Integrity in Scholarly Research
Memorial University of Newfoundland is committed to excellence in scholarly activities and as such is committed to ensuring that the highest standards of ethical conduct and scholarly integrity are understood and practiced.
To ensure that the University community understands and practices the highest standards of integrity in pursuing scholarly research.
All persons who pursue scholarly research including students, faculty members and staff of Memorial University and all research conducted by those persons regardless of the geographic location of the research.
Where required, the minimum requirements set out in the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research (the Framework), as it is amended from time to time, must be met in the conduct of research at Memorial University. The Framework describes Agency policies and requirements related to applying for and managing Agency funds, performing research, and disseminating results, and the processes that Institutions and Agencies follow in the event of an allegation of a breach of an Agency policy. The Agencies require that all researchers applying for, or in receipt of, Agency funds comply with the Agency Policy.
In the case of students, the application of this policy is subject to the appropriate Procedures Governing Academic Misconduct for Undergraduate Students and Academic Behaviour for Graduate Students and, where required, the minimum requirements set out in the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research (the Framework).
This policy should be read in conjunction with the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research and the policy statements of the U.S. National Institutes of Health on integrity in research, the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, second edition (2010), and Memorial University policies on research with humans, research using animals or the procedures involving biohazards or radiation hazards.
1.0 Integrity in Scholarly Research
1.1 Scholarly activity varies among the disciplines. It includes the actual conduct of research as well as publication of original work, artistic or engineering design, and performance in the arts or in professional areas.
1.2 As a scholarly community, the University and all its individual members have a responsibility to maintain the highest standards of scholarship, specifically:
1.3 The researcher is responsible for the safe storage of primary data resulting from scholarly activity. He/she will ensure that such material will be accessible (except where such access could violate the anonymity of subjects or the confidentiality of data) for a period of five years unless a funding council or agency specifies a longer time.
1.4 In the event of an investigation taking place under this policy, an investigator making a claim that data were accidentally destroyed must have corroboration.
1.5 When a researcher leaves the University, he/she must arrange access and safe storage of records with his or her immediate supervisor.
1.6 No member of the University community should exploit students. Specific examples of exploitation of students would be:
2.0 Gross misconduct in academic research
2.1 All accusations of misconduct in academic research are taken seriously, and dealt with under the PROCEDURE FOR INVESTIGATING REPORTS OF MISCONDUCT IN RESEARCH.
2.2 Gross misconduct in academic research means:
3.0 Responsibilities of personnel who supervise research and of academic administrators
3.1 Senior academic administrators and Faculty members engaged in scholarly activity are responsible for modeling ethical behaviour, emphasizing the importance of integrity in research and translating these ideas into practice.
3.2 Academic administrators will create a climate for ethical practice in scholarly work by promoting widespread general awareness and knowledge of ethical guidelines, by encouraging openness in discussion of ongoing research, and by appropriately assigning responsibility for students, researchers and large research teams.
3.3 Research supervisors will impart to research staff, students and postdoctoral fellows their responsibilities to maintain the highest levels of integrity. Research supervisors will ensure that research staff and students have adequate advice and instruction about experimental design, data recording and retention, and its interpretation. While there are some universal expectations for such processes, it is recognized that there are differences in disciplines and investigative protocols which the responsible investigator can best impart to staff and trainees. Research supervisors should promote full discussion of ongoing research within research groups and teams.
3.4 University administrators or their delegates will deal expeditiously and fairly with all allegations of academic fraud following the PROCEDURE FOR INVESTIGATING REPORTS OF MISCONDUCT IN RESEARCH or more detailed procedures that may be found in collective agreements covering some individuals.
3.5 Any allegations involving University administrators will be dealt with following the appropriate procedures, with the exception that if an allegation involves the President, the allegation will be directed to the Chair of the Board of Regents who will then follow the procedures.
3.6 Investigations will be conducted as quietly and confidentially as possible. In such cases where an investigation results in the President taking disciplinary action, any publicity associated with the investigation or the discipline will not take place until all appeals within the University are exhausted (including receipt of the arbitral decision if the recommended discipline has been grieved and proceeds to arbitration or until after the deadline for advancing the grievance to arbitration has passed).
3.7 The University administration will promptly disclose all confirmed misconduct to funding agencies, collaborating scientists and institutions, journal editors, professional associations, licensing boards, and potential employers who request oral or written references, regardless of any potential or perceived adverse publicity.
3.8 In cases where a funding agency has been informed of an ongoing investigation the administration will promptly inform the funding body of the outcome of the investigation and of any discipline subject to the considerations above.
4.0 Protection of Complainants
4.1 The President will take whatever action he or she deems appropriate in the circumstance to protect persons who make allegations of scholarly misconduct from reprisals.
4.2 The University shall use its best efforts:
a) to minimize disruption to the scholarly activities of a complainant and of any third party whose research may be affected by the securing of evidence relevant to the allegation during the course of the formal investigation; and
b) to ensure that any such disruption not negatively affect future decisions concerning the careers of those referenced in (a) above.