The Research Integrity Hub promotes the responsible conduct of research, provides guidance and advice on research ethics and integrity and investigates complaints and allegations related to the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (Research Code).
Conducting Responsible Research
The Research Code outlines the principles of responsible research practice:
- Honesty in the development, undertaking and reporting of research
- Rigour in the development, undertaking and reporting of research
- Transparency in declaring interests and reporting research methodology, data and findings
- Fairness in the treatment of others
- Respect for research participants, the wider community, animals and the environment
- Recognition of the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be engaged in research that affects or is of particular significance to them
- Accountability for the development, undertaking and reporting of research
- Promotion of responsible research practices
How do I conduct responsible research?
It's important to think about research integrity at every stage of a research project, from developing your research idea to close-out of the project.
Researchers are expected to meet the principles of responsible research conduct as described in the Research Code. Below are some examples of a few things to keep in mind throughout the lifecycle of a research project. For more information on any of these topics, navigate to the Resources tab for links to relevant La Trobe University policies and procedures.
Developing your research hypothesis
- Ensure that the ethics principles of research merit and integrity, justice, beneficence and respect are applied to human research
- Ensure that the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) are considered at all stages of research involving animals
- Engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and respect their legal rights and local laws, customs and protocols
Planning your research project
- Adopt methods appropriate to the aims of the research
- Identify actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest
- Develop a data management plan for the proposed research
Obtaining approvals and licences
- Obtain appropriate ethics approvals prior to starting research involving humans or animals
- Obtain appropriate approvals and licences prior to conducting research involving genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
- Ensure appropriate agreements are in place, as required (e.g. material/data transfer agreements, collaboration agreements, confidentiality agreements etc.)
Conducting your research
- Provide appropriate guidance and mentorship on responsible research conduct to researchers, including students, under your supervision
- Comply with relevant laws, regulations, standards, ethics guidelines and institutional policies related to responsible research conduct
- Adhere to the conditions of relevant licences and approvals during the course of the research project
- Spend grant funding responsibly, according to the funding agreement
- Retain complete records of all research including research data and primary materials
Disseminating your findings
- Ensuring that conclusions are justified by the results
- Disseminate research findings responsibly, accurately and broadly and, where necessary, correct the record in a timely manner
- Cite and acknowledge other relevant work appropriately and accurately
- Ensure that authors of research outputs meet the required authorship criteria
- Acknowledge those who have contributed to the research
- Disclose actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest
- Ensure research data, records and primary materials are maintained and appropriately destroyed once the retention period has passed
Lastly, regardless of the stage of the research lifecycle, it is important to:
- Ensure that peer review of grant applications and research outputs is conducted in a way that is fair, rigorous and maintains confidentiality
- Support a culture of responsible research conduct at La Trobe and in your field of practice
- Undertake and promote education and training in responsible research conduct
- Report suspected breaches of the Research Code to the LTU Research Integrity Hub
For more information, please e-mail email@example.com.
Research Integrity Advisors
Recruitment for the Research Integrity Advisor (RIA) network is currently underway. More information about the network will be available soon.
RIAs will be part of championing research integrity at La Trobe and will be involved in initiatives to support a positive research culture. The RIA network consists of staff members with research experience who support and promote research integrity at La Trobe University. RIAs will have a sound understanding of responsible research conduct and will provide confidential advice in a professional, discreet and sensitive manner. If you have a question or concern relating to the responsible conduct of research, RIAs are your first point of call.
RIAs will be able to:
- Provide advice and answer questions related to research integrity
- Direct you to helpful resources
- Help you make an informed decision if you are thinking about lodging a complaint with the Research Integrity Hub
Importantly, RIAs will not make contact with the person who is the subject of an allegation and will not be involved in assessing or investigating concerns about research conduct.
Contact details for our RIAs will be available online and we encourage you to reach out to them for an informal discussion if you have queries or concerns about research integrity.
Reporting Research Integrity Concerns
Who can answer my questions about research integrity?
If you have a question about the conduct of research at La Trobe University, we suggest reaching out to a Research Integrity Advisor (contact details will be available soon). La Trobe will have a network of Research Integrity Advisors at all levels and across all Schools - feel free to contact any Advisor you feel comfortable speaking to. You can also contact the Research Integrity Hub by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I lodge a complaint about research conduct?
To lodge a complaint about a potential breach of the Research Code involving a staff member at La Trobe, please contact the Research Integrity Hub by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
If your complaint about a potential breach of the Research Code involves a student enrolled in a higher degree (e.g. a masters degree, professional doctorate or PhD) please send an e-mail to the Chair of the Board of Graduate Research at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note, if the concern relates to a student who is also a staff member, and the complaint relates to the work they are doing as a staff member, then the matter can be reported to the Research Integrity Hub.
Research Integrity at La Trobe
- Research Governance Policy
- Research Integrity Policy
- Research Misconduct Procedure
- Research - Higher Degree Student Misconduct Procedure
Research Code and Supporting Guides
Developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Research Council and Universities Australia, the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research articulates the principles and responsibilities that underpin the conduct of research in Australia.
The Research Code is supported by guides on the following topics that will encourage responsible research conduct:
- Management of Data and Information in Research
- Peer Review
- Disclosure of Interests and Management of Conflicts of Interest
- Collaborative Research
- Publication and Dissemination of Research
Please follow the link to the NHMRC website to download a copy of the guides.
Training available on the Research Education and Development (RED) website
- Introductory Module on Research Integrity
- Workshop and Seminar Program
- Graduate Research Supervision Induction
- Using iThenticate
Authorship and Research Outputs
Records and Research Data Management
Ethics and Biosafety
- Research Human Ethics Procedure
- Research Animal Ethics Procedure
- Research Biosafety and Biosecurity Policy
- Research Biosafety and Biosecurity Procedure
- Research Clinical Trials Policy
Other Policies and Procedures