Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research

New UK guidance on good research conduct


Research Councils UK has published new RCUK Policy and guidelines on governance of good research conduct (PDF). The new document replaces the RCUK Policy and Code of Conduct on the Governance of Good Research Conduct, published in July 2009, and was developed after a wide consultation with partners across the higher education and research sector. It covers the promotion of good research conduct, including good conduct in peer review, the need for appropriate training and development, what constitutes unacceptable research conduct, and the investigation and reporting of unacceptable research conduct.

Misrepresentation is clearly stated as unacceptable research conduct alongside fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism. Examples of misrepresentation given in the document include:

  • Misrepresentation of data, for example suppression of relevant findings and/or data, or knowingly, recklessly or by gross negligence, presenting a flawed interpretation of data
  • Undisclosed duplication of publication, including undisclosed duplicate submission of manuscripts for publication
  • Misrepresentation of interests, including failure to declare material interests either of the researcher or of the funders of the research
  • Misrepresentation of qualifications and/or experience, including claiming or implying qualifications or experience which are not held
  • Misrepresentation of involvement, such as inappropriate claims to authorship and/or attribution of work where there has been no significant contribution, or the denial of authorship where an author has made a significant contribution

Guidelines listed on the EQUATOR Network website should help researchers and research organisations comply with the principles outlined in the RCUK guidance.

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