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Policy: Responsible Conduct of Research

Purpose

The Responsible Conduct of Research policy outlines the expectations on all persons carrying out research at, or in the name of, the Australian National University.

Overview

The University fosters a research environment of intellectual strength, safeguarding academic freedom and acting with honesty, integrity, and scholarly and rigour. This policy outlines the core principles and responsibilities of responsible conduct of research at the ANU.

Scope

This policy applies to all ANU researchers, including professional staff, affiliates and students.

Policy statement

All ANU researchers, including professional staff, affiliates and students, are to:

1. Adhere to the following hallmarks of responsible research conduct in all aspects of their research:

  1. Honesty, presenting information truthfully and accurately in proposing, conducting and reporting research;
  2. Rigour, underpinning research by attention to detail and robust methodology, avoiding or acknowledging biases;
  3. Transparency, sharing and communicating research methodology, data and findings openly, responsibly and accurately, and disclosing and managing conflicts of interest;
  4. Fairness, treating fellow researchers and others involved in the research fairly and with respect, appropriately referencing and cite the work of others, and giving credit, including authorship where appropriate, to those who have contributed to the research;
  5. Respect, for research participants, co-workers, research students, the wider community, animals and the environment;
  6. Recognition, for the rights of communities, in particular Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, to be engaged in research that affects or is of particular significance to them;
  7. Accountability, both financial and otherwise, in the development, undertaking and reporting of research. Consider the consequences and outcomes of research prior to its communication; and
  8. Promotion, fostering a research culture and environment that supports the responsible conduct of research at both the University and in their field of practice.

2. Provide guidance and mentorship on the responsible conduct of research to other researchers and research trainees under their supervision and, where relevant or required, monitor their conduct.

  1. All supervisors of research trainees (including HDR, Masters and Honours level candidates and students) are responsible for:
  2. ensuring that their trainees have read and understood all relevant regulations and policies relating to the conduct of research before engaging in significant research activities; and
  3. reviewing and approving all formal documents relating to ethics protocols before submission to any relevant committee for consideration.

4. Undertake and promote education and training in the responsible conduct of research.

5. Read, understood and comply with the laws, regulations, guidelines, disciplinary standards, codes of practice and institutional policies related to the responsible conduct of research, including but not limited to:

  1. Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2018);
  2. National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (updated 2018);
  3. Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes 8th Edition;
  4. Ethical Conduct in Research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Communities: Guidelines for Researchers and Stakeholders;
  5. AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research;
  6. ANU Academic Integrity Rule 2021;
  7. ANU Code of Conduct; and
  8. ANU policies, procedures and guidelines addressing responsible research practice.

6. Ensure that appropriate approvals are in place prior to the commencement of research, and that conditions of any approvals are adhered to during the course of research. When working internationally, comply with other countries’ regulations relating to research and respect local laws, customs and protocols.

7. Appropriately engage and consult with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and respect their legal rights and local laws, customs and protocols. Recognise, value and respect the diversity, heritage, knowledge, cultural property and connection to land of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples prior to research being undertaken, so that they freely make decisions about their involvement. Report to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the outcomes of research in which they have engaged.

8. Ensure that the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) are considered at all stages of research involving animals, seeking to minimise the impact on animals used in research and in so doing support the welfare and wellbeing of these animals.

9. Fulfil all contractual responsibilities entered into by the University on their behalf, providing reports and information as required and managing such projects effectively.

10. Adopt effective research design and methods appropriate to the aims of the research and ensure that conclusions drawn are justified by the results with due concern for reproducibility wherever possible.

11. Understanding the retention requirements in respect of any research records and data and ensure the safe and effective retention of such records for the required time (which may be significant).

12. Use resources efficiently, ensuring best value for money for the funders of research and the University. Ensure good stewardship of public resources used to conduct research.

13. Disseminate research findings responsibly, accurately and broadly. Where necessary, take action to correct the record in a timely manner.

14. Seek to deploy the outcomes of their research for the benefit of society.

15. Disclose actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest and ensure these are managed effectively.

16. Ensure that authors of research outputs are all those, and only those, who have made a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to the research and its output. Ensure that all those who meet the definition of authorship agree in writing that they will or will not be listed on research outputs.

17. Acknowledge those who have contributed to and supported the research appropriately.

18. Cite and acknowledge other relevant work appropriately and accurately in line with academic practice, including when producing reports for the funders of research.

19. Participate in peer review in a way that is fair, rigorous and timely and maintains the confidentiality of the content.

20. Report concerns over the conduct of research by other researchers or suspected breaches of this policy to ANU through appropriate channels and support ANU in any subsequent investigations.

21. Undertake a risk assessment of the potential risks of undertaking the research to the University, the health, safety and well-being of those involved in undertaking the research and of research participants, ensuring compliance with all applicable health and safety requirements.

Guidance on interpreting and complying with this policy can be obtained from Research Integrity Advisors and from the Research Services Division.

Information

Printable version (PDF)
Title Responsible conduct of research
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_007402
Version 11
Purpose The ANU Responsible conduct of research policy outlines the expectations upon ANU researchers to foster and maintain a research environment of intellectual honesty, integrity, and scholarly and scientific rigour
Audience Staff-Academic-Research, Students-Graduate-Research
Category Academic
Topic/ SubTopic Research - Integrity & Ethics
 
Effective Date 25 Oct 2022
Next Review Date 25 Oct 2027
 
Responsible Officer: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)
Approved By: Vice-Chancellor
Contact Area Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)
Authority: Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013
Australian National University Act 1991
Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018 : NHMRC
Delegations 22, 435, 437, 438, 440

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.