What is Research Integrity?
Research is defined as a process of investigation leading to new insights, effectively shared.
Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.
Cardiff University’s interpretation of research integrity is broad in order to encompass compliance (with the required standards established by the University, its external stakeholders, its clients and regulatory bodies), good research conduct (set out in research governance frameworks and University policies) and personal responsibility (as employees and students, and therefore advocates, of Cardiff University). In short, Research Integrity may be defined as active adherence to the ethical principles and professional standards essential for the responsible practice of research.
Importance of Research Integrity
The primary responsibility for safeguarding the integrity of any research undertaken lies with the individual researcher. It is his/her responsibility to ensure that the work meets all professional standards outlined previously in this document. If such standards are not upheld, research misconduct may occur, the consequences of which may be widespread and extremely serious. Research misconduct may result in harm to research participants, loss of funding and damage of the individual’s, the research team’s and the University’s reputation.
Qualities and Commitments
As a member of staff or a student engaged in performing research at Cardiff University, you should be aware of the qualities and commitments that are central to Research Integrity. Some of these are described here.
Researchers should strive for excellence when conducting research and aim to to produce and disseminate work of the highest quality.
Honesty & Integrity
Maintaining open and honest professional standards is fundamental to research. A culture of honesty and integrity should be fostered in all areas of research activity.
Research methods and results should be open to scrutiny, discussion and debate.
As a research intensive institution the University promotes good research practice, emphasising integrity and rigour.
Accountability & Responsibility
Researchers should recognise that they are ultimately accountable to the general public and should act accordingly. All researchers should be aware of and comply with the University's guidelines and the legal and policy requirements that regulate their field of study.
Care & Respect
Researchers should ensure the dignity, rights, safety and wellbeing of all involved in research and avoid unreasonable risk or harm to research subjects, participants, patients, researchers and others.
A primary principle of good research practice is the meticulous recording and retention of research data.
Publications & Authorship
Researchers have a responsibility to publish and disseminate research in a manner that reports accurately accurately the research and all the findings of the research without selection that could be misleading.
Research must adhere to all legal and ethical requirements and guidelines produced by appropriate bodies. Information gained from research regarding participants should be kept strictly confidential and stored securely. In any research involving human participants, the safety, rights and dignity of the participant must be the primary concern.
Researchers should safeguard their own interests, those of the University and those of any funder or collaborating body in relation to intellectual property.
Conflicts of Interest
The fundamental requirement is that conflicts of interest, whether actual or potential, should be identified, declared and addressed as soon as they become apparent. Responsibility for identifying and declaring conflicts of interest lies with all individuals involved in research.
Leadership & Supervision
Research group leaders/Principle Investigators are expected to establish an atmosphere of organisation and co-operation in their teams, fostering the open exchange of ideas and ensuring robust management practices exist to safeguard the honesty and integrity of the research conducted.
It is the responsibility of the University to ensure that there are adequate provisions for training and development to enable research staff and students to attain the necessary skills for their role and future career development.
Equality & Diversity
Researchers must aim to abide by the Equality Act and the University's policies and guidance on equality and diversity in every aspect of their work. Further information is available here.
Please refer to the Research Ethics web pages further information.
For further information on good record keeping practice please refer to the University's Records Management Policy.