborators. Disputes can be avoided with appropriate communication and by obtaining statement of authorship agreements early in the research process. Please see the  VU Authorship Guidelines to assist with this.

Staff and students who are uncertain or have a concern about any aspect of authorship may talk to a Research Integrity Advisor. Where a dispute arises, authors are encouraged to attempt to resolve it through direct discussion amongst the individuals involved.

Additional resources

Getting help to resolve a research-related issue

If you have an issue or concern related to research involving VU, contact a Research Integrity Advisor (RIA). RIAs are experienced researchers who have volunteered to provide confidential and independent advice to students, staff and people outside VU who are concerned about our research. A RIA can assist by helping you to clarify any issues impacting on your research and assist you in making an informed decision about how to proceed.

If you are concerned about a researcher not conducting research responsibly and in accordance with the Australian Code or Victoria University’s Research Integrity Policy, contact:

Research Ethics and Integrity Manager, VU Research
Address: Victoria University, PO Box 14428, Melbourne, VIC 8001
Phone: +61 3 9919 4781
Email: [email protected]

Submit a concern