Research Code Breach and Serious Research Code Breach

Allegations of potential research code breach or serious research code breach (previously known as "research misconduct") are managed in line with Deakin University Research Integrity Breaches procedure, in accordance with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Deakin takes allegations of research code breach and serious research code breach very seriously, and are responsible for investigating and addressing these allegations consistent with the principles of procedural fairness.

What are my obligations as a Deakin Researcher?

Deakin staff and students who engage in research at the University have a responsibility to familiarise and adhere to Research Conduct Policy and the principles of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Departures from the standards of conduct outlined in the Research Conduct Policy and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research may amount to a research code breach or serious research code breach.

What is 'research code breach' or 'serious research code breach'

Research Code Breach” is conduct that breaches the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research that are considered less serious, that may be minor or technical deviations that are honest or accidental errors.

Serious Research Code Breach” (previously known as ‘research misconduct’) refers to more serious or deliberate research code breach that involves:

  1. intent or deliberation, recklessness or gross and persistent negligence; and/or
  2. serious consequences, such as false information on the public record, or adverse effects on research participants, animals or the environment.

Serious Research Code Breach includes fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or deception in proposing, carrying out or reporting the results of research, and failure to declare or manage a serious conflict of interest. It includes avoidable failure to follow research proposals as approved by a research ethics committee, particularly where this failure may result in unreasonable risk or harm to humans, animals or the environment. It also includes the wilful concealment or facilitation of serious research code breach by others.

Repeated or continuing instances of Research Code Breaches may also constitute a Serious Research Code Breach, and do so where these have been the subject of previous counselling or specific direction. A Serious Research Code Breach does not include honest differences in judgment in management of the research project, and may not include honest errors that are minor or unintentional.

What should I do if I suspect a research code breach or serious research code breach?

If you become aware of activities that may be considered a research code breach or serious research code breach, feel uneasy about something research-related, or simply want advice on research integrity matters, you may seek advice from the “Advisors in Research Integrity”

Advisors in Research Integrity

Deakin has appointed senior staff members to be Advisors in Research Integrity (ARIs) under the requirements of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research Part B. If you think you have encountered research misconduct and you are not sure what action to take, you can go to any of the ARIs to discuss the matter confidentially. ARIs are able to give you advice on research matters, the research misconduct processes and your options for reporting a breach.

Advisors in  Research Integrity are not permitted to take action on the matter, and will not contact the person who is the focus of your allegation.

Faculty Advisors in Research Integrity

Arts and EducationProf Jack Reynoldsjack.reynolds@deakin.edu.au
Business and LawProf Pasquale Sgropasquale.sgro@deakin.edu.au
HealthProf Trish Livingstontrish.livingston@deakin.edu.au
Science, Engineering & Built EnvironmentProf David Cahilldavid.cahill@deakin.edu.au
Alfred Deakin InstituteProf Shahram Akbarzadehshahram.akbarzadeh@deakin.edu.au
Institute for Frontier Materials

ISRI

Options if you do not proceed with making a formal allegation

Where the allegation/s is serious enough to constitute a protected disclosure under the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 and the person considering making the allegation/s decides not to proceed, the Adviser in Research Integrity will determine whether the allegation/s warrants further investigation or may also choose to make a protected disclosure under the Protected Disclosure Act 2012.

Reporting research code breaches

Anyone who believes a research code breach or serious research code breach has taken place involving a Deakin STAFF or STUDENT, must act in a timely manner and formally report the allegation/s in writing to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research or nominee.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Email: dvcr@deakin.edu.au
Phone: (03) 5227 1147

Pro Vice-Chancellor Researcher Development and Integrity
Email: pvc-rdi@deakin.edu.au
Phone: (03) 925 17397

Procedure for Investigation

The University will investigate the matter in accordance with the Research Integrity Breaches procedure and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Policy and Flowcharts:

Support for Deakin Staff and Students

Deakin understands that making or being subject of an allegation of serious research code breach may cause concern or distress to staff and students. The following support options are available to both staff and students

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