Research Integrity in the College of Arts
The University of Glasgow is a leader among UK Universities in developing a Research Integrity policy, as laid out in the 2012 Concordat produced by Universities UK.
Funding bodies require grant holders to demonstrate their compliance with the principles presented in the Concordat and this is likely also to feature as part of any REF-type exercise in the future. It is vital, therefore, that researchers in Arts and Humanities bring their expertise in principles of critical judgment, intertextuality, authorship and bibliographical referencing to discussion of Research Integrity. Colleagues also need to be able to demonstrate how they contribute to fostering a research environment that values integrity. This may be through leadership, supervision, collaboration, or individual research practice. This document is intended to help Arts and Humanities researchers meet the requirements of Research Integrity in the modern academic environment. It collates materials devised by the University of Glasgow and from other recommended sources.
Research Integrity ultimately relies on a healthy research culture. This means fostering working relations that are based on trust, respect and responsibility. Researchers are at most risk of compromising their integrity when they feel under inappropriate pressure, when they don’t feel able to ask for advice, or when they are uninformed. All researchers can contribute to creating a healthy research culture, particularly those in leadership or supervisory roles (see below for further information). Each School within the College of Arts has its own Research Integrity Adviser, who you can approach with questions relating to anything below, and they all work together with the College of Arts Champion for Research Integrity.
1) General Principles
- Concepts of research integrity and ethical approval. Research integrity certainly includes careful adherence to ethical standards, but it also includes practices which do not fall under the aegis of ethics, such as good record keeping, data management, open access publication, etc. Many Research Integrity advisers are also members of Ethics Committees.
- Conflicts of interest. The University of Glasgow Conflicts of Interest Policy (PDF, 75 KB) requires that its officers, staff, and others acting on its behalf have the obligation to avoid ethical, legal, financial, or other conflicts of interest, and to ensure that their activities and interests do not conflict with their obligations to the University or its welfare.
- Collaborative research, including interdisciplinary and international collaborations. Prior to embarking on a research collaboration, researchers should ensure that all partners have a shared understanding of good research practice and their own responsibilities and that issues of IP and authorship are carefully considered (see below for advice on joint authorship). Research collaborations that cross national, institutional, disciplinary and sector boundaries are important to the advancement of knowledge worldwide. Such collaborations present special challenges for the responsible conduct of research, because they may involve substantial differences in regulatory and legal systems, organizational and funding structures, research cultures, and approaches to training. It is critically important, therefore, that researchers be aware of and able to address such differences, as well as issues related to integrity that might arise in cross-boundary research collaborations. (Montreal Statement on Research Integrity in Cross-Border Research Collaborations)
- Leadership and Supervision. Good practice in leadership and management is key to fostering a healthy research culture. The University provides mandatory training for Research Supervisors which makes clear the paths of responsibility, progress reporting, recording of supervisory meetings and support in career development that is expected of supervisors. (University of Glasgow Postgraduate Research Code of Practice.)
- Principal Investigators (PIs) on collaborative research projects also have a significant leadership role and should bear overall responsibility for how the team is managed, workload sharing and authorship recognition. PIs should operate an ‘open door’ policy for any members of research teams to raise concerns or ask for advice.
When seeking publication, researchers should ensure that they have fully acknowledged their debts to other scholars, and carefully consider an appropriate place of publication. They should also be aware of their own intellectual property rights as described by the UK government.
2.1: Referencing your own work.
Arts and Humanities researchers routinely develop and refine research expertise by building on a body of work they have devised and published over the course of their careers. It is important that researchers are able to continue this best practice whilst being aware of rules around ‘self-plagiarism’. As with all engagements with previously published materials, researchers should be scrupulous to acknowledge their sources, even if these were self-authored: i.e. researchers should engage in self-citation rather than self-plagiarism.
2.2: Complying with Copyright/Permissions.
All work produced for publication must comply with copyright law. Researchers should consider whether this is relevant to their work early on in the writing process as it may take time to organise, and it is important to keep records of all permissions secured on file. It is necessary to secure permission to use materials that are either still under copyright (generally where the author is alive or died less than 70 years ago) or that have not before been published (manuscript materials, correspondence etc.). Written permission to use unpublished materials can be sought either directly from the author (if possible) or else from the institution that currently holds those documents. Written permission to use copyright materials should be secured from the copyright holder, who may or may not be the author.
The WATCH database holds details of copyright holding for most published authors.
Authors may use a small amount of copyright material under ‘fair dealing’ arrangements. The Society of Authors recommends that when using material for ‘criticism, review or quotation’, under fair dealing you should:
- use only as much as is needed to make the point
- attribute the source
- use must be fair to the rights holders
- applies to all media, not just text
Prose (fiction or non-fiction):
- not more than 400 words
- or a total of 800 words in a series of extracts, none exceeding 300 words.
- not more than 40 lines from a poem, providing that this does not exceed a quarter of the poem.
- UK copyright law and its exceptions (GOV.UK)
- British Academy and the Publishers’ Association’s Joint Guidelines on copyright for Arts and Humanities researchers (PDF, 495 KB)
2.3: Digital images and Image Processing.
As well as complying with requirements around permissions and copyright (see above), researchers need to be conscientious in how they process any images for publication. Some small changes are acceptable, but these should be made with some caution. (Office for Research Integrity advice for researchers.)
2.4: Open Access Publishing.
To comply with REF eligibility requirements an output must be deposited in a repository (institutional, shared service or disciplinary). This applies to articles and conference proceedings only. UoG uses ‘Enlighten’ for this and staff in the library will provide support in collating the relevant information. Note:
- The output must be deposited as soon as possible after acceptance and no later than three months after acceptance;
- The output deposited should be the accepted version (following peer review);
- This may be the author final version (agreed text before publisher adds logos etc) or the publisher version depending on what the publisher will allow. Library staff will advise.
- The University requires all designated lead UoG authors for collaborative journal articles or conference proceedings to notify email@example.com when these are accepted for publication. The Library will work with the author to ensure the publication complies with the requirements for Open Access, whether this is by deposit into the institutional repository (Enlighten) or by paying an article processing charge to the publisher. (University of Glasgow open access information.)
2.5: Joint Authorship and Collaboration (including of outputs from ‘big grant’ projects).
Agreement (in writing) on how authorship will be recognized in publication should be determined early on in any collaborative project. Arrangements may change as the project progresses, but authors should keep a paper trail on file to evidence agreement at each stage. Some journals and publishers have rules regarding who can be recognized as an author, so it is important to check before any submission is made.
How to handle authorship disputes: a guide for new researchers (Committee on Publication Ethics, PDF, 64 KB)
3) Data ownership, management and integrity.
Researchers are required to keep clear records of the progress of their research throughout a project both to demonstrate proper research practice and to enable them to answer questions about procedure or the results obtained. Particularly in collaborative projects, researchers must decide early in the process how data (which may include copies of manuscript materials, textual editing apparatus, recordings of interviews and broadcasts amongst other items) will be stored, managed and shared; funding bodies will usually require the submission of a data management plan with any application. UoG requires data to be securely held for a period of ten years after the completion of a research project, or for longer if specified by the research funder or sponsor. The University is committed to ensuring data derived from publicly funded research is made available to other organisations and individuals, and has a team of data management staff (based within the library) who can support researchers in doing this.
4) Social Media and University of Glasgow research websites.
The University actively encourages members of its research community to engage responsibly and professionally with social media. However, as the barriers between personal and professional use of social media can be poorly defined, it is important to consider how activity in this area reflects both on professional research integrity and the reputation of the University of Glasgow. The standards of behaviour expected when publishing research via traditional means also apply when communicating online. Failure to follow good practice (e.g. misappropriation of authorship credit, publishing data without authorisation) may make researchers liable to allegations of research misconduct.
- Guidance on the best standards for publishing research can be found in the Code for Good Practice in Research.
- University of Glasgow Social Media Toolkit for Research Staff
- For those conducting researching using social media, rather than thinking about their own social media profiles: Social Media Research: A Guide to Ethics (University of Aberdeen, PDF, 2,051 KB)
5) Reporting misconduct.
Any member of the University who believes that an act of research misconduct has occurred or is occurring should refer to the policy documentation for how they should raise a concern. It is important to recognise that genuine errors do occur and can, in general, be managed effectively at source. The College of Arts has a nominated Research Integrity Champion supported at School level by Research Integrity Advisers. These have a role in promoting good research practice and may investigate repeated errors or mistakes to determine what remedial action is required. An attempt should initially be made to seek advice from the relevant adviser. In the event that the outcome of this approach is unsatisfactory, a formal allegation should be made to the College Integrity Champion, who will notify the Clerk of Senate of the allegation as soon as possible. Alternately, a formal allegation can be made directly to the Clerk of Senate.
- College of Arts Research Integrity Champion and Advisers
- University of Glasgow Misconduct in Research policy and procedures