Research

Procedures for dealing with allegations of research misconduct

A focus on research of an international quality and the fostering of an outstanding research culture have positioned UWA as one of the best universities in Australia and in the top 150 in the world.

Research misconduct is a grave matter, and the University takes very seriously any allegations that it has occurred.

  1. Definition of research misconduct
  2. Protection of interested parties
  3. The investigation

Definition of research misconduct

"Misconduct" or "scientific misconduct" is taken here to mean fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research.

It includes the misleading ascription of authorship including the listing of authors without their permission, attributing work to others who have not in fact contributed to the research, and the lack of appropriate acknowledgement of work primarily produced by a research student/trainee or associate.

It does not include honest errors or honest differences in interpretation or judgements of data. Examples of research misconduct include, but are not limited to, the following.

Misappropriation

A researcher or reviewer shall not intentionally or recklessly:

  1. engage in plagiarism, which shall be understood to mean the presentation of the documentation words or ideas of another as his or her own, without attribution appropriate for the medium of presentation
  2. make use of any information in breach of any duty of confidentiality associated with the review of any manuscript or grant application
  3. intentionally omit reference to the relevant published work of others for the purpose of inferring personal discovery of new information.

Interference

A researcher or reviewer shall not intentionally and without authorisation take or sequester or materially damage any research-related property of another, including, but not limited to the apparatus, reagents, biological materials, writings, data, hardware, software, or any other substance or device used or produced in the conduct of research.

Misrepresentation

A researcher or reviewer shall not with intent to deceive, or in reckless disregard for the truth:

  • state or present a material or significant falsehood
  • omit a fact so that what is stated or presented as a whole states or presents a material or significant falsehood.

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Protection of interested parties

Deans and Heads of School/s should be available to advise on integrity in research.

Their task should be to give confidential advice to staff and to research students/trainees about what constitutes research misconduct, the rights and responsibilities of a potential complainant, and the procedures for dealing with allegations of research misconduct within the University.

Allegations of research misconduct require very careful handling. When an allegation is made, the protection of all interested parties is essential. These interested parties include:

  • the person bringing the allegation
  • the person against whom the allegation is made
  • staff, students and trainees working with persons making an allegation, or with persons against whom an allegation is made
  • journals and other media reporting research subject to suspected, alleged, or demonstrated research misconduct
  • funding bodies supporting persons or research involved
  • the public.

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The investigation

Procedures involving the investigation of misconduct or serious misconduct shall for:

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