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.

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, or the
  • development of new products and processes that have application or uses in society.

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.

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.

Principles for the responsible and 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.

Authorship

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

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: