FAQ

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, 2019).
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 instances 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;
  • Detailed and confidential records should be maintained on all aspects of the procedure; and
  • Measures should be taken to ensure that investigations are carried through to a conclusion. 

 

Fairness

  • Investigation of research misconduct allegations 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 and 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 a right of review.

 

Uniformity

  • Procedures for dealing with misconduct should be articulated in sufficient detail to ensure the transparency and consistency of the process.

 

Confidentiality

  •  The procedure should be conducted in a confidential manner, subject to certain disclosure requirements 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 disclosure to third parties should be made on a confidential basis

 

No Detriment

  • Anyone who is the subject of a research misconduct allegation 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, in consultation with the respondent of the allegation, should be taken when an allegation of research misconduct is not upheld. 

 

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.

What can I do if I have any concerns related to Research Integrity ?

We realise that often people have concerns and do not know where to turn to. These concerns may be serious or not, and you can find below some of the ways in which you can raise your concern with us. You can make informal contact with us - remembering that informal contact does not constitute raising a complaint. We welcome your contact and be assured that it will be treated confidentially. 

What to do if you have a concern:

  • Talk to one of the RI Champions – not necessarily from your own School
  • Talk to your Head of School / Institute Director / College Principal
  • Send us an email
  • Complete an official Research Integrity Complaint form
  • Make an anonymous report (Note: This will not result in the commencement of an investigation)
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.

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.

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.

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