Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research
This Policy (Research Code) outlines the expectations upon JCU and its researchers to foster and maintain a research environment of intellectual honesty, integrity, and scholarly and scientific rigour. This Policy has been adapted from the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, (The National Code), released in June 2018 and co-authored by the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Research Council and Universities Australia. The Principles of this Policy and of the National Code provide the core behaviours of an honest, ethical and conscientious research culture and must be followed when conducting research. The Research Code consists of eight general principles of responsible research conduct, thirteen institutional responsibilities and sixteen researcher responsibilities. The definitions, principles and other text in this policy are reproduced from the National Code.
This Policy sets out the University’s expectations for the conduct of all persons engaged in research under the auspices of the University.
The 3Rs are three principles that underpin a systematic framework to achieve the goal of humane experimental techniques involving animals. The principles are: Replacement of animals with other methods; Reduction in the number of animals used; Refinement of techniques used to minimize the adverse impact on animals.
Balance of probabilities
The civil standard of proof, which requires that, on the weight of evidence, it is more probable than not that a breach has occurred.
A failure to meet the principles and responsibilities of the Research Code. May refer to a single breach or multiple breaches.
Conflict of Interest
A conflict of interest exists in a situation where an independent observer might reasonably conclude that the professional actions of a person are or may be unduly influenced by other interests. This refers to a financial or non-financial interest which may be a perceived, potential or actual conflict of interest.
James Cook University
The impartial and independent assessment of research by others working in the same or a related field.
The concept of research is broad and includes the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies, inventions and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative.
Obligations under ethics guidelines and Codes (see Related documents and legislation)
Person (or persons) who conducts, or assist with the conduct of research under the auspices of the University.
1. Principles of responsible research conduct
The eight general principles of the Research Code are the foundation of research culture at JCU. These principles mandate the conduct of research and the University and Researchers must commit to maintaining a strong research culture that demonstrates:
Honesty in the development, undertaking and reporting of research
Rigour in the development, undertaking and reporting of research
Transparency in declaring interests and reporting research methodology, data and findings
Fairness in the treatment of others
Respect for research participants, the wider community, animals and the environment Treat human participants and communities that are affected by the research with care and respect, giving appropriate consideration to the needs of minority groups or vulnerable people.
Recognition of the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be engaged in research that affects or is of particular significance to them
Accountability for the development, undertaking and reporting of research Comply with relevant legislation, policies and guidelines.
Promotion of responsible research practices
2. Responsibilities of the University
JCU has an obligation to encourage and support the responsible conduct of research and is accountable for that conduct. The University will ensure that documents that guide good research conduct, management and governance, including this Research Code, are readily available to all researchers (including through the online Policy Library.)
Therefore the University undertakes to:
Establish and maintain good governance and management practices for responsible research conduct.
Identify and comply with relevant laws, regulations, guidelines and policies related to the conduct of research.
Develop and maintain the currency and ready availability of a suite of policies and procedures which ensure that institutional practices are consistent with the principles and responsibilities of the Research Code.
Provide ongoing training and education that promotes and supports responsible research conduct for all researchers and those in other relevant roles.
Ensure supervisors of research trainees have the appropriate skills, qualifications and resources.
Identify and train Research Integrity Advisors who assist in the promotion and fostering of responsible research conduct and provide advice to those with concerns about potential breaches of the Research Code.
Support the responsible dissemination of research findings. Where necessary, take action to correct the record in a timely manner.
Provide access to facilities for the safe and secure storage and management of research data, records and primary materials and, where possible and appropriate, allow access and reference.
Facilitate the prevention and detection of potential breaches of the Code.
Provide mechanisms to receive concerns or complaints about potential breaches of the Research Code. Investigate and resolve potential breaches of the Research Code.
Ensure that the process for managing and investigating concerns or complaints about potential breaches of the Research Code is timely, effective and in accord with procedural fairness.
Support the welfare of all parties involved in an investigation of a potential breach of the Research Code.
Base findings of investigations on the balance of probabilities and ensure any actions are commensurate with the seriousness of the breach.
3. Responsibilities of Researchers
Researchers are expected to uphold the general principles of responsible research conduct in all aspects of their research, this means to foster and maintain a research environment of intellectual honesty, integrity, and scholarly and scientific rigour. There are sixteen researcher responsibilities of the Research Code, which researchers must comply with as follows:
Support a culture of responsible research conduct at their institution and in their field of practice.
Provide guidance and mentorship on responsible research conduct to other researchers or research trainees under their supervision and, where appropriate, monitor their conduct.
Undertake and promote education and training in responsible research conduct.
Comply with the relevant laws, regulations, disciplinary standards, ethics guidelines and institutional policies related to responsible research conduct. Ensure that appropriate approvals are obtained prior to the commencement of research, and that conditions of any approvals are adhered to during the course of research.
Ensure that the ethics principles of research merit and integrity, justice, beneficence and respect are applied to human research.
Engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and respect their legal rights and local laws, customs and protocols.
Ensure that the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) are considered at all stages of research involving animals and minimise the impacts on animals used in research and in so doing support the welfare and wellbeing of these animals.
Adopt methods appropriate to the aims of the research and ensure that conclusions are justified by the results.
Retain clear, accurate, secure and complete records of all research including research data and primary materials. Where possible and appropriate, allow access and reference to these by interested parties.
Disseminate research findings responsibly, accurately and broadly. Where necessary, take action to correct the record in a timely manner.
Disclose and manage actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest.
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, and that they agree to be listed as an author.
Acknowledge those who have contributed to the research.
Cite and acknowledge other relevant work appropriately and accurately.
Participate in peer review in a way that is fair, rigorous and timely and maintains the confidentiality of the content.
Report suspected breaches of the Research Code to the relevant institution and/or authority.
Related policy instruments
Other related documents and legislationKeeping research on track II 2018
NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.
Date for next Major Review
Policy reviewed and amended to align with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research
Manager, Research Grants, Ethics and Integrity
Changes made to reflect headline restructure 30/4/2018
Quality, Standards and Policy
Update role title to reflect current organisational structure
Quality, Standards and Policy
Minor (consequential) amendments made to delegations throughout the Code to reflect the 14 July 2016 Council approved Academic and Student Delegation Register. Contact Quality, Standards and Policy Office for details.
Manager, JCU Connect
Research, integrity, research code, responsible, conduct