As part of an environment which supports good practice it is important to be able to identify and deal quickly and effectively with allegations of unacceptable practice.
All individuals working in research should feel able to raise concerns about standards of research conduct with the relevant senior person responsible for assuring good research conduct.
Research misconduct can take many forms, including:
- fabrication: making up results or other outputs and presenting them as if they were real
- falsification: manipulating research processes or changing or omitting data without good cause
- plagiarism: using other peoples material without giving proper credit
- failure to meet ethical, legal and professional obligations: for example failure to declare competing interests; misrepresentation of involvement or authorship; misrepresentation of interests; breach of confidentiality; lack of informed consent; misuse of personal data; and abuse of research subjects or materials.
- improper dealing with allegations of misconduct: failing to address possible infringements such as attempts to cover up misconduct and reprisals against whistle blowers.
Any allegation of misconduct in academic research should be made to the Secretary (though, if preferred, the initiator may communicate the allegation to the Secretary through the head of the department or the dean of the faculty concerned or through some other senior member of the University).