Graduate researchers and research misconduct
Do you need advice?
The contact details of University officers who can provide advice about research misconduct are at the bottom of this page.
The information below will help you to know what type of advice you need.
What is research misconduct?
Research misconduct is the term used for serious or deliberate contraventions of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (ACRCR). A complaint or allegation of research misconduct generally involves the following:
- An alleged breach of the (ACRCR)
- Intent and deliberation, recklessness or gross and persistent negligence
- Serious consequences, such as false information on the public record, or adverse effects on research participants, animals, or the environment.
Research misconduct can include:
- fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or deception in proposing, carrying out or reporting the results of research
- failure to declare or manage a serious conflict of interest
- avoidable failure to follow research proposals as approved by a research ethics committee
- particularly where this failure leads to an unreasonable risk or harm to humans, animals of the environment
- wilful concealment or facilitation of research misconduct by others
- repeated or continuing breaches of the ACRCR may constitute research misconduct where these have been the subject of previous counselling or specific direction.
Research misconduct does not include:
- honest differences in judgement in management of the research project
- honest errors that are minor or unintentional.
(Although, breaches of the ACRCR will require action by the officers of the institution).
Examples of Research Misconduct:
The ACRCR provides some examples of research misconduct which include, but are not limited to, the following:
- fabrication of results
- falsification or misrepresentation of results
- misleading ascription of authorship
- failure to declare and manage serious conflicts of interest
- falsification or misrepresentation to obtain funding
- conducting research without ethics approval as required by the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans and the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes.
- Risking the safety of human participants, or the well-being of animals, or the environment
- Deviations from ACRCR that occur through gross or persistent negligence
- Wilful concealment or falsification of research misconduct by others.
Breach of the ACRCR
The term breach is used for less serious deviations from the ACRCR that are appropriately remedied within the institution. A breach of the ACRCR could include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Breach of ethics approval
- Non-compliance with regulatory or legal requirements
- Failure to conduct research in a responsible manner.
A breach may be remedied within the institution and may involve such actions as counselling, or research advice. Repeated or continuing breaches may result in research misconduct.
Graduate Researchers should ensure that they are familiar with the Australian and University codes that govern research conduct as described in the following documents:
- Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (ACRCR)
- National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research
- Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes
Information on Ethics and the UNE Ethics Committees can be found at Research Services Ethics page.
The following policies relate to Graduate Researchers and research misconduct:
- Higher Degree Research Student Responsible Research Conduct Policy
- Authorship Rule
- UNE Code of Conduct of Research Policy
- Research Related Complaints and Allegations Procedures
- Conflict of Interest Policy
- Conflict of Interest Procedures
Advice about research conduct is available from the following University Officers:
- Research Supervisors
- Chair of your School Research Committee
- HDR Coordinators
- Research Integrity Adviser, Research Services (Contact Reception).