This week we focus on research integrity, and specifically on the Concordat to Support Research Integrity and why it matters.
Why is it important?
Integrity includes principles about the conduct of researchers, such as the practices of authorship, publication practices, peer review practices and the way in which research data is managed. It also includes the informed consent process. Good research practice instils public trust in our outputs and helps prevent research misconduct.
BU has adopted the Concordat to Support Research Integrity (2019) as a framework. The Concordat contains basic commitments that underpin a research environment where best practice can thrive, and our Code of Good Research Practice interprets this in a practical way to highlight issues a Researcher may come across as part of the project life cycle.
The framework is top level, as good research practice can mean different things in different disciplines but by adopting these principles, it means the same standards apply across the board, but with freedom of implementation.
Definition of Research Integrity (as described in the concordat)
Honesty in all aspects of research, including in the presentation of research goals, intentions and findings; in reporting on research methods and procedures; in gathering data; in using and acknowledging the work of other researchers; and in conveying valid interpretations and making justifiable claims based on research findings.
Rigour, in line with prevailing disciplinary norms and standards, and in performing research and using appropriate methods; in adhering to an agreed protocol where appropriate; in drawing interpretations and conclusions from the research; and in communicating the results.
Transparency and open communication in declaring potential competing interests; in the reporting of research data collection methods; in the analysis and interpretation of data; in making research findings widely available, which includes publishing or otherwise sharing negative or null results to recognise their value as part of the research process; and in presenting the work to other researchers and to the public
Care and respect for all participants in research, and for the subjects, users and beneficiaries of research, including humans, animals, the environment and cultural objects. Those engaged with research must also show care and respect for the integrity of the research record.
Accountability of funders, employers and researchers to collectively create a research environment in which individuals and organisations are empowered and enabled to own the research process. Those engaged with research must also ensure that individuals and organisations are held to account when behaviour falls short of the standards set by this concordat.
More about the Concordat to Support Research Integrity
The Concordat (published by the Universities UK (UUK) provides the principles and commitments to ensure that research produced by, or in collaboration with, UK universities, research institutes and others undertaking research is underpinned by the highest standards of rigour and integrity. The Concordat was first published in 2012 and revised in 2019 in response to the recommendations set out in the Science and Technology Committee’s report on research integrity.
By acting in accordance with this concordat, members of the research community can demonstrate that they:
- uphold the highest standards of rigour and integrity in all aspects of research
- ensure that research is conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards
- support a research environment that is underpinned by a culture of integrity and based on good governance, best practice, and support for the development of researchers
- use transparent, timely, robust and fair processes to handle allegations of research misconduct when they arise
- work together to strengthen the integrity of research
During this week the spotlight will also focus on:
- BU’s Commitment to creating an environment that promotes an understanding of responsible conduct
- Researchers’ responsibilities
- Integrity as it relates to Clinical Research
- Research Misconduct