Research integrity checklist

Checklist for research students and their supervisors at the University of Oxford

This checklist, structured in relation to different aspects of research integrity, is designed to assist supervisors and students not only to abide by the principles set out in the University’s Academic Integrity in Research: Code of Practice and Procedure but also to engage in a broader dialogue about research integrity and good practice in research. 

 

In working through this, supervisors can discuss:              

  • what research integrity means to them, to the University, to researchers and the community
  • what the University requires of its staff and students
  • relevant 'subject’ or 'discipline’-specific codes
  • project-specific requirements (eg human ethics approvals, laboratory notebooks, overseas-based research etc)

This checklist has been designed for use by supervisors and students at the start of a student’s research, for discussion periodically throughout the project and for review at least annually. It can also be used as a checklist for all involved in research who need to be aware of and abide by the principles of research integrity set out by the University, research funders, regulators, professional association and the law.

Aspect of research integrity Suggested action Resources/web links

Introduction to good practice in research

At the start of the research, provide student with information about University resources available.

An introduction to the responsible conduct of research

Research Integrity Online – an online introductory course.  Choose one from five discipline-based courses 

University Academic Integrity in Research: Code of Practice and Procedure Discuss the University’s code and what this means in practice for researchers.

University code of practice

Research integrity and ethics – links to the University’s relevant policies, procedures and guidance

Subject-specific and local policies/guidelines

Discuss any relevant discipline-specific, funder-specific (eg RCUK) or professional codes of conduct, particularly as they work in practice.

Provide student with any external funding terms and conditions.

Provide student with any faculty, departmental or divisional policy documents relating to the conduct of his/her research.

RCUK Policy and Guidelines on Governance of Good Research Conduct

UK research funders’ Concordat to support research integrity (PDF)

MRC, Good research practice: principles and guidelines

Wellcome Trust, Guidelines on good research practice

ESRC, Framework for Research Ethics

Authorship

Discuss, in general, requirements for a person to be listed as an author of a publication.

Discuss what the publication strategy will be for the student’s project, including criteria for authorship.

Ensure that student is aware of the authorship practices within their own discipline and any guidelines set by the journals in which they hope to publish.

Discuss authorship throughout the project, especially prior to work being prepared or submitted for publication. Agree on authorship and attribution for each publication.

Publication and authorship – University guidance

Open Access at Oxford – guidance for researchers

Plagiarism – what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid unintentional plagiarism

Conflict of interest

Discuss with the student the concept of 'conflict of interest’ in research.

Provide student with copy of University’s policy and discuss how any potential conflicts associated with their research might be declared and managed.

University guidance on conflict of interest

University policy on conflict of interest

Ethical and legal requirements

Research involving animals

If the student’s research will use animals, discuss the University’s procedures for ethical review.

Introduction to animal research at the University

Policy on the Use of Animals in Scientific Research

Ethical review process – Biomedical Services

Research involving human participants or personal data If the student’s research involves human participants or personal data or materials, discuss the University’s procedures for ethical review.

Policy on the ethical conduct of research involving human participants and personal data

(an introduction leaflet)

Process for seeking ethical review of such research

Clinical Trials and Research Governance

Licences and permissions

Discuss whether any licences and permissions are required before the research project commences (including any relevant training which might be necessary):

  • import or export licences for materials
  • licences to use certain materials
  • agreements necessary to use materials, for example through a material transfer agreement (MTA)
  • permissions from communities or government agencies

NB: This should include projects involving fieldwork overseas.

Material transfer agreements

Nagoya Protocol guidance

Export control guidance

 

Research data and records management

Discuss how research data and records generated will be collected, stored, and managed.

Consider the following general areas:

  • where these will be stored and how they will be identified
  • how to keep data and records secure and protected from damage/destruction
  • accessibility
  • confidentiality/privacy issues, including Data Protection Act requirements
  • archival/long-term value.

Other areas may specifically apply:

  • If the research is externally funded, are there terms and conditions relating to how data is collected and stored?
  • laboratory notebooks
  • research involving human participants (including consent forms, questionnaires).

Research Data Management

University policy on management of research data and records

Research funder requirements

University policy on Data Protection

Information Security – guidance and policy

 

Intellectual property

Discuss what intellectual property (IP) may be generated in the course of the project.

How this can be protected/exploited.

Intellectual property

Oxford University Innovation - Information for Oxford Researchers

Health and safety

Ensure the student has completed a local health and safety induction and is aware of:

  • who the relevant health and safety representatives are
  • emergency procedures, particularly fire, first aid and incident reporting
  • supervisory arrangements, particularly for out of hours or lone working.
  • safeguarding code of practice

Discuss health and safety issues specific to the student’s research, eg laboratory safety, fieldwork, overseas travel etc. Ensure risk assessments covering the hazards they are likely to encounter are discussed or completed.

Supervisors’ responsibilities

Health and safety induction training, including safety in fieldwork

Further health and safety training

Safeguarding ‘at risk’ adults and children

Fieldwork guidance (Social Sciences Division)

Advice and concerns about research conduct Discuss where advice may be sought and the procedures for dealing with queries, concerns or complaints about the research. Research misconduct – University guidance
Skills training and professional development Discuss with student any further training needs related to the research and professional development more generally.

Support for researchers – gateway to services available

Supervisory meetings Discuss how regularly to meet and set up meetings.

University of Oxford - Research supervision – general information

Mentoring

Discuss with student whether working with a mentor would be useful.

Mentoring – Oxford Learning Institute

 

List of site pages