Policy

Responsible Conduct of Research - Policy

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1.  Purpose and Objectives

This policy sets out the requirements for the responsible conduct of research including research undertaken during scholarship of teaching and learning projects.

2.  Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Peer Review - impartial and independent assessment of research by others working in the same or a related field

Researchers - staff, visiting fellows and researchers, adjuncts, academic title holders and students of the University who conduct research including SOTL at or on behalf of the University

SOTL - Scholarship of teaching and learning

The Code - Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007)

University - The University of Queensland

3.  Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all University researchers, and for project funding from all sources.

4.  Policy Statement

4.1 This policy describes the underlying principles of the responsible conduct of research and is based on guidelines provided in the Code.

4.2 The NHMRC, the ARC and Universities Australia state that compliance with the Code is a condition of the provision of ARC and NHMRC funds to an institution.

4.3 The Code applies to research activity in all disciplines and is applicable to institutions as a whole and not only to applicants or recipients of ARC and NHMRC funds.

4.4 Researchers have a professional obligation to the University and society to conduct research in an ethical manner, and communicate it to their peers and, as appropriate, to the wider general community.

5.  Management of Research Data and Primary Materials

5.1 Data management must be carried out in accordance with PPL 4.20.06a (Research Data and Primary Materials Management). If not available, then data management must be carried out in accordance with section 2 of the Code.

6. Supervision of Research Higher Degree Candidates

6.1 Supervision of research higher degree candidates must be carried out in accordance with PPL 4.60.1  Eligibility and Role of Research Higher Degree Advisors and PPL 4.60.02 Research Higher Degree Candidate Charter.

6.2 All research higher degree candidates must receive training on research ethics and integrity, authorship management, the Code, and the University/Organisational Unit’s research policies at the commencement of candidature.

7. Publication and Dissemination of Research Findings

7.1 Because peer review remains one of the primary means of assessing the validity of research, researchers are encouraged to publish research findings as soon as practicable.

7.2 Researchers must accept responsibility for their actions when carrying out research and when disseminating research findings.

7.3 Repeatability of an experiment in laboratories at diverse locations is generally regarded as one of the main criteria for its veracity. Similarly, the ability to verify, test or replicate facts and other data from documentary, archival, statistical, fieldwork, survey or observational sources is crucial and depends upon appropriate referencing of sources, methods and locations. When a researcher finds a major discrepancy in results reported in the literature, they should be encouraged to notify the scientific community of the findings without fear of censure or disadvantage. Timely publication may also prevent needless repetition of research.

7.4 Researchers in receipt of internal and/or external grant funds must fulfill the terms of the granting agency's reporting requirements. Failure to comply can prejudice future grant support and may tarnish the image of fellow researchers and the University in receipt of funds from that same agency.

7.5 Publications, including media releases, must include information on the sources of financial and in-kind support for the research, and reveal actual or potential conflicts of interest. Researchers must acknowledge the host institution and funding sources of the research in accordance with PPL 4.20.07b Attribution of Publication Affiliation.

7.6 To protect the integrity of research, financial sponsors must not be permitted to influence the content or presentation of research results (other than for commercial-in-confidence and privacy considerations acknowledged and agreed in advance of accepting the funding).

7.7 It is not acceptable to repeat the reporting of identical research findings in several different publications, except in particular and clearly explained circumstances, such as review articles, anthologies, collections, or translations into another language. An author who submits substantially similar work to more than one publisher, or who submits work similar to work already published, must disclose this at the time of submission. Researchers must take all reasonable steps to obtain permission from the copyright holder before republishing research findings.

7.8 Publications authored or co-authored by a student enrolled at the University or a staff member of, or a visiting fellow or researcher/adjunct/academic title holder at, the University must acknowledge that the work was undertaken at the University by including the name of the University in the by-line as described in PPL 4.20.07b Attribution of Publication Affiliation.

8. Authorship

8.1 Authorship of publications should be established as described in PPL 4.20.04a Authorship.

9. Peer Review

9.1 The University encourages its researchers to participate in the peer review process.

9.2 It is important that participants in peer review:

  • are fair and timely in their review;
  • act in confidence and do not disclose the content or outcome of any process in which they are involved;
  • declare all conflicts of interest, do not permit personal prejudice to influence the peer review process, and do not introduce considerations that are not relevant to the review criteria;
  • do not take undue or calculated advantage of knowledge obtained during the peer review process;
  • ensure that they are informed about, and comply with, the criteria to be applied;
  • do not agree to participate in peer review outside their area of expertise;
  • give proper consideration to research that challenges or changes accepted ways of thinking.

10. Conflicts of Interest

10.1 A researcher has a conflict of interest in any circumstances where that person has a real, perceived or potential opportunity to give preference to their own interests, or those of any other person or organisation, over the interests of the University.

10.2 Research activities should be conducted in an objective manner, free from any potential for undue influence arising from the interests of the individual researchers or the project sponsors/funders.

10.3 The Code requires disclosure of conflicts of interest regarding affiliation with, or financial involvement in, any organisation or entity with a direct interest in the subject matter or materials of research workers. The Code identifies conflicts of interest as including those benefits in kind such as the provision of benefits (eg. travel and accommodation expenses to attend conferences). Other conflicts of interest are listed in HUPP 1.50.1 Code of Conduct.

10.4 Many research funding agencies, such as ARC & NHMRC require applicants to certify that no conflict of interest exists at the time of application.

10.5 Regardless of the funding source supporting the research, researchers must make a full disclosure of a conflict of interest or of circumstances that might give rise to a perceived or potential conflict of interest as soon as reasonably practicable in accordance with PPL 4.20.02b.

10.6 When nominating thesis examiners, advisors of research higher degree candidates must not knowingly select examiners that have a real, perceived or potential conflict of interest. A conflict of interest may be with the institution, the advisor, or the candidate.

11. Collaborative Research across Institutions

11.1 Researchers involved in joint research across institutions should be aware of, and comply with, all policies and written agreements affecting the project, particularly those relating to ethics approvals, the dissemination of research findings and the management of research data and primary materials. They must discuss with their inter-institutional collaborators the policies of each institution regarding these matters.

11.2 When establishing research collaboration, researchers must disclose as soon as possible any actual or apparent conflicts of interest relating to any aspect of the project.

11.3 The collaborating parties should each identify a designated person who is responsible for discussing any actual or apparent conflicts of interest with the other institutions.

11.4 The collaborating parties should each identify a designated person to be involved in the management of research data, primary materials and other items to be retained at the end of the project.

12. Research Misconduct

12.1 Research misconduct will be managed consistent with PPL 4.20.05a Research Misconduct or PPL 3.60.04 Student Integrity and Misconduct.

13. Observance of Laws and Other Regulatory Guidelines

13.1 All researchers must comply with existing laws, guidelines of regulatory agencies and institutional policies.

13.2 It is a researcher's responsibility to adhere to all extant guidelines, professional codes and laws in the conduct of research.

Procedures

Responsible Conduct of Research - Procedures

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1.  Purpose and Objectives

This procedure details the procedures and responsibilities associated with the responsible conduct of research. This procedure enacts PPL 4.20.02a.

2.  Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Researchers - staff, visiting fellows and researchers, adjuncts, academic title holders and students of the University who conduct research including SOTL at or on behalf of the University

SOTL - Scholarship of teaching and learning

University - The University of Queensland

3.  Procedures Scope/Coverage

This procedure applies to all University researchers.

4.  Procedures Statement

Researchers must disclose conflicts of interest and must seek and obtain, if required by law or other regulatory guidelines, institutional clearance for research involving animal experimentation, human experimentation or occupational health matters.

5.  Conflict of Interest Disclosures

5.1 Researchers must make a full disclosure of a conflict of interest or of circumstances that might give rise to a perceived or potential conflict of interest.

5.2 Before nominating thesis examiners, supervisors should consult the Thesis Examination Conflict of Interest Guidelines.

5.3 Conflict of interest disclosures by researchers are made using the Conflict of Interest form.

5.4 The Conflict of Interest form should be lodged with the Research and Innovation Division at the time of grant submission, or lodged with the researcher’s supervisor at other times.

5.5 The designated persons identified in PPL 4.20.02a clauses 11.3 and 11.4, who become aware of any actual or apparent conflicts of interest with collaborating parties, should complete the Conflict of Interest form and lodge it with their supervisor.

5.6 Research-related conflict of interest disclosures must be handled as follows:

(1) The person in receipt of the Conflict on Interest form must discuss the matter with the researcher concerned to determine a procedure for the management or elimination of the conflict of interest. The procedure must be documented and the researcher advised in writing with a copy of the agreement held in the relevant Organisational Unit’s records.

(2) The researcher must comply with the direction of the person referred to in (1) above in relation to the management of the conflict of interest.

(3) Unless involved directly, it is the responsibility of Organisational Unit Heads to ensure that conflicts of interest in research are managed appropriately.

(4) When an Organisational Unit Head has a conflict of interest in research, the Executive Dean/Institute Director (staff/visiting fellows and researchers/adjuncts) or Dean of the Graduate School (researcher higher degree students) is responsible for recommending to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (for SOTL projects) appropriate management arrangements.

(5) When an Executive Dean/Institute Director/Graduate School Dean has a conflict of interest in research, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (for SOTL projects), will be responsible for recommending to the Vice-Chancellor or delegated officer, appropriate management arrangements.

(6) When a researcher discloses a conflict of interest in collaborative projects, the researcher’s supervisor should notify the Director, Research and Innovation Division, or Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (for SOTL projects), who will discuss the matter with the relevant collaborating institution and resolve the matter as per the collaborative research agreement.

6.  Observance of Laws and Other Regulatory Guidelines

6.1 Researchers who are unsure if their research requires institutional clearance should contact the following:

  • For Animal Experimentation:

Animal Welfare Officer

Research and Innovation Division

T: 3365 2713, E: a.higgins@research.uq.edu.au

  • For Human Experimentation and Genetic Manipulation:

Human Ethics Officer

Research and Innovation Division

T: 3365 3924, E: m.tse@research.uq.edu.au

  • For Occupational Health, Biologicals, Biosafety, Teratogens/Carcinogens and Ionising Radiation:

Biological Safety Advisor

Occupational Health and Safety Unit

T: 3365 1857, E: e.miric@uq.edu.au

Guidelines

Responsible Conduct of Research - Guidelines

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Body

1.  Purpose and Objectives

These guidelines provide tools to assist with the responsible conduct of research.  These guidelines help enact PPL 4.20.02a and 4.20.02b.

2.  Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Researchers - staff, visiting fellows and researchers, adjuncts, academic titleholders and students of the University who conduct research including SOTL at or on behalf of the University

SOTL - Scholarship of teaching and learning

University - The University of Queensland

3.  Guidelines Scope/Coverage

These guidelines apply to all University researchers.

4.  Guidelines Statement

Researchers should always be conscious of their obligations to the discipline/profession to which they belong and to their employer, and of their obligation to undertake research that is in accordance with acceptable community norms and standards. Moreover, researchers should endeavour to exceed these expectations and minimal requirements for ethical research expected of them in view of the University's unique position in the community, as an institution that prides itself on fostering excellence, independence of thought, and freedom to pursue knowledge.

5.  General Principles of Responsible Research

5.1 Researchers must not breach the specific trust held in them by their associates in research, peers, the University or society at large. Observance of accepted norms of honesty and integrity must underlie all decisions and actions related to research.

5.2 Researchers must refrain from any conduct or action in their role as a researcher employed by the University which would unjustifiably detract from the good name of the institution and the relevant professional body to which they may belong.

5.3 Researchers must strive continually to improve their scholarship and to ensure that their knowledge is current. Above all, they must bring due care and diligence to bear upon the discharge of their academic duties in relation to research. This applies for staff involved in research on animals, as well as humans. Researchers must refrain from participating in or initiating work which they are not competent to perform. When in doubt, they should obtain such advice and assistance as will enable them to execute their research competently.

5.4 In seeking new knowledge, it is imperative that good methodology (i.e. sound research design) be employed. This will ensure trust in the accuracy of the data that are collected and facilitate correct interpretation of the data.

5.5 Researchers should impart to students under their supervision the basic ethical principles that are detailed in the Code and the code for their profession as it bears on the proper conduct of research. This will provide positive reinforcement of those values which society can expect of graduates from this University.

5.6 Researchers should endeavour to safeguard their interests in relation to intellectual property, and the interests of the University in accordance with PPL 4.10.13a (Intellectual Property for Staff, Students and Visitors - Policy) and other guidelines as may be promulgated from time to time.

5.7 The University and its researchers have a responsibility to the participants in research to ensure the safety of volunteers and staff/students taking part in research programs, and it is an accepted norm in the pursuit of this goal that research design be of the highest quality. This includes using the minimum number of humans and animals needed to achieve valid results and using animals in the most humane way possible, for the overall benefit of society.

5.8 Data of a confidential nature derived from a research program (patient records, subject questionnaires, etc.), should not be disclosed except where consent has been obtained or where there is a legal or professional duty to disclose. Researchers must not use such information for their own personal advantage or that of a third party.

5.9 Researchers will, to the best of their endeavour, conform to the principles laid down in relation to confidentiality by such bodies as NHMRC and the Helsinki Declaration.

6. Relevant General Codes of Ethics and Pertinent Legislation

6.1 Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (Qld)

www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/A/AnimalCaPrA01.pdf

6.2 National Principles of Intellectual Property Management for Publicly Funded Research

www.arc.gov.au/about_arc/principles_ip.htm

6.3 Declaration of Helsinki (1974) Recommendations guiding physicians in biomedical research involving human subjects

www.cirp.org/library/ethics/helsinki/

6.4 Gene Technology Act 2000 (Cth, as amended 2010)

www.frli.gov.au/ComLaw/Legislation/ActCompilation1.nsf/0/D26C9AD0A3D00127CA2576D4002B554D/$file/GeneTechnology2000_WD02.pdf

6.5 Gene Technology Act 2001 (Qld)

www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/G/GeneTechA01.pdf

6.6 NHMRC (2007) National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research

www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications/synopses/e72syn.htm

6.7 NHMRC (2004) Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (7th edition)

www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications/synopses/ea16syn.htm

6.8 NHMRC (2002, 2005) Statement on Consumer and Community Participation in Health and Medical Research (the Statement on Participation)

www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications/synopses/r22syn.htm

6.9 NHMRC (2003) Values and Ethics: Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research

www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications/synopses/e52syn.htm

6.10 NHMRC, ARC, and Universities Australia (2007) Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications/synopses/_files/r39.pdf

6.11 Public Records Act 2002 (Qld)

www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/P/PublicRecA02.pdf

6.12 The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (2007) Guidelines for Ethical Research in Indigenous Studies

www.aiatsis.gov.au/research/docs/ethics.pdf

6.13 Therapeutic Goods Administration (2000) Note for Guidance on Good Clinical Practice (CPMP/ICH/135/95)

http://www.tga.gov.au/docs/html/ich13595.htm

6.14 Transplantation and Anatomy Act, 1979-1984 (Qld, as amended 1984)

www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/T/TransplAAnatA79.pdf

6.15 UQ Guidelines/Interpretations of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research

www.uq.edu.au/research/rid/files/human/uq_interpretations_national_state...

6.16 UQ Animal Welfare Unit Policies and Guidelines

www.uq.edu.au/research/rid/animal-guidelines

 

Forms

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Conflict of Interest (Research) Disclosure - Form

Conflict of Interest (Research) Disclosure - Form

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Description: 

Conflict of Interest (Research) Disclosure form.

Custodians
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Professor Robyn Ward