Principles of Research Integrity

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As a world-class comprehensive university with research activities spanning all major disciplines, the University of Hong Kong realises the vital importance of research integrity.  All members of the University must observe the highest standards of professional conduct and must comply with the following principles of research integrityin pursuing their research activities:

Should I be the “whistleblower”?

By |November 2nd, 2016|Categories: Accountability, Objectivity, Reporting Irresponsible Research Practices|

In real life it is not easy for research misconduct to come to light. This is because details of how research is conducted are often known only to the people who work on it. And

The importance of formal procedures to deal with allegations of research misconduct

By |August 30th, 2016|Categories: Abuse of Data, Accountability, Case Studies, Plagiarism and Self-plagiarism, Proper Data Handling, Publication-related Conduct, Reporting Irresponsible Research Practices, Research Misconduct|Tags: , , |

Professor Richard Epstein (University of Chicago Law School) has written an article in which he emphasises the importance of "established and settled institutional arrangements" (rather than "sloppy and ad hoc procedures") to investigate allegations of research misconduct

Is peer review confidentiality overridden when the author is suspected of misconduct?

By |August 29th, 2016|Categories: Accountability, Case Studies, Duty of Care, Publication-related Conduct, Reporting Irresponsible Research Practices|Tags: , , , , |

The following case study was published by the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics): Editor A wrote to editor B, indicating that one of the reviewers of a paper submitted to Journal A contained material that

HKU Policy on Research Integrity: Authorship Criteria

By |April 26th, 2016|Categories: Accountability, Acknowledgement, Improper Ascription of Authorship, Policies, Principles of Research Integrity, Publication-related Conduct|Tags: , , |

The HKU Policy on Research Integrity covers authorship criteria in the following sections: Section 1 ('Principle of Research Integrity'): All members of the University must observe the highest standards of professional conduct and must comply

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“Excellence and integrity are inextricably linked.”

By |December 5th, 2016|Categories: Acknowledgement, Discussions, Honesty|

One of the most important instrumental values of maintaining research integrity is to produce excellent research. Giving proper credit encourages capable researchers to make the best of their potential. Following strict data handling procedures enhances

Does protecting human participants privacy open a backdoor to research misconduct?

By |November 2nd, 2016|Categories: Abuse of Data, Honesty, Research Misconduct|

Karen, a psychology student, conducted a research project that involved the interview of a number of human participants. In compliance with the university rules on protection of human subjects in research, she assured the subjects

How should researchers procure goods and services?

By |August 29th, 2016|Categories: Case Studies, Disclosure of Conflict of Interest, Honesty, Non-Disclosure of Potential Conflict of Interest, Objectivity|Tags: , |

Prof. Mark Israel (Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services) has kindly given permission for this hypothetical case study to be reproduced. Simon has been awarded a grant by the UGC. The research will require him

What is ‘salami-slicing’ and is it acceptable?

By |August 28th, 2016|Categories: Honesty, Principles of Research Integrity, Publication-related Conduct, Responsible Conduct of Research|Tags: , , |

The Office of Research Integrity's Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research (which is referred to in Section 2 of the HKU Policy on Research Integrity) explains the phenomenon commonly known as 'salami-slicing' as follows: "Salami

Does your CV have research integrity?

By |August 8th, 2016|Categories: Honesty, Publication-related Conduct|Tags: , , |

According to the HKU Policy on Research Integrity (Section 2.2, 'Publication-related conduct'): "Publication of the same (or substantial parts of the same) work in different journals is acceptable only with the consent of the editors

ICMJE Recommendations: Overlapping publications

By |August 6th, 2016|Categories: Honesty, Policies, Publication-related Conduct|Tags: |

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) has published detailed Recommendations on the issue of overlapping publications: 1. Duplicate Submission Authors should not submit the same manuscript, in the same or different languages, simultaneously

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Should I be the “whistleblower”?

By |November 2nd, 2016|Categories: Accountability, Objectivity, Reporting Irresponsible Research Practices|

In real life it is not easy for research misconduct to come to light. This is because details of how research is conducted are often known only to the people who work on it. And

Should you accept a funding opportunity limited by conditions imposed by the sponsor?

By |August 30th, 2016|Categories: Case Studies, Duty of Care, Objectivity|Tags: |

Professor Peter Miller and others apply the PERIL analysis to determine if a funding opportunity which is accompanied by conditions should be accepted. Case study: PERIL analysis of a funding opportunity limited by conditions imposed

How should researchers procure goods and services?

By |August 29th, 2016|Categories: Case Studies, Disclosure of Conflict of Interest, Honesty, Non-Disclosure of Potential Conflict of Interest, Objectivity|Tags: , |

Prof. Mark Israel (Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services) has kindly given permission for this hypothetical case study to be reproduced. Simon has been awarded a grant by the UGC. The research will require him

Should you accept conference honoraria/travel funding from a sponsor?

By |August 29th, 2016|Categories: Case Studies, Disclosure of Conflict of Interest, Non-Disclosure of Potential Conflict of Interest, Objectivity|Tags: , |

Professor Peter Miller (School of Psychology, Deakin University) and others argue in an article that researchers should be aware that their objectivity might be compromised if they accept honoraria and travel funds from a sponsor

Should you peer review an article written by a former colleague?

By |August 29th, 2016|Categories: Case Studies, Disclosure of Conflict of Interest, Non-Disclosure of Potential Conflict of Interest, Objectivity, Plagiarism and Self-plagiarism, Publication-related Conduct|Tags: , , |

Prof. Mark Israel (Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services) has kindly given permission for this hypothetical case study to be reproduced. Karen is asked by a journal to review an article written by a former

How to decide whether to accept sponsorship funding: PERIL analysis

By |August 22nd, 2016|Categories: Case Studies, Disclosure of Conflict of Interest, Duty of Care, Good Research Practices, Non-Disclosure of Potential Conflict of Interest, Objectivity|Tags: , |

In an article published in 2007, Peter Adams proposed a decision-making framework known as 'PERIL'. Peter Miller summarises Adams' PERIL framework as follows: Purpose refers to the degree to which purposes are divergent between funder

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No tobacco industry funding of education and research activities in Hong Kong tertiary institutions (in relation to Research Integrity)

By |March 22nd, 2017|Categories: Case Studies, Discussions, Duty of Care|

HUCOM (Heads of Universities Committee) took a decision back in 2002 that tertiary institutions would not accept tobacco industry funding of education and research activities. Staff have been advised accordingly since then. Source: HKU Research

Dimensions of culturally sensitive research

By |March 14th, 2017|Categories: Discussions, Duty of Care|

In an increasingly internationalised academic environment, it is common that you may encounter subjects of another cultural background. Research ethics call for a culturally sensitive approach to this kind of research, because shared context can

Social media research: does it constitute human subjects research?

By |March 14th, 2017|Categories: Discussions, Duty of Care|

For research involving human subjects, issues of privacy, confidentiality and consent will more readily arise and researchers will need to comply with the relevant regulations. Thus to tell whether a project constitutes human subjects research

Ethical issues around social media research

By |December 5th, 2016|Categories: Duty of Care, Good Research Practices|

It is widely recognised that research involving human subjects should be given extra care. However the line seems muddled when it comes to research on social media posts. On the one hand, the posts are

How to ensure safety in sensitive research?

By |December 5th, 2016|Categories: Care and Safety, Duty of Care, Good Research Practices|

Sensitive research refers to those the discussion of which tends to generate an emotional response, such as traumatic experience or death or sex. To ensure safety, both in the physical and psychological sense, for all

Why is keeping original records so important?

By |November 2nd, 2016|Categories: Duty of Care, Good Research Practices, Proper Data Handling|

Data recording and protection are discussed specially in the Office of Research Integrity’s Introduction to Responsible Conduct of Research. (s.6b & s. 6c) It details how hardcopy or electronic evidence should be recorded and stored

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“Excellence and integrity are inextricably linked.”

By |December 5th, 2016|Categories: Acknowledgement, Discussions, Honesty|

One of the most important instrumental values of maintaining research integrity is to produce excellent research. Giving proper credit encourages capable researchers to make the best of their potential. Following strict data handling procedures enhances

HKU Policy on Research Integrity: Plagiarism

By |August 12th, 2016|Categories: Acknowledgement, Plagiarism and Self-plagiarism|Tags: , , |

Section 3.1 ('Plagiarism and self-plagiarism') of the HKU Policy on Research Integrity contains the following: ŸPlagiarism is direct copying of textual material or wilful use of other people’s data and ideas, and presenting them as

Do the same plagiarism rules apply when courts copy a party’s submissions in the judgment?

By |August 12th, 2016|Categories: Acknowledgement, Plagiarism and Self-plagiarism|Tags: |

In Cojocaru v British Columbia Women’s Hospital and Health Centre [2013] 2 S.C.R. 357, the trial judge's decision copied significant parts of the Plaintiffs' submissions (although he did not accept all of their submissions). The

The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity: Plagiarism

By |August 12th, 2016|Categories: Acknowledgement, Plagiarism and Self-plagiarism, Policies, Principles of Research Integrity|Tags: , , |

The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (jointly published by the European Science Foundation and ALL European Academies (ALLEA)), and to which the HKU Policy on Research Integrity makes reference in Section 2) defines

How do you agree on authorship with fellow researchers?

By |July 20th, 2016|Categories: Acknowledgement, Case Studies, Improper Ascription of Authorship|Tags: , , |

Prof. Mark Israel (Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services) has kindly given permission for this hypothetical case study to be reproduced. You have been invited to join a multinational, multidisciplinary U21 collaborative team looking at

Should students offer co-authorship to their supervisors?

By |July 20th, 2016|Categories: Acknowledgement, Case Studies, Improper Ascription of Authorship, Nurturing Students, Principles of Research Integrity, Publication-related Conduct|Tags: , , |

Prof. Mark Israel (Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services) has kindly given permission for this hypothetical case study to be reproduced. Wing Hong is a PhD student. Following a suggestion from his supervisor, Maggy, he

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Seminar on Research Ethics by Lisa Webley (28 Feb 2017)

By |March 14th, 2017|Categories: Discussions, Good Research Practices, Nurturing Students|

  Please see the two PowerPoint slides below on the sessions on research ethics by Professor Lisa Webley. Harnessing the Research Ethics Process to Develop Rigorous, Original Research in Law Postgraduate Research Studies in Law:

Dialogue on Research Integrity by Zoë Hammatt

By |March 14th, 2017|Categories: Case Studies, Good Research Practices, Nurturing Students|

The following shows the printed materials in the lunchtime session Dialogue on Research Integrity by Ms Zoë Hammatt, a licensed attorney and a professional consultant on research integrity. This lunchtime session seeks to build upon

Useful resource: Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI)

By |August 30th, 2016|Categories: Case Studies, Nurturing Students|Tags: , , , |

CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) is an online research integrity and ethics training resource available to HKU staff and research postgraduate students (RPGs). Six courses are available to HKU staff and RPGs: Responsible Conduct of Research

Should students offer co-authorship to their supervisors?

By |July 20th, 2016|Categories: Acknowledgement, Case Studies, Improper Ascription of Authorship, Nurturing Students, Principles of Research Integrity, Publication-related Conduct|Tags: , , |

Prof. Mark Israel (Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services) has kindly given permission for this hypothetical case study to be reproduced. Wing Hong is a PhD student. Following a suggestion from his supervisor, Maggy, he

Useful resource: Association for Research Ethics (AfRE) ‘Case of the Month’

By |May 31st, 2016|Categories: Case Studies, Nurturing Students|Tags: , , |

The Association for Research Ethics (AfRE) publishes a 'Case of the Month' on its website (http://arec.org.uk/policy-and-guidance/ask-the-chair/). This may be a useful resource for legal researchers seeking guidance on the ethical issues to take into account.  

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All researchers of the University must be committed to the principle of honesty in conducting research and in communicating research findings to the research community and the public.  Honesty is required in presenting research goals and intentions, and in reporting procedures and findings.  Such presentation and reporting must be full and fair.  Objectivity of research requires maintenance of accuracy in the collection and reporting of data.  Conclusions must be based on verifiable facts, and researchers should be impartial and be as transparent as possible (notwithstanding mindful of the secrecy requirement in filing of patents and know-hows) in the handling of data.  Research findings should be made accessible to the research community for verification.  All researchers have a duty of care to the human research participants, the animals, and the environment under study.  They must be fair in giving credit for the work of other researchers who participate in the research.  They have a responsibility in supervising and nurturing research students and early-career researchers, who will be researchers of the next generation.  Positions of seniority or responsibility should never be abused so as to put pressure on colleagues or research students, for example, to forgo their right to proper acknowledgement of their contribution to the research or publication in question, or to add persons who have not significantly and/or substantially contributed to the research onto the authorship list.

In pursuing their research activities, members of the University should adhere to good research practices; should not engage in research misconduct such as plagiarism, fabrication, falsification or unauthorised use of data, improper ascription of authorship, non-disclosure of potential conflict of interestetc. (see Section 3 below). Relevant ethical approval must be obtained before the commencement of data collection.  Misconduct or alleged misconduct in research will be dealt with in accordance with the Procedures for Dealing with Alleged Staff Misconduct in Research.