Manual of Policies and Procedures

D/2.6 QUT Code of Conduct for Research

Contact Officer

Director, Office of Research Ethics and Integrity

Approval Date

13/11/2009

Approval Authority

University Academic Board

Date of Next Review

01/12/2010

2.6.1 Principles for the responsible conduct of research
2.6.2 Application
2.6.3 Roles and responsibilities for responsible conduct of research
2.6.4 Research misconduct
2.6.5 Management of research data
2.6.6 Supervision and training of research students and staff
2.6.7 Publication and dissemination of research findings
2.6.8 Authorship
2.6.9 Peer review
2.6.10 Collaborative research with other institutions
Related Documents
Modification History

THE REVIEW OF THIS POLICY IS PENDING THE RELEASE OF THE NEW AUSTRALIAN CODE FOR THE RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT OF RESEARCH.

CONTACT THE DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF RESEARCH ETHICS AND INTEGRITY FOR FURTHER DETAILS.

2.6.1 Principles for the responsible conduct of research

QUT is committed to the highest standard of integrity in research. The University expects that all staff, researchers and research students will comply with all relevant policies, procedures and regulatory obligations. The QUT Code of Conduct for Research forms an integral part of the University’s research governance framework and promotes ethical research behaviour within the University community. It is consistent with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

The QUT Code of Conduct for Research is based on the following principles:

  • Research at QUT is undertaken in an ethical and accountable environment, based on shared commitment by the University and its researchers to maintain a strong culture of integrity and fair conduct
  • The QUT Code of Conduct for Research imposes requirements on researchers which are in addition to the general ethical obligations for members of the University community set out in the QUT Staff Code of Conduct (B/8.1)
  • The University has no tolerance for any misconduct or unethical behaviour in its research activities and all allegations of research misconduct will be investigated and, where necessary, managed in accordance with the research misconduct procedures (D/2.7)
  • QUT expects that research data and primary materials will be properly collected, managed and retained in accordance with relevant legislation and University policies
  • All researchers will be appropriately trained in relevant research policies and procedures and the University’s expectations for ethical and responsible behaviour
  • QUT encourages its researchers to publicise their research findings in both the academic and wider communities, though the University acknowledges that in particular cases, this may be subject to contractual or commercialisation considerations
  • QUT expects that the authorship of research publications will be properly determined in accordance with the specified criteria of this Code (D/2.6.8 below)
  • QUT supports peer review of research findings and encourages its researchers to participate in peer review activities
  • Conflicts of interests relating to research will be managed in accordance with the QUT Staff Code of Conduct (B/8.1)
  • QUT supports collaborative research with other institutions and expects that all such research will be properly conducted in accordance with the requirements of this Code (D/2.6.11 below)
  • QUT encourages research which involves participation by members of the wider community, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and expects that any such research will comply with all relevant national codes and guidelines.

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2.6.2 Application

The QUT Code of Conduct for Research applies to all members of the University community including:

  • Employees of the University, regardless of employment type, who undertake or provide assistance or support to research activities
  • Undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • Visiting and adjunct academics
  • Volunteers who contribute to or act on behalf of the University (eg associate supervisors of students)
  • Individuals associated with QUT related entities
  • Individuals granted access to QUT property, services or infrastructure
  • Consultants and independent contractors undertaking research-related services for QUT.

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2.6.3 Roles and responsibilities for responsible conduct of research

(a) University Academic Board

University Academic Board is responsible for approving the QUT Code of Conduct for Research on delegated authority of Council (Appendix 3).

(b) Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation)

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation) is responsible for:

  • the implementation of the QUT Code of Conduct for Research, including the provision of training to researchers on its requirements
  • fostering a culture of responsible research conduct across the University
  • managing allegations of breaches of the QUT Code of Conduct for Research and allegations of research misconduct in accordance with the University’s procedures (D/2.7)
  • the execution of non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements relating to research matters (Appendix 3).

(c) Executive deans and assistant deans (research)

Executive deans and assistant deans (research) are responsible for fostering a culture of responsible research conduct in their faculties.

(d) Heads of school, institute directors, centre directors

Heads of school, institute directors and centre directors are responsible for:

  • Ensuring the proper collection, storage, security and disposal of research data, including primary materials, within their operational area
  • Ensuring that research staff and students receive adequate training in relevant University codes and policies, including research ethics
  • The promotion of responsible authorship practices and resolution of conflicts arising from disputes about authorship.

(e) Director, Office of Research

The Director, Office of Research is responsible for maintaining the Register of Disclosed Interests for Research and reporting annually to the Vice-Chancellor on disclosed interests.

(f) QUT research students and staff

All QUT researchers are responsible for complying with the requirements of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, the QUT Staff Code of Conduct, the QUT Code of Conduct for Research and any other relevant University policy and procedure affecting the conduct of research activity at QUT.

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2.6.4 Research misconduct

The University has no tolerance for any misconduct or unethical behaviour in its research activities. All allegations that this Code has been breached will be dealt with in accordance with the procedures set out in D/2.7.

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2.6.5 Management of research data

Research data are recognised as a valuable product of the research process and are useful to researchers throughout the research cycle.

All research data, including primary materials, are considered to be University records and must be stored, disposed of or transferred in accordance with the QUT records management policy (F/6.1).The University is committed to the protection of personal information which may be contained in research data and primary materials. When collecting, storing, using or disclosing personal information, researchers must abide by the mandatory requirements of the Information Privacy Act 2009 and the University's Information privacy policy (F/6.2).

Research data should generally be made available, via open access, for use by other researchers unless a specific and valid reason exists for not doing so.

The Research Data Management Policy (D/2.8) provides guidance on the following aspects of managing research data and should be consulted prior to commencing a research project:

  • Research data management planning
  • Storage and security of research data
  • Retention
  • Record keeping
  • Access, privacy and confidentiality
  • Disposal.

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2.6.6 Supervision and training of research students and staff

The University expects that research students and staff will be appropriately trained in relevant research policies and procedures and the University’s expectations for ethical and responsible behaviour.

Research students and staff include:

  • QUT students enrolled in an honours, research masters or doctoral program, or any substantial postgraduate research project or dissertation, and
  • research assistants, associates, fellows and similar positions appointed at the level of academic Level A or Level B, or equivalent.

(a) Training of research students and staff

An executive dean and assistant dean (research), together with a head of school, institute director or centre director, must ensure that all research students and staff new to the University receive an induction program on their commencement which includes reference to the following:

  • any relevant legislative requirements or government guidelines
  • relevant University policies and procedures, including this Code, the QUT Staff Code of Conduct, research ethics policies and privacy requirements
  • any workplace health and safety or environmental protection requirements for research practices, specific equipment or work spaces including laboratories
  • the responsibilities of a student or staff member for conducting responsible research at the University.

(b) Supervision of research students and staff

An executive dean and assistant dean (research), together with a head of school, institute director or centre director, must ensure that each new research student and staff member is paired with a responsible and appropriately qualified supervisor or mentor. Supervisors of research students and staff must:

  • adhere to the standard for behaviour outlined in the QUT Staff Code of Conduct (B/8.1) and according to the Good Practice guidelines for Higher Degree Research Studies and Supervision at QUT
  • provide advice in all matters of good research practice consistent with this Code and the Code of Good Practice for Postgraduate Research Studies and Supervision at QUT
  • ensure, as far as possible, the validity of research data obtained by a research student under their supervision.

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2.6.7 Publication and dissemination of research findings

Prior to the publication of research findings, researchers must complete and lodge a Statement of Authorship and Location of Data form with their school / institute / centre or research unit.

QUT supports Open Content Licensing principles (D/3.1 Intellectual property) and provides for their application in some specific settings (eg teaching grant outputs). Examples of open content licensing systems include the Creative Commons licences, the GNU Public Document Licence and the AESharenet Licences. It is mandatory for research outputs to be stored on QUT’s institutional repository ePrints.

Researchers are encouraged to publicise their research findings in both the academic and wider communities. However, as a general principle, research findings should not be reported in the public media before they have been reported to a research audience of experts in the field of research - preferably by publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Before disseminating research findings, researchers must give consideration to:

  • Any confidentiality requirements of a contractual or funding agreement
  • The protection of any personal information in the research data (F/6.2)
  • Intellectual property rights (D/3.1)
  • Any contractual restrictions or delays on publication, including any contractual requirements to obtain prior consent from funding bodies.

When publicising or disseminating research findings, researchers must comply with the following protocols:

  • Publication of multiple papers based on the same set(s) or subset(s) of data is not acceptable except where there is full cross-referencing within the papers (for example, in a series of closely related work, or where a complete work grew out of a preliminary publication and this is fully acknowledged)
  • If significantly similar work is presented to more than one publisher, this must be disclosed to the publisher at the time of submission. Details must be supplied on the University's Statement of Authorship and Location of Data form .
  • All other relevant work must be acknowledged properly when research findings are disseminated
  • It may be desirable for researchers to seek advice prior to dissemination from public or professional authorities responsible for specific issues of public policy or concern. In such situations, the unreported status of the findings must be made clear to the authority. Only where responsible authorities fail to act can prior reporting to the media be justified, and again the unpublished status of the findings must be reported at the same time
  • Where researchers have privately reported research that has not yet been exposed to open peer-review scrutiny, (for example, to prospective financial supporters), there is an obligation to explain fully the status of the work and the peer-review mechanisms to which it will be subjected
  • Publications must include information on the sources of financial support for the research. Financial sponsorship that carries an embargo on such naming of a sponsor must be avoided
  • All clinical trials must be registered with a recognised register in order to promote access to such information.

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2.6.8 Authorship

The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research defines authorship as being based on substantial contributions in a combination of:

  • conception and design of a project
  • analysis and interpretation of research data
  • drafting significant parts of a work or critically revising it so as to contribute to the interpretation.

Schools, institutes, centres and research units are responsible for encouraging and promoting responsible authorship practices that are considered appropriate within the discipline area. QUT expects that the authorship of research publications will be properly determined in accordance with the following criteria.

(a) Determining authorship

  • An author's role in a research output must be sufficient for that person to take public responsibility for at least that part of the output in the person's area of expertise.
  • Authorship of a research output cannot be claimed where participation is solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data. General supervision of the research group does not constitute authorship.
  • Authorship of a research output should be discussed between researchers at an early stage in a research project and reviewed whenever there are changes in participation.
  • Due recognition of all participants is part of a proper research process, and the authors must ensure that others who have contributed to the work are recognised in the research output. Authors should ensure that the work of research students / trainees, research assistants and technical officers is properly acknowledged. Courtesy demands that individuals and organisations providing facilities should also be acknowledged.
  • No person who is an author, consistent with the minimum requirement for authorship can be excluded as an author without their prior written permission. This must be attached to the University's Statement of Authorship and Location of Data forms and lodged and retained by the school / centre.
  • Reasonable steps must be taken to respect the right of a creator of intellectual property to be acknowledged as the author of a work and to endeavour to ensure that others respect that right, unless the creator wishes not to be acknowledged or chooses not to attribute the work at the time of creation.
  • Reasonable steps must be taken to respect the right of integrity of authorship in respect of works produced at QUT. The University is not obliged to take further action if the moral rights of authors are not (asserted) exercised. Guidelines for staff on moral rights are in section D/3.1.10 of the University's Intellectual property policy.

(b) Reporting and recording of authorship

  • When there is more than one co-author of a research output, one co-author (by agreement amongst the authors) should be nominated as executive author of the whole research output and should take responsibility for record keeping regarding the research output.
  • Publication of the research output, including electronic publication, requires all co-authors of the publication to sign the University's Statement of Authorship and Location of Data form , to certify that the minimum criteria for authorship have been fulfilled.
  • Signature and lodgement of the University's Statement of Authorship and Location of Data forms must be retained in the school, institute, centre or research unit and may be subsequently audited at the request of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation).
  • If, for any reason, one or more co-authors are unavailable or otherwise unable to sign the statement of authorship, the head of school / institute director / centre director may sign on their behalf and must provide a written statement noting the reason for their unavailability.

(c) Resolving conflicts over authorship

The head of school, institute director or centre director is responsible for the resolution of conflicts arising through disputes about authorship. Where resolution cannot be achieved, the matter should be escalated to the executive dean of the Faculty. If resolution of the matter is not possible, the matter should be referred by the executive dean to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation) for consideration.

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2.6.9 Peer review

QUT recognises that peer review is an essential component of maintaining research integrity. The University supports peer review of its research findings and encourages its researchers to participate as both reviewer and by having their own work reviewed.

(a) Acting as a peer reviewer

When acting as a peer reviewer, QUT expects researchers to conduct reviews responsibly in accordance with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. This includes:

  • complying with the criteria to be applied and meeting specified timeframes
  • respecting confidentiality requirements
  • acting objectively and professionally
  • declaring all conflicts of interest
  • only reviewing within their area of expertise.

(b) Having research findings peer reviewed

Researchers who receive public funding are expected to participate in peer review and this may be a requirement of some funding agreements. Any researcher who is having work peer reviewed must not seek to influence the process or outcomes.

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2.6.10 Collaborative research with other institutions

QUT supports collaborative research with other institutions, both within Australia and internationally. All agreements for collaborative research with other institutions will be in writing and must be formally approved in accordance with the University’s Schedule of Authorities and Delegations (Appendix 3).

Collaborative research agreements should address issues relating to:

  • ownership of intellectual property,
  • the management of research findings, including dissemination, confidentiality and the management of research data
  • the management of conflicts of interest
  • the commercialisation of research outcomes.

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Related Documents

MOPP B/8.1 QUT Staff Code of Conduct

MOPP B/8.7 Conflict of interest

MOPP D/2.7 Procedures for dealing with allegations of research misconduct

MOPP D/2.8 Management of research data

MOPP D/3.1 Intellectual property

Good Practice guidelines for Higher Degree Research Studies and Supervision at QUT (QUT staff and student access only)

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research

Statement on Consumer and Community Participation in Health and Medical Research (NHMRC and Consumers' Health Forum of Australia Inc, 2002)

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

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Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
02.12.15 D/2.6.10 Council Revised policy to remove Management of conflicts of interest to research activities section and incorporate into B/8.7 Conflict of interest policy
07.10.10 All Governance Services Policy revised to reflect change from privacy policy to information privacy
13.11.09 All University Academic Board Revised policy
16.11.07 All University Academic Board Revised Code of Conduct for Research to ensure compliance with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research; procedures for dealing with allegations of research misconduct relocated to new section D/2.7 - formerly D/2.6.8 (endorsed by University Research and Innovation Committee 02.11.07)
13.08.04 All University Academic Board Revised Code of Conduct for Research to incorporate ethical conduct issues and to address postgraduate student research misconduct (endorsed by University Research and Development Committee 23.04.04); rescinded former policy D/6.2 Ethical conduct of research
19.03.04 D/2.6.2 University Academic Board Revised policy relating to storage of research data (endorsed by University Research and Development Committee 27.02.04)
03.09.03 D/2.6.4 Council Added new moral rights clause
27.06.03 D/2.6 Secretariat Manager Added statement re conflicts of interest in accordance with Internal Audit Report on Potential Conflict of Interests - Report No. 2002/40 (April 2003).
21.09.01 All University Academic Board New policy

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