Upholding research integrity

At ACU, our research ethics, integrity and compliance frameworks ensure that research is conducted responsibly, ethically, and in compliance with all relevant codes, guidelines and legislation.

What is research integrity?
Research integrity refers to the observance of principles and standards which are essential in ensuring the responsible conduct of research.

In Australia, the standard for research integrity is set by the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, and at ACU this document is supported by the ACU Research Code of Conduct. Failure to comply with, or deviation from, these codes, and any associated legislation, policies or guidelines, constitutes a ‘breach’, and serious breaches are referred to as ‘research misconduct’.
How to recognise and report breaches
The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and the ACU Research Code of Conduct provide detailed guidance on responsible research conduct and, conversely, the sorts of practices that would qualify as breaches.

All ACU researchers and Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students should be familiar with these documents, and anyone who becomes aware of a potential breach has an obligation to report it.

In the first instance, we recommend contacting an ACU research integrity advisor (RIA) to discuss your concerns. Alternatively, you can seek advice from the Research Ethics & Integrity team (REI).

More information on the complaints process, as well as RIA and REI contact details, are available on the Research Services webpage.
How ACU deals with breaches

Once a potential breach is identified, the Research Ethics & Integrity team will assess it to determine the best approach.

Potential outcomes include anything from dismissal, to local resolution (usually counselling or retraining of the researchers involved), to referral to a more in-depth investigation process, and referral to other institutional processes.

The ACU Research Code of Conduct – Complaints and Investigations Procedure provides a framework for the fair handling of complaints and investigations, including a detailed step-by-step outline of the complaints and investigations process.

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