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Good research practice

Good research practice at University West is based on four basic principles (cf. the European Code of Integrity for Research, ALLEA 2017):

These principles are:

  • Reliability in ensuring the quality of research, reflected in the design, the methodology, the analysis and the use of resources
  • Honesty in developing, undertaking, reviewing, reporting and communicating research in a transparent, fair, full and unbiased way
  • Respect for colleagues, research participants, society, ecosystems, cultural heritage and the environment
  • Accountability for the research from idea to publication, for its management and organisation, for training, supervision and mentoring, and for its wider impacts

At University West, it is recommended that research is conducted according to the following (compare The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, ALLEA 2017):

  • Researchers take into account the latest findings in developing research ideas
  • Researchers design, carry out, analyse and document research in a careful and well-considered manner
  • Researchers make proper and responsible use of research funds
  • Researchers publish results and interpretations of research in an open, honest, transparent and accurate manner, and respect confidentiality of data and findings when legitimately required to do so
  • Researchers report their results in a way that is compatible with the standards of the discipline and, where applicable, can be verified and reproduced

Research Misconduct

There is no exact definition of research misconduct but it is traditionally defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism (the so-called FFP categorisation) in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results (cf. the European Code of Integrity for Research, ALLEA 2017):

  • Fabrication is making up results and recording them as if they were real
  • Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment or processes or changing, omitting or suppressing data or results without justification
  • Plagiarism is using other people’s work and ideas without giving proper credit to the
    original source, thus violating the rights of the original author(s) to their intellectual outputs

Other deviations from good research practice

Other deviations from good research practice refer to offences other than those stated above that risk damaging, or damage, the integrity of the research process, research or researchers, and that is committed intentionally or through gross negligence when planning, conducting or reporting research.

Examples of other deviations from good research practice include:

  • Unfounded claims of authorship, unfounded exclusion of someone from co-authorship or other deviations from publishing ethics
  • Obstructing scientific or research ethics reviews, for example by withholding background material or not keeping data from studies in a secure manner
  • Inducing or trying to influence someone into actions that fall under deviations from good research practice
  • Carrying out reprisals against someone who has reported or presented information or suspicions relating to deviations from good research practice
  • Reporting suspicions with the sole purpose of discrediting someone else
  • Using research material contrary to current contracts or agreements
  • Unauthorised use of information given in confidence
  • Giving misleading information about someone’s contribution to research
  • Destroying samples or in some other way spoiling another researcher’s ongoing work

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