The Royal Veterinary College expects its employees to carry out research as outlined in the policy document Guidelines for Good Practice in Research. This sets out our commitment to research integrity and our expectations of those who conduct research in our name.

The Code of Practice for Research is an essential reference tool to support researchers in the conduct of research of the highest quality and standards. The Code is a vital part of our continuing work to encourage good conduct in research and to help to prevent misconduct, setting out the responsibilities and values critical to research, as well as providing practical guidance for researchers.

We expect the highest standards of research integrity from the researchers we support, irrespective of the sources of their funding, their area of research, their experience as researchers, whether they are lone scholars or members of a research team or where the research is to be conducted. 

We’re committed to fostering the highest standards of research integrity within a pioneering research culture that values knowledge creation for its own sake, for the potential benefits it promises humankind and for the ways it enriches higher learning.

Any allegation of scientific misconduct will be taken seriously by the College and will be thoroughly and promptly investigated. Scientific misconduct has been defined by the Royal College of Physicians as including piracy, plagiarism and fraud:

  • Piracy is the deliberate exploitation of ideas from others without acknowledgement
  • Plagiarism is the copying of ideas, data or text without permission or acknowledgement
  • Fraud involves deliberate deception, including the invention of data, and the omission from analysis and publication of inconvenient data

The College’s Policy and Procedure for dealing with allegations of research misconduct  will apply as appropriate for dealing with allegations of scientific misconduct.

As part of our commitment to the Concordat to support Research Integrity we have recently submitted to our Council, our 2020 Annual Report on Research Integrity.

Please also see the College's Public Interest Disclosure policy and procedures (commonly referred to as Whistleblowing Policy).

Named contact: Professor Jonathan Elliott, Vice Principal for Research and Innovation, is the College's named contact to act as a confidential liaison for whistleblowers or any other person wishing to raise concerns about the integrity of research being conducted at the College.  He is also the first point of contact if you would like more information on matters of research integrity.

Other useful documents: 

Code of practice for research: Promoting good practice and preventing misconduct (UKRIO): The Code of Practice for Research is an essential reference tool to support researchers and research organisations in the conduct of research of the highest quality and standards. Drawing upon UKRIO’s unique and extensive experiences in addressing good practice and misconduct in research, the Code provides key principles for researchers and research organisations alike. It also contains a Recommended Checklist for Researchers, a one-page, non-technical checklist for the key points of good practice in research.

Guidelines on promoting good practice and preventing misconductUK Research Integrity Office, 2009.

UKRIO Guidance for researchers on retractions in academic journals: An essential part of good practice in research, across all disciplines, is the honest, accurate and timely publication of its findings, commonly in academic journals. Since editors have a responsibility for ensuring the reliability of the material they publish, it may sometimes be necessary to retract a publication, for reasons including honest error and research misconduct.

Good practice in research: Internet-mediated research: This document is part of a series from the UK Research Integrity Office giving guidance on particular aspects of academic, scientific and medical research. It focusses on ethical considerations and other issues applicable to internet-mediated research. The guidance covers issues relevant to all disciplines of research but does not put forward a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

The concordat to support research integrity - published by Universities UK: This concordat seeks to provide a comprehensive national framework for good research conduct and its governance. It lists commitments to assure Government, the wider public and the international community over standards of research integrity in the UK. October 2019.

UKRI Policy and Guidelines on Governance of Good Research Conduct: This covers the promotion of good research conduct, including good conduct in peer review, the need for appropriate training and development, what constitutes unacceptable research conduct and the investigation and reporting of unacceptable research conduct.

European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity: the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA) - March 2017.
The Code covers:

  • fundamental principles of research integrity;
  • good research practices; and
  • violations of research integrity.

"Seven Reasons to Care about Integrity in Research": Science Europe (June 2015)

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