Research misconduct

What is research misconduct?

Under the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (ACRCR) a complaint or allegation relates to research misconduct if it involves all of the following:

  • an alleged breach of the ACRCR
  • intent and deliberation, recklessness or gross and persistent negligence
  • serious consequences, such as false information on the public record, or adverse effects on research participants, animals or the environment.

The University defines research misconduct in the Code as:

"...fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or other academically dishonest practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific and scholarly 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 lack of appropriate acknowledgment 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

The ACRCR states:
"There are many ways in which researchers may deviate from the standards and provisions of this Code, including but not limited to:

What is a breach of the Code?

A breach is a deviation from the Code or ACRCR and includes unacceptable research practice such as:

  • breach of ethics approval
  • non-compliance with regulatory or legal requirements
  • failure to conduct research in a responsible manner.

A breach may be appropriately remedied by counselling or advice within the institution. Repeated or continuing breaches may constitute research misconduct.

Does a conflict of interest (external interest) constitute misconduct?

All conflicts of interest and external interests must be declared and managed in accordance with the University’s External Interests Policy. Conflicts of interest or external interests that are not appropriately declared and managed may constitute research misconduct.