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HDR - Higher Degree Research Student Responsible Research Conduct Policy

 
This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions of this document click the link in the main navigation (grey) bar above or contact policies@une.edu.au for versions that expired pre 27 July 2015.

Section 1 - Rationale and Scope

(1) The University of New England is committed to maintaining a strong research culture based on integrity and professional conduct. Integral to this is the requirement that UNE's research trainees, including HDR students, meet universal standards of academic and research integrity by avoiding plagiarism, other forms of academic misconduct and research misconduct.

(2) As research trainees, HDR students are subject to the provisions of the UNE Code of Conduct for Research which applies the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. This spells out general requirements in terms of being familiar with legislative, regulatory and UNE policies, and specific requirements in terms of management of research data, research trainee supervision, publication and dissemination of research findings, authorship, peer review, conflicts of interest, collaborative research across institutions and breaches of the code and research misconduct. HDR students must familiarise themselves with the requirements under the Code of Conduct for Research, and what is considered to be research misconduct.

(3) Academic and Research Misconduct overlap for HDR students in that actions or omissions that are considered academic misconduct when a student is undertaking a coursework component also fall under research misconduct when it occurs in the development and writing of a research dissertation, thesis or other creative work. Plagiarism is included under both the definition for academic misconduct and for research misconduct, as it is one of the most frequently occurring forms of academic / research misconduct.

(4) If an allegation of plagiarism or academic misconduct is brought against a Higher Degree Research Student for acts or omissions occurring in a coursework component of their enrolment, the investigation will be conducted under the Student Coursework Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct Rules.

(5) If an allegation of a breach of the UNE Code of Conduct for Research or research misconduct is brought against a Higher Degree Research Student for acts or omissions occurring during the development and production of their thesis, research dissertation, or creative work, the investigation will be conducted under the UNE Code of Conduct for Research.

(6) This policy applies to UNE HDR students who are engaged in research at UNE, and to UNE Graduates for acts or omissions with respect to the research undertaken while they were while enrolled as HDR students at UNE.

(7) This policy will be applied to domestic and international institutions with which UNE has a partnership arrangement involving the supervision and examination under a UNE higher degree research program.

(8) This policy does not apply to

  1. Misconduct and/or Serious Misconduct by UNE Staff who are enrolled as HDR students at UNE (refer to Code of Conduct for Staff and the relevant Enterprise Agreement or equivalent),
  2. Student Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct committed by an HDR Student in the coursework component of a higher degree research (refer to the Student Coursework Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct Rules), and
  3. Student Behavioural Misconduct (refer to the Student Behavioural Misconduct Rules).

(9) This policy is to be read in conjunction with the related documents listed above.

Section 2 - Principles

(10) Higher Degree Research Students, as research trainees, are expected to display integrity and ethics in the conduct of their research, the development and production of their thesis, dissertation, or creative work, and in their behaviour with respect to others.

(11) Higher Degree Research Students are expected to take responsibility for their actions and omissions in their engagement with research, and to accept the consequences of these should they be in breach of legislative, regulatory or the University's requirements.

(12) Allegations of academic or research misconduct against an HDR student or graduate of UNE will be treated seriously, and subjects of allegations will be treated consistently with principles of procedural fairness.

(13) When an allegation of academic or research misconduct is brought against an HDR Student, each case will be treated on its merits with consideration given to the degree of intent, deliberation, recklessness or negligence, and whether there have been previous allegations against the particular HDR Student.

(14) Consistent with the distinction between inadvertent and intentional plagiarism applied in the Student Coursework Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct Rules, policy distinguishes between a simple breach of the UNE CCR and research misconduct.

Section 3 - Policy

(15) It is the responsibility of the University to

  1. set in place, and ensure the consistent and procedurally fair implementation of rules, policies and procedures relating to responsible academic and research conduct, as well as those relating to plagiarism, academic and behavioural misconduct,
  2. make available to all Supervisors and Higher Degree Research Students of UNE access to the national guidelines and University policies relating to responsible and ethical conduct of research, and those policies relating to plagiarism, academic and behavioural misconduct,
  3. ensure that all Staff and Students of UNE understand their rights and responsibilities with respect to these guidelines, rules, policies and procedures, and those policies relating to plagiarism, academic and behavioural misconduct,
  4. ensure that procedural fairness and proper administrative processes, consistent with legislative requirements, are maintained throughout the investigation, resolution and appeal arising from an investigation, of an alleged breach of national guidelines and/or University policies relating to responsible and ethical conduct of research, and those policies relating to plagiarism, academic and behavioural misconduct,
  5. maintain appropriate central records management of allegations of misconduct, their investigation and outcomes, consistent with legislative and University requirements
  6. ensure that University staff comply with legislative and the University's requirements for the management of misconduct records, and procedural fairness particularly in relation to privacy and confidentiality.

(16) It is the responsibility of HDR Supervisors to

  1. provide leadership by example, by complying with the relevant national guidelines and University policies relating to the responsible and ethical conduct of research,
  2. understand and comply with legislative and University requirements for procedural fairness and proper administrative process, particularly in relation to privacy and confidentiality,
  3. understand and comply with the requirements of the University with respect to preventing, detecting, reporting and investigating allegations of, and punishing, breaches of the University's rules and policies;
  4. ensure that the HDR students who are under their supervision have access to and understand requirements of the relevant national guidelines and University policies relating to the responsible and ethical conduct of research, and those policies relating to plagiarism, academic and behavioural misconduct,
  5. understand fully the requirements of the University and of good academic and research practice to avoid plagiarism and other academic and research misconduct and the consequences of not doing so,
  6. assist their HDR students to meet the requirements of responsible and ethical academic and research conduct, giving clear feedback about their work and conduct
  7. provide HDR students with fair warning if the supervisor believes any individual may be at risk of breaching the University's policies relating to responsible and ethical academic and research conduct

(17) ensure that there is no possibility that a perceived conflict of interest will arise, should an allegation of plagiarism, academic or research misconduct is brought against a Higher Degree Research Student under his/her supervision,

(18) co-operate with the investigation of any allegations of misconduct brought against an Higher Degree Research Student under their supervision.

(19) It is the responsibility of Higher Degree Research Students to

  1. engage in all aspects of their higher degree research program with honesty, integrity and a commitment to the responsible and ethical conduct of research
  2. read and understand the relevant national guidelines and the University's policies relating to responsible and ethical conduct of research, and those policies relating to plagiarism, academic and behavioural misconduct,
  3. seek and take advice and assistance from or through their supervisor, as necessary, to ensure that they meet the requirements of relevant national guidelines and the University's policies relating to responsible and ethical conduct of research, and those policies relating to plagiarism, academic and behavioural misconduct,
  4. co-operate in the investigation of any allegations of misconduct brought against them, arising from their action or omission during or after their enrolment in a UNE postgraduate research degree.

Section 4 - Procedures

(20) Procedural Fairness and Proper Administrative Process

  1. The investigation of allegations made against an Higher Degree Research Student of plagiarism and/or academic misconduct arising from a coursework component of their HDR enrolment, and the investigation of allegations made against an Higher Degree Research Student arising from the development and production of their research thesis, dissertation or creative work will be conducted consistent with legislative and University requirements for procedural fairness and proper administrative process.
  2. Confidentiality will be maintained and privacy respected consistent with legislative and University requirements.
  3. A Higher Degree Research Student who is the subject of an allegation brought under this policy, the Student Coursework Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct Rules and the UNE Code of Conduct for Research will be:
    1. informed of the nature and details of the allegation, and provided with all relevant documentation as soon as possible after a determination has been that there are ground for an allegation,
    2. provided with an opportunity to respond to the allegations within a reasonable time,
    3. provided with an opportunity to put their case at any formal proceedings,
    4. advised promptly of the outcome of an investigation, the penalty imposed and the appeal process, and
    5. given a reasonable time to fulfil the requirements of the imposed penalty.

(21) Coursework Components

  1. Allegations of plagiarism and academic misconduct, the investigation of allegations, the outcomes from the investigation, the penalties imposed and appeal mechanisms, arising from the acts or omissions of an HDR student during a coursework component of their HDR enrolment, should be made in accordance with the Student Coursework Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct Rules.

(22) Breach of the UNE Code of Conduct for Research and/or Research Misconduct

  1. Allegations of a breach of the UNE Code of Conduct for Research or for research misconduct, the investigation of those allegations, the outcomes from the investigation, the penalties imposed and appeal mechanisms, arising from the acts or omissions of an HDR Student during the development and production of the research thesis, dissertation or creative work under their enrolment, should be made in of the UNE Code of Conduct for Research and Part B of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

(23) Records Management

  1. The records produced relating to any such allegation, the investigation of the allegation, the outcome from the investigation, the penalty imposed and any appeal process shall be maintained in accordance with the UNE Records Management Policy on the relevant central file, with reference to these records lodged on the HDR student's file.

Section 5 - Definitions

(24) The following definitions must be read as indicative rather than all-inclusive

  1. Academic misconduct is defined under the Student Coursework Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct Rules
  2. Appeal Officer means the University member authorised to hear appeals, or uphold or vary penalties, by nomination of the Pro Vice Chancellor (Research).
  3. Authorship is defined under the Authorship Rule
  4. Behavioural Misconduct is defined under the Student Behavioural Misconduct Rules
  5. Breaches of the Code are actions or omissions that are a violation or infraction of the UNE Code of Conduct for Research, but are lacking intent, deliberation, recklessness or negligence an\d serious consequences associated with research misconduct
  6. Chair, Graduate Research Subcommittee is the academic staff member position which includes overseeing matters relating to Higher Degree Research students
  7. Higher Degree Research Student is a student of UNE who is enrolled in a UNE higher education course or in an enabling course or in a unit of study on a non-award basis, and includes a student of a course taught by another higher education provider for which UNE has accepted by contract a quality assurance responsibility.
  8. Plagiarism means using the work of others without due acknowledgment and includes, but is not limited, to:
    1. The use or close paraphrasing of the ideas, data or work of others (in whole or in part); presenting extracts from written, printed, electronic or other media for an assessment task without fully and accurately indicating the nature and the extent of the work;
    2. Colluding with others to produce work that is presented misleadingly as the autonomous work of the student;
    3. Presenting under one's own name work written substantially by another.
  9. Inadvertent Plagiarism is an act of plagiarism that arises from a lack of knowledge or understanding of the concept of plagiarism and does not involve an intention to deceive.
  10. Intentional Plagiarism is an act of plagiarism that arises from an intention to deceive. For examples of inadvertent and intentional plagiarism refer to the Appendix to the Student Coursework Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct Rules.
  11. Research Misconduct is different from a simple breach of the Code as it includes all of the following:
    1. an alleged breach of the Code; and
    2. intent and deliberation, recklessness or gross and persistent negligence; and
    3. serious consequences, such as false information on the public record, or adverse effects on research participants, animals or the environment.
  12. Research Misconduct does not include honest errors or honest differences in interpretation or judgements of data.
  13. Research Misconduct includes, but is not limited to
    1. fabrication or falsification of data;
    2. plagiarism;
    3. breach of confidentiality;
    4. intentionally omitting reference to the relevant published work of others for the purpose of inferring personal discovery of new information;
    5. misleading ascription or attribution of authorship;
    6. lack of appropriate acknowledgment in contribution to work;
    7. misrepresentation through statement or omission resulting in the presentation of a material or significant falsehood;
    8. interference with any research related property or data of another person; and
    9. deliberate inclusion of inaccurate or misleading information, or the failure to provide relevant information, relating to research activity in curriculum vitae, grant applications, job applications or public statement.
  14. Supervisor means the principal supervisor of a student enrolled in a UNE award which requires an original research thesis, dissertation, or creative work.