Good Research Practices

Home/Good Research Practices

Interviewing vulnerable people – a University of Sheffield case study

The following is an extract from an article by Professor Jerry Wellington of the University of Sheffield in February 2014 (with emphasis added): Interviewing Vulnerable People in a Funded Evaluation This scenario is designed to present two ethical dilemmas which can occur during fieldwork: can researchers always produce the 'hard data' required by funding bodies? And can interviewers draw a line between a research interview and a counselling session? I was asked to be part of a research team to evaluate a National project aimed

Conflict of interest and suppression of legitimate results by a sponsor – a COPE case study

One case study from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) website ( The journal is operated by institute A, and the editor is an employee of institute A. A manuscript was submitted late in 2014 by authors from institute B, a similar type of organisation in the same country. The manuscript was reviewed by two referees who both recommended publication following minor revision. One of the reviewers noted that the abstract contained a vague statement related to the effectiveness of a treatment for a major

Leak of a confidential draft by a peer reviewer – a COPE case study

The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) has shared a case study on its website regarding the leak of a confidential draft by a peer reviewer ( Shortly before publication, I received an email from the authors of a systematic review telling me that a version of the paper as first submitted to the journal for peer review had appeared on the website of a campaign group based in the USA. It was clear that the version of the document posted on the website was the

ICMJE Recommendations: Authorship Criteria

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations list 4 criteria for authorship ( 1) Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND 2) Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND 3) Final approval of the version to be published; AND 4) Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part

Singapore Statement on Research Integrity: Authorship Criteria

The Singapore Statement on Research Integrity (Section 6), to which the HKU Policy on Research Integrity makes reference, states the following: Researchers should take responsibility for their contributions to all publications, funding applications, reports and other representations of their research. Lists of authors should include all those and only those who meet applicable authorship criteria.  Researchers should acknowledge in publications the names and roles of those who made significant contributions to the research, including writers, funders, sponsors, and others, but do not meet authorship criteria.

ORI Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research: Authorship Criteria

The Office of Research Integrity's Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research (to which the HKU Policy on Research Integrity makes reference) states the following: The names that appear at the beginning of a paper serve one important purpose. They let others know who conducted the research and should get credit for it. It is important to know who conducted the research in case there are questions about methods, data, and the interpretation of results. Likewise, the credit derived from publications is used to determine a

The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity: Authorship Criteria

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) states the following: Fairness, in providing proper references and giving due credits to the work of others, in treating colleagues with integrity and honesty. (emphasis added) It is unacceptable to claim or grant undeserved authorship and to deny deserved authorship, or to inadequately allocate credit. Unjustified claimed authorship and ghost authorship are forms of

R (BAT) v DOH – a landmark judgment on research integrity

On 19 May 2016, Mr Justice Green handed down his judgment in the English High Court case of R. (on the application of British American Tobacco UK Ltd & Others) v Secretary of State for Health [2016] EWHC 1169 (Admin) in which the claimant tobacco companies challenged the legality of the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015. This decision is significant as Mr Justice Green discusses the way in which the Court, in the context of a judicial review, should evaluate expert evidence in

Responsibility towards research participants: HKU and other policies

When conducting research involving human participants, it is important to carry out the research in a manner that respects the dignity of the human participants. This is particularly relevant for those conducting empirical legal research, as well as research in the area of behavioural law and economics. HKU Policy on Research Integrity ('Principles of Research Integrity', Section 1):  All researchers have a duty to care for the human participants ... under study. HKU Policy on Research Integrity ('Responsible conduct of research', Section 2.1):   The

Conflict of interest: HKU and other policies

The HKU Policy on Research Integrity covers conflict of interest in the following sections: Section 1 ('Principles of Research Integrity'): In pursuing their research activities, members of the University should adhere to good research practices; and should not be engaged in research misconduct such as ... non-disclosure of potential conflict of interest. Section 2.2 ('Publication-related conduct'): Where appropriate and with their permission, names of individuals or organisations which have made significant contributions to the research and the roles they played in the project should be acknowledged in publications.  These include