The Concordat (pdf 372kb) provides a comprehensive national framework for good research conduct and its governance. BU is committed to creating an environment that promotes an understanding of responsible conduct through our culture, policies, training and research activities.
The Concordat outlines five commitments:
Maintaining the highest standards of research integrity
Commitment 1: We are committed to upholding the highest standards of rigour and integrity in all aspects of research
Commitment 2: We are commited to ensuring that research is conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards
Researchers are responsible for:
- understanding the expected standards of rigour and integrity relevant to their research
- maintaining the highest standards of rigour and integrity in their work at all times
Read in full (pages 6 and 7)
There is no universal definition of research integrity. This Concordat identifies five core elements of research integrity:
- honesty in all aspects of research, including in the presentation of research goals, intentions and findings; in reporting on research methods and procedures; in gathering data; in using and acknowledging the work of other researchers; and in conveying valid interpretations and making justifiable claims based on research findings
- rigour, in line with prevailing disciplinary norms and standards, and in performing research and using appropriate methods; in adhering to an agreed protocol where appropriate; in drawing interpretations and conclusions from the research; and in communicating the results
- transparency and open communication in declaring potential competing interests; in the reporting of research data collection methods; in the analysis and interpretation of data; in making research findings widely available, which includes publishing or otherwise sharing negative or null results to recognise their value as part of the research process; and in presenting the work to other researchers and to the public
- care and respect for all participants in research, and for the subjects, users and beneficiaries of research, including humans, animals, the environment and cultural objects. Those engaged with research must also show care and respect for the integrity of the research record
- accountability of funders, employers and researchers to collectively create a research environment in which individuals and organisations are empowered and enabled to own the research process. Those engaged with research must also ensure that individuals and organisations are held to account when behaviour falls short of the standards set by this concordat
Embedding a Culture of Research Integrity
Commitment 3: We are commited to supporting a research environment that is underpinned by a culture of integrity and based on good governance, best practice and support for the development of researchers.
- take responsibility for keeping their knowledge up to date on the frameworks, standards and obligations that apply to their work
- collaborate to maintain a research environment that encourages research integrity
- design, conduct and report research in ways that embed integrity and ethical practice throughout
Read in full (pages 10 and 11)
Dealing with allegations of research misconduct
Commitment 4: We are committed to using transparent, timely, robust and fair processes to deal with allegations of research misconduct when they arise.
- act in good faith with regard to allegations of research misconduct, whether in making allegations or in being required to participate in an investigation, and take reasonable steps, working with employers as appropriate, to ensure the recommendations made by formal research misconduct investigation panels are implemented
- handle potential instances of research misconduct in an appropriate manner; this includes reporting misconduct to employers, funders and professional, statutory and regulatory bodies as circumstances require
- declare and act accordingly to manage conflicts of interest
Read in full (pages 12 to 15)
A Commitment to Strengthening Research Integrity
Researchers will ensure their own integrity and help to develop a culture of integrity in their groups, departments and institutions.
Read in full (pages 16 and 17)
BU's Research Integrity Statements
In line with the recommendations of the Concordat, the University’s Research & Professional Practice Committee receives and endorses an annual statement that provides an overview on how we ensure research integrity across the University:
BU's Named Contacts
For anyone wanting more information on matters of research integrity, the named person for BU is Mrs Julie Northam, Head of Research Development & Support (RDS). Mrs Northam is supported by colleagues within RDS and enquiries should be emailed to [email protected]. ( see "Embedding a culture of research integrity - commitment 3)
For anyone wanting confidential advice on concerns relating to research integrity (someone who can act as 'confidential liaison for whistle-blowers or any other person wishing to raise concerns about the integrity of research being conducted under their auspices'), they should contact either of the Research Ethics Panel Chairs - see Dealing with Allegations of research misconduct - Commitment 4). For BU's policy - see 6M Research Misconduct - Key Responsibilities and section 5.2.1
Research Ethics Panel Chairs are:
- Prof Sam Porter - Science, Technology & Health Research Ethics Panel
- Prof Jonathan Parker - Social Sciences & Humanities Research Ethics Panel
PGR Students and Staff can also have informal discussions to discuss initial concerns with the following:
- Appropriate Faculty Member or Deputy Dean for Research and Professional Practice - Prof Lee Miles (BUBS); Prof Scott Wright (FMC): Prof Jane Murphy (FHSS) & Prof Tiantian Zhang (FST)
- Heads of Doctoral College - Dr Fiona Knight and Dr Julia Taylor (PGRs and/or Supervisors of PGRs)
UK Research Integrity Office
Bournemouth University has been a subscriber to the UK Research Integrity Office since 2019 (Ref: BOU-01).
What is the UK Research Integrity Office?
The UK Research Integrity Office is an independent advisory body, offering support to the public, researchers, and organisations to further good practice in research. A registered charity, it was created in response to longstanding and growing concerns about the reliability of research.
UKRIO is the UK’s most experienced research integrity organisation. Since 2006, it has provided independent and expert support across all disciplines of research, from the arts and humanities to the life sciences. It works to enhance good research practice, address mistakes, questionable practices and fraud, and improve the culture and systems of UK research.
What is research integrity?
Research integrity is another name for ‘good research practice’. It’s the conduct of research in ways that promote trust and confidence in all aspects of the research process.
Research integrity covers all research and the whole lifecycle, from the initial idea and design of the project through the conduct of the research and its dissemination. It also covers making sure that environments and systems for research safeguard and enhance good research practice, rather than hinder it – often described as ‘research culture‘.
What can UKRIO offer researchers?
Education – guidance and support through publications on research practice, training activities and a comprehensive events programme
Sharing best practice – clear and honest development for the research community through facilitated discussions about key issues, informing national and international initiatives, and working to improve research culture.
Expert guidance – confidential and expert advice and guidance, as a proactive service for both institutions and individual researchers, as well as in response to requests for assistance.
Get confidential advice on research integrity and research culture issues for example achieving good practice, publication ethics, research misconduct, research ethics, conflicts of interest and improving research culture.