Research has integrity when it’s carried out in a way that is trustworthy, ethical, and responsible.
Research integrity is about doing research:
- that leads to findings people can trust and have confidence in
- in an ethical manner
- with care and respect for those involved in the process
When research is carried out with a high degree of integrity, the following people have confidence in the findings:
- other researchers
- those who wish to apply the research
- members of the public
It also means people can also trust the findings at the time, while our understanding of conclusions may change in the future.
Principles of research integrity
The principles of research integrity that frame our work are taken from The Concordat to Support Research Integrity. These principles are delivered by individuals, institutions, publishers, funders, and other stakeholders working together.
Ensuring honesty in all aspects of research, including when:
- presenting research goals, intentions and findings
- reporting on research methods and procedures
- gathering data
- using and acknowledging the work of other researchers
- conveying valid interpretations and making justifiable claims based on research findings
- in line with prevailing disciplinary norms and standards
- when performing research and using appropriate methods
- when adhering to an agreed protocol where appropriate
- when drawing interpretations and conclusions
- when communicating findings
Transparency and open communication
Ensuring transparency and open communication when:
- declaring potential competing interests
- reporting data collection methods
- analysing and interpreting data
- making findings widely available, which includes publishing or otherwise sharing negative or null results to recognise their value as part of the research process
- presenting the work to other researchers and to the public
Care and respect
Ensuring care and respect for all participants. This includes the subjects, users and beneficiaries of research, such as humans, animals, the environment and cultural objects. Those engaged must also show care and respect for the integrity of the research record.
Ensuring the accountability of funders, employers, and researchers to collectively create a research environment in which individuals and organisations are empowered and enabled to take responsibility of the research process.
Those engaged with research should ensure that individuals and organisations are held to account when behaviour falls short of the standards set by The Concordat to Support Research Integrity.