UCD Research

UCDResearch Integrity


UCD Research Integrity

University College Dublin is committed to the promotion of an environment which maintains the highest standards of integrity in relation to its educational mission and research activity. It is university policy that all those engaged with research in UCD, including all researchers, students, technical, administrative and research support staff:

- maintain the highest standards of rigour and integrity in all aspects of research; and

- ensure that research is conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional obligations and standards.

UCD commits to


supporting a research environment that is underpinned by a culture of integrity and based on good governance, best practice and support for the development of researchers


working to strengthen the integrity of research and to review progress regularly and openly.


promoting research integrity and incorporating research integrity into learning, training and mentoring opportunities which support the development of researchers;


using transparent, robust and fair processes to deal with allegations of research misconduct should they arise;

In support of this UCD has an approved Research Integrity Policy and a Procedure for the Investigation of Misconduct in Research.

Policy and Procedures


Authorship disputes may be investigated under the UCD Research Misconduct procedures. However, UCD has provided a number of resources, to provide clarity on authorship issues and thus try to prevent such disputes arising.

First and foremost, UCD has an approved Authorship Policy. This policy states “An author must have made substantial intellectual contributions to the document, including all of the following four elements:

  1. Planning and Execution: contributing significantly to the conception, design and/or execution of the work, and / or the analysis or interpretation of data; and
  2. Writing: drafting, reviewing and/or revising the intellectual content of the manuscript; and
  3. Approval: approving the manuscript to be published; and
  4. Accountability: addressing any questions that arise, either before or after publication, around the accuracy or integrity of those aspects of the work for which the author is responsible.”

Ensuring that there is clear communication between all authors and at all stages of the paper preparation, including review and publication, is the best way of preventing any authorship disputes.

In addition, one useful method of accrediting contribution to a paper, is to use the CReditT method of Contributor Role Taxonomy, which has been widely adopted across a range of publishers. “CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) is high-level taxonomy, including 14 roles, that can be used to represent the roles typically played by contributors to scientific scholarly output. The roles describe each contributor’s specific contribution to the scholarly output.” A handy guide to the contributor roles definitions can be found here.

The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) provides “leadership in thinking on publication ethics and provides practical resources to educate and support”. They have a large number of freely-available, searchable case studies on their website, outlining issues of authorship and contribution.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Research Integrity?
Research Integrity relates to the performance of research to the highest standards of professionalism and rigour in accordance with the law and in the public interest.
What are the Principles of Research Integrity ?
  • Reliability in ensuring the quality of research, reflected in the design, the methodology, the analysis and the use of resources
  • Honesty in developing, undertaking, reviewing, reporting and communicating research in a transparent, fair, full and unbiased way
  • Respect for colleagues, research participants, society, ecosystems, cultural heritage and environment
  • Accountability for the research from idea to publication, for its management and organisation, for training, supervision and mentoring of team members, and for its wider impacts.
What is Research Misconduct ?
  • Fabrication of data: making up results and recording or reporting results that are known to be fabricated.
  • Falsification of data: manipulating research, materials, equipment or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
  • Plagiarism: the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit, including those obtained through confidential review of others' research proposals and manuscripts (as defined in the National Policy Statement on Ensuring Research Integrity in Ireland, 2014).
What are unacceptable practices ?

There are types of unacceptable practices which, while not as serious as the above in individual instances, may be in the aggregate potentially as damaging to the overall reputation and integrity of research and/or the researcher(s). Serious or repeated examples of such practices can constitute research misconduct. These practices include but are not confined to:

  • Data-related practices: e.g. not preserving primary data, poor data management and/or storage;
  • Publication-related practices: e.g. claiming undeserved authorship, denying authorship to contributors, artificially proliferating publications;
  • Personal behaviours: e.g. significant deficiencies in supervision of the next generation of researchers and scholars, inappropriate personal behaviour;
  • Financial and other malpractice: e.g. peer review abuse, non-disclosure of a conflict of interest, misrepresenting credentials; and/or
Research procedures: e.g., harmful or dangerous research methods.
What are the principles that underpin transparent, fair and effective procedures to deal with allegations of research misconduct ?

Integrity of the process

  • Investigations into potential research misconduct must be fair, comprehensive and conducted as expediently as is feasible without compromising accuracy, objectivity and thoroughness;
  • Those parties involved in the procedure must ensure that any interests they have which might constitute a conflict of interest are disclosed and managed; and
  • Detailed and confidential records should be maintained on all aspects of the procedure.



  • Investigation of potential research misconduct should be conducted in a manner that is fair to all parties and in accordance with relevant laws;
  • Persons accused of research misconduct must be given full details of the allegation(s) in writing allowed a fair process for responding and to have a representative or work colleague present for any meeting or interview associated with the investigation;
  • Proportionate action should be taken against persons found to have committed research misconduct; and
  • Any final decision that has adverse outcomes for a person shall be subject to the right of review.



  • Procedures for dealing with misconduct should be articulated in sufficient detail to ensure the transparency of the process and uniformity from one case to another.



  • The procedure should be conducted as confidentially as possible, in accordance with UCD's procedure for the investigation of misconduct in research;
  • If the university and/or its staff have legal obligations to inform third parties of research misconduct allegations, those obligations must be fulfilled at the appropriate time and through the correct mechanisms; and
  • Where possible, any required disclosure to third parties should be made on a confidential basis.


No Detriment

  • Anyone accused of research misconduct is presumed innocent;
  • No person should suffer any penalty before, during or after an investigation for making an allegation of research misconduct in good faith, but action should be taken against persons found to have made allegations in bad faith; and
  • Appropriate restorative action is taken when researchers are exonerated of an allegation of misconduct, in consultation with the exonerated party.


Equality Diversity & Inclusion

  • The procedures to investigate an allegation of research misconduct shall uphold the University's strategic commitment to Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and no individual under investigation shall be negatively impacted as a result of their membership of a group represented under the ten University EDI grounds.


Please see the "UCD Procedure for the Investigation of Misconduct in Research" document for full procedural details of any investigation into potential research misconduct.

Who is the Research Integrity Officer in UCD ?

The Research Integrity Officer is the person nominated by the University to receive allegations of research misconduct. The Research Integrity Officer in UCD is Professor Grace Mulcahy.

How do I contact the Research Integrity Officer in UCD ?

The Research Integrity Officer can be contacted at the email address rio@ucd.ie.

How do I report an allegation of misconduct in Research ?

Allegations of research misconduct, from within and outside UCD, should be sent to the Research Integrity Officer at the email address rio@ucd.ie.

The allegation must normally be made in a formal written submission supported by available evidence.

Please complete this form and submit to rio@ucd.ie.

Who is the Complainant ?

The Complainant is a person making allegations of research misconduct against one or more Respondents. It is also possible that there may be no identifiable Complainant, or that the University is the initiator of the process. If a number of persons come together to make a joint allegation, they shall constitute joint complainants.

Who is the Respondent ?

The Respondent is a person against whom allegations of research misconduct have been made.

How is an allegation of misconduct in Research Investigated ?

Detailed procedures for the investigation of misconduct in research are outlined in UCD's Procedure for the Investigation of Misconduct in Research.

Research Integrity Training

Is training in Research Integrity available in UCD ?
Yes. UCD is part of a National three-year pilot programme, providing online access to Research Integrity Training modules. Currently, a concise online training programme,(approximately 1 hour) and a standard online programme (approximately 5 hours), are available. The former is more suitable for experienced PIs, and the latter for PhD students, PDRAs, and early-career researchers. A 5 ECTS credit module, SCI50020, is also available on Blackboard/Brightspace for research graduate students in STEM disciplines.
How can I get access to the online Research Integrity training course ?
If you would like to undertake the online Research Integrity training course, please email your request including your full name to ritraining@ucd.ie.
I cannot get in to the Epigeum website to start the training. What can I do ?

You may not be able to access the Epigeum system, because you have not activated your account first, by clicking on the link that came on email from Epigeum. You will not be able to log in or reset your password if your account has not been activated. It is possible that the automatic e-mail from Epigeum went into your Junk Mail or Spam folder. Could you please check your Junk / Spam folders for the activation e-mail, which came from the email address: "technical@epigeum.com" and then click the activation link in this email.

If this still does not resolve your access problem (or you cannot locate the Epigeum email), please complete the technical support form for the Epigeum IT team at this link: www.epigeum.com/epigeum-technical-support/  and they will resolve your access issue (on this form (Q4), the link you use to access the course is: ‘https://impact.epigeum.com’)

Is Research Integrity Training compulsory?
A number of the Irish Funding Agencies have indicated that completion of research integrity training will, in the short to medium term, become an eligibility condition to hold an award and when applying for funding.
Can students access Research Integrity training ?

Yes. Currently, Research Degree students have a choice about which course they can take within UCD. Research Degree students in the sciences can undertake a Research Integrity Taught Module SCI50020, in which the online training is accompanied by face-to-face workshops with discussion of specific case studies. This module attracts five ECTS credits.

Other Research Degree Students can access the online training via the Research Integrity Training pages on the Graduate Studies website

Is Research Integrity training compulsory for Research Degree students ?

Yes. It is now compulsory that all graduate research students admitted after 31 August 2019 must satisfactorily complete research integrity training.


If you have completed a recognised Research Integrity training module (the appropriate Epigeum course), within two years before you started your UCD programme, then this may be sufficient to meet your degree requirement.  Please contact grb@ucd.ie with the appropriate certificate for further information.

What is the difference between the Research Integrity: Concise (UK version) and the Research Integrity: Concise (IRE version) ?

The UK version of the concise course references UK legislation and policies. The National Forum has provided input to develop an Irish version of the Concise course (IRE version), which is more relevant to the Irish legislative environment.

What is the difference between the Research Integrity: Concise (IRE version) and the Research Integrity (INT version) ?

The concise course (IRE version) is more suitable for experienced researchers with some prior training. The Research Integrity (INT version) is suitable for undergraduate, postgraduate, and early career researchers. You can select the course most appropriate to your level of experience and prior training.

Can I undertake a course that is relevant to my discipline ?

Yes. There are five versions of the Research Integrity (INT version) course, each targeted at researchers from different research areas: Biomedical Sciences, Natural and Physical Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Arts and Humanities

How long does the online training course take ?

The concise course (IRE version) has a course duration of 45-75 minutes. The Research Integrity (INT version) course has a core course duration of 5 hours, with a possible 25-30 hours of additional activities.

Can I get a certificate if I undertake Research Integrity Training ?

Yes. Once you successfully complete the quiz at the end of the online course and score over 80%, you can download and save your Research Integrity Training Certificate.

Contact UCD Research Integrity Officer (RIO)

Report + Support

Students, staff and visitors to UCD can now report issues of a Dignity & Respect nature anonymously through the UCD Report and Support tool.

Protected Disclosures Policy

UCD has a Protected Disclosures Policy. The purpose of this Policy is to encourage a Worker within the University to make a disclosure of any potential wrongdoing of which they become aware and for the University to provide protection for the person making the disclosure. This policy provides guidelines as to how and to whom a Protected Disclosure should be made.

Professor Grace Mulcahy

Research Integrity Officer

Professor Adrian Ottewill

Deputy Research Integrity Officer

Professor Pat Guiry

Review Officer

Jill Boyle

Research Integrity Administrator

Responsible Conduct of Research Committee (RCRC) Members:

College/Representative/Unit Nominee
College of Social Sciences & Law Associate Professor Gerald Mills
College of Engineering & Architecture Professor John Sheridan
College of Business Dr Dorota Piaskowska
College of Health & Agricultural Sciences Professor Brian Caulfield
College of Arts & Humanities Associate Professor Ivar McGrath
College of Science Dr Rainer Melzer
Students Union Conor Anderson
Research Ethics Committee Dr Joan Tiernan
Research Staff Association Dr Aparajita Banerjee
Research Integrity Officer Professor Grace Mulcahy
Deputy Research Integrity Officer Professor Adrian Ottewill
UCD Research & Innovation Jill Boyle