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ENG599 Research Skills Guide: Responsibilities of researchers

This guide is designed to support students completing ENG599

Introduction

Charles Sturt University is committed to the responsible conduct of research. As a student it is expected that your research is to be conducted responsibly, ethically and with integrity.

This page will help understand the requirements you need to follow, including

  • Authorship
  • Ethics
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Research Data Management
  • Academic Integrity

Authorship

An author as an individual who:

  • Has made significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to research and its output, and
  • agrees to be listed as an author (NMHRC, 2018).

Charles Sturt has a number of documents that govern the way Authorship is managed and assigned for researchers at the university.

The Research Authorship Policy outlines how authorship of research outputs by university staff, students and their collaborators are determined and recorded. It includes information on 

  • Responsibilities of the University
  • Responsibilities of the Researchers
  • Determining Authorship and Author order
  • How to manage disputes and conflicts

The University follows the NHMRC, ARC and UA's Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of ResearchIf there are any conflicts and disputes regarding authorship, researchers may discuss and seek advice from a Research Integrity Advisor if they are unable to resolve the dispute in a collegial way.

The NHMRC, ARC and UA also have a publication Authorship: A guide supporting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research that may also assist researchers in this area.

Research Ethics and Compliance

As a researcher you my ensure that you align with the University's principle of respect for research participants, the wider community, animals and the environment. To help with compliance in these areas, the University has established six compliance committees. These committees review research and teaching activities across the university to ensure they comply with a number of ethics codes.

If you are working with animals, human participants, chemical, biohazard materials, radiation or goods, services and technologies that could have applications in matters of defence, you will need to receive approval for your research before research commences, if this is not sought, misconduct may be applied. The ethics committees at Charles Sturt have their own websites, with information and instructions on how researchers can comply. A brief review of each committee is below.

  • The Animal Care and Ethics Committee ensure the welfare of animals is maintained in accordance with the Australian Code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (Cth).
  • The Human Research Ethics Committee monitors the teaching and research activities that involve human participants. The governing document they follow is the National Statement on the Ethical Conduct in Human Research.
  • The Institutional Biosafety Committee, monitors the activities and facilities related to hazardous biological agents. They ensure compliance with Gene Technology Act 2000 (Cth).
  • The Radiation Safety Committee monitors compliance with all relevant radiation legislation and ensures safety measures are maintained across the University.
  • The Chemical Safety Committee oversees chemicals management and handling in teaching and research activities at the University.
  • The Defence Trade Control Committee ensures research undertaken at the University complies with the  Defence Trade Control Act 2012 (Cth) and provides oversite of the Defence Trade Control Act 2012 – Compliance and Administration Policy.

Conflict of Interest

“A conflict of interest exists in a situation where an independent observer might reasonably conclude that the professional actions of a person are or may be unduly influenced by other interests. This refers to a financial or non-financial interest which may be a perceived, potential or actual conflict of interest” (NHMRC 2018).

As a researcher at Charles Sturt, you are expected to disclose and manage actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest. The University has developed the Conflict of Interest Procedure to provide guidance. The procedure provides steps to follow and examples of conflicts of interest.

When developing your research project, you should include any actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest and how these will be managed.

Research Data Management

Data is a valuable asset to both the researcher and the University. You should consider the appropriate generation, collection, access, use, analysis, disclosure, storage, retention, disposal, sharing and re-use of data and information.

The University has an Intellectual Property Policy and a Research Data Management Policy. These along with the NHMRC's Management of Data and Information in Research guide provide good guidance of researcher expectations and requirements.

The Engineering topic tree topic - Research Data Managment, will step you through the ins and outs and best practice of Research data management.

Academic integrity

Charles Sturt has an Academic Integrity Policy which applies to all staff involved in academic work and all students. Academic integrity includes the concepts of 

  • plagarism
  • cheating and contract cheating
  • collusion

The University has developed an a Academic Integrity course as part of your enrolment available via the Student Portal. If you have not yet completed the course, we recommend you do.

Glossary

NHMRC - National Health and Medical Research Council

ARC - Australian Research Council

UA - Universities Australia

References

NHMRC, ARC & UA. (2018). Guide to managing and investigating potential breaches of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council.

Charles Sturt University acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which its campuses are located, paying respect to Elders, both past and present, and extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.

Charles Sturt University is an Australian University, TEQSA Provider Identification: PRV12018. CRICOS Provider: 00005F.