- 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.
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.
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.