IFR Policy on Scientific Integrity

The Institute of Food Research (IFR) has a responsibility to ensure that the funds it disperses are properly spent, in accordance with the law, funder requirements and in the public interest. Researchers have a duty to their profession, to IFR and to research funders, to conduct their research according to best scientific practice and the highest professional standards.

IFR’s policy on scientific integrity is part of its effort to provide an environment that encourages professional standards, good research practice and minimises the likelihood of misconduct*. The policy applies to all staff, all aspects of the research process, and is informed by the Universities UK Concordat to Support Research Integrity and The RCUK Policy and Guidelines on the Governance of Good Research Conduct

PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS

IFR researchers must adhere to professional research standards at all times:

Honesty and fairness when reporting research, including how it is conducted, interpreted, its implications and the contributions of others.

Accuracy and rigour in conducting, reporting and publishing research, proper record keeping of primary data, clarifying data and derived conclusions, and fair representation of individual contributions.

Accountability to funders and the general public.

Openness and transparency: Researchers should have no other interest beyond their own scientific integrity and should always be willing and able to account for their actions. Researchers should always be prepared to communicate, analyse, report and question the outcome of their research and to disclose any conflicts of interest.

Independence: Researchers are expected to conduct their research with independence and impartiality, and not interfere with the independence of their colleagues or team members.

Respect for colleagues and for experimental organisms and subjects, including compliance with relevant research ethics policies and requirements.

Co-operation and collegiality in scientific interactions and communications, and in the sharing of resources. 

*Full definitions agreed by RCUK of misconduct in research and other acceptable research behaviour are included in Appendix B of the “Research Council Investigation Allegations of Misconduct Research Policy” within the BBSRC Employment Code:  http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/about/policies/employment/code/disciplinary/a12b-1-main/

Research misconduct does not include honest error, or honest differences in the interpretation or assessment of data. However, once an error is detected it is the researcher’s responsibility to address the issue and fix the record in a timely fashion.

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