Guidance to implement the Concordat to Support Research Integrity within government

Updated 11 March 2024


The Concordat to Support Research Integrity (“Concordat”) provides a national framework for good research conduct and its governance. Research integrity means upholding the highest standards in research, including legal, ethical and professional standards; and having the right environment and processes in place to support this.

Those working in government must comply with The Seven Principles of Public Life (known as “the Nolan Principles”) which set out ethical standards to which those working in the public sector are expected to adhere, including for integrity. The Concordat is an interpretation of these principles within the research context. On the recommendation of the Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA), departmental Chief Scientific Advisers (CSAs) have signed up to the principles of the Concordat for the forms of scientific research undertaken within and for their departments. Similarly, on the recommendation of the National Statistician, Departmental Directors of Analysis (DDANs) and Analysis Function (AF) Heads of Profession have signed up to the principles of the Concordat for the forms of research conducted by their professions. CSAs, DDANs and AF Heads of Profession have a role in holding their department and its sponsored bodies to account for implementing the Concordat and should provide advice on it.

Complying with the Concordat will contribute to departments meeting the requirements of a review of science capability in government: “Realising our ambition through science”. The systems and processes put in place to ensure research integrity will form a part of the science system required by Recommendation 1 of that review. Complying with the Concordat also contributes to departments meeting professional expectations, such as those set out in the Government Functional Standard for Analysis to support well-informed decision making, to deliver better outcomes and improve the lives of citizens.

This guidance advises on applying the Concordat to research within a government context. It is intended to complement the Concordat, but does not replace it.

How the Concordat can benefit Government

Compliance with the Concordat will enable the Government research community to meet the highest standards of research integrity and will lead to better quality research, knowledge growth and ultimately a stronger evidence base to support decision-making and serve the wider public good. It will enable the Government research community to demonstrate that they are working to the same standards as the university sector. Implementation will help safeguard public trust and confidence in research and in researchers as well as protecting research participants.

The Concordat provides a focus for Government departments and research organisations and the Government scientific and analytical community to improve research culture and raise the quality of research and research practice. It provides a basis for CSAs, Departmental Directors of Analysis and AF Heads of Profession to test and challenge departments and bodies to make progress on research integrity and to think about how success might be measured.

Definition of research

The Concordat defines research (see Annex A) by drawing on the Research Excellence Framework definition. This definition is compatible with the Frascati definition used by the science capability review: “Realising our ambition through science”. Departments also use the European System of Accounts ESA10 definition, which is based on Frascati, when planning research and development expenditure. All of these definitions are intended to cover systematic investigations in order to increase the stock of knowledge, which may include experimental design; systematic collection and evaluation of data; analysis and interpretation. The definitions are at Annex A.

Application of the Concordat within government

The Concordat has been written with Higher Education Institutions in mind. Some modifications may therefore be required to adapt the application of the Concordat to the Government context, but these do not affect its core provisions. “The Nolan Principles” as referred to above set the government context for integrity.

Requirements enshrined in public law which place an obligation on an official would take precedence over the requirements of the Concordat. Some of these requirements are detailed in the Openness and Transparency section below.

The Concordat does not take precedence over the topic and profession-specific guidance set out in the Government Functional Standard for Analysis, which is relevant to the undertaking of analysis across Government. In most cases however, the application of the Concordat is in full alignment with the standards and practices set out in these documents.

In scope

The Concordat and this guidance apply to UK Government Departments, Agencies and Public Laboratories; to the activities of those who conduct or supervise research, employ researchers or commission research.

The Concordat’s definition of research determines what is in scope. No monetary value or limit is suggested in order for a research project to be within scope, as this will vary considerably between departments and projects.

Research projects which form part of a department’s statement of research and development need (see Recommendation 8 of Realising our ambition through science) and which feature in a department’s science system (see Recommendation 1 of Realising our ambition through science) as overseen by the departmental CSA, should be in scope.

Where focus groups, behavioural trials and user or communications activities are conducted as part of a programme of formal research, for example they fall within the definition of a process of investigation leading to new insights and generate systematic information on an issue or policy; then they are within scope.

Out of scope

Activities such as: conducting consultations; analysis in policy documents aiming to support the development of policy; informal or ad hoc information gathering which is not designed to generate robust data or evidence; briefing for Ministers or officials that draws on research and analysis to address a specific information requirement; collection of management information; or use of search engines, are not considered to fall within the scope of the Concordat. Note however that these activities are subject to the wider standards and requirements set out at paragraphs 2 and 3.

Official statistics are also out of scope, as these are subject to the UK Statistics Authority Code of Practice for Statistics which sets out the standards that producers of official statistics should commit to.

External research used, but not commissioned by or conducted within government, is not in scope (other guides such as the Magenta Book on policy evaluation cover the need for methodically sound and appropriate external evidence to be used to inform Government decisions).

Table 1: Research Exempt from Scope of application of Concordat and this Guidance

Research activity that is not considered to be formal research: Examples:
  Analysis in policy documents
  Informal or ad hoc information gathering exercises which are not designed to generate robust data or evidence
  Briefing for Ministers or officials that draws on research and analysis to address a specific information requirement
  Collection of management information
  Research engine activity
  Official statistics
Research not commissioned by nor conducted within government: Example:
  External evidence drawn on to make a policy decision

Application to Public Sector Research Establishments (PSREs)

The Concordat should apply wherever possible to Public Sector Research Establishments (PSREs) which are conducting or commissioning research and are owned by or receive a substantial part of their resources from a central government department. In determining the Concordat’s application, consideration should be given to whether the department has sufficient control and influence over the PSRE to require it to apply.

Note that as UKRI is already a Concordat signatory, the Concordat will apply to any PSRE that they co-sponsor. Adherence to the Concordat is generally required under UKRI’s terms and conditions for research contracts and grants.

If the PSRE is government owned and contractor operated, the framework agreement with the Contractor will determine what they can be asked to do. If the PSRE is partly government owned, co-owners may be happy for the Concordat to apply, given that research integrity standards will result in better quality, more reliable, research outputs.

The Concordat can apply whether the PSRE is an executive agency, a non-departmental public body or operates as a trading fund; whether it has a role in policymaking, conducts statutory, regulatory, innovative or emergency functions; and whether it commissions rather than conducts research. The Concordat can also apply regardless of who commissions the PSRE’s work or where the commissioner of the work is based.

Where it is considered that the Concordat can apply to a research body, the Concordat’s requirements should become part of the terms of reference for the regular reviews conducted of that body.

Openness and transparency

Government should be as open and transparent as possible with publicly-funded research, which should be free to access, wherever possible, released promptly and in a way that promotes public trust.

When research is conducted or commissioned, open science and Government Social Research Publication Protocol principles should be adhered to across the entire research lifecycle. Research protocols and analysis plans should usually be published in advance of any research being started, for example by pre-registering on relevant platforms (Open Science Framework) or publishing details of contracts awarded for externally commissioned work. Open science principles are about increasing the rigour, accountability and reproducibility of research, and working to promote inclusion, collaboration and information-sharing. In particular, increasing inclusivity and the diversity of those conducting or contributing to research will bring in more varied perspectives, leading to stronger, more relevant, research outcomes. Embracing these principles will reduce bias, improve transparency and foster greater public confidence in the work of government.

Research conducted or commissioned by government should be published at the earliest appropriate point and in accordance with the appropriate professional standards. This includes the Government Social Research Publication Protocol, which sets out a normal maximum of 12 weeks from agreement of a final output to publication.

Publication options for research findings vary according to the type of research and the potential for maximising its benefits. Options include peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, reports, and incorporation in standards, guidance or advice for stakeholders.

However, the Concordat does not supersede UK law and some legal obligations placed on those who work in Government will have priority over the transparency requirements of the Concordat. For example, the transparency requirements would be subject to the overriding requirements set out in the Official Secrets Act; the Freedom of Information Act; and the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act. Each of these take precedence over the requirements of the Concordat.

Other reasons why it may not be possible to publish research conducted or commissioned by Government include: security or national security considerations or restrictions, commercial confidentiality, on-going investigations or criminal proceedings, or where the law protects confidential advice to ministers. There may also be restrictions due to data-sharing limitations or constraints associated with sharing it securely.

Where full publication of research is not possible due to the reasons given above, the department or body should document the reasons and ensure that there is an audit trail. In these cases, good records management standards should be maintained, so that the research can be retrieved and reused or referenced within Government. Where possible, the department or body should publicise which reports they have published internally and what the outcome of the research was; and should ensure that their records management systems enable them to respond to FOI requests. Those within government who commissioned the research should be able to access the findings and research details, subject to any research ethics considerations and requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Where possible, stakeholders affected by the research should be able to access the findings subject to any overriding legal obligations as noted above.

In general, where there needs to be a restriction on sharing the results of research, the research should still be made available to the largest community possible. So, where research results cannot be made fully publicly available, consideration should be given to allowing relevant academic communities to access them. Where there are reasons why that is not possible, consideration should be given to allowing specialist communities of interest to have access. If that is not possible, the aim should be for the results to be shared within Government. Departments and bodies will need to account for the level of access they allow. Departments’ annual statements will also need to include details of where they have not published research – see Annex C.

Table 2: Exemptions from transparency of research results

Reasons why it may not be possible to publish research results: Legal obligations placed on those in government: by Official Secrets Act; the Freedom of Information Act; and the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act
  Security or national security considerations or restrictions
  Commercial confidentiality (note that if it is not initially possible to publish for this reason, it may become possible after a period of time)
  Ongoing investigations or criminal proceedings
  Where the law protects confidential advice to ministers
  Restrictions due to data-sharing limitations or constraints associated with sharing it securely
Where the above reasons for not publishing research results apply (and where the legal and other reasons above allow), departments should: Document reasons why full publication is not possible, accounting for the level of access allowed (include details in annual statement – see Annex C)
  Ensure a good audit trail and good records management (including to meet obligations for response to FOI requests)
  Internally share research outputs with those who need to see them in order for the research to achieve its intended outcomes
  Ensure commissioners of research can access findings and research details (subject to ethics and GDPR)
  Make findings accessible to affected stakeholders
  Make research available to largest community possible (for example, relevant academic community or specialist community of interest), as is necessary for the research to achieve its intended outcomes

In support of the requirement that research results are made publicly available wherever possible, departments should seek to establish central recording of research conducted within, or funded by, the department. This will help to ensure that research is accessible to those who can make use of it and therefore that the best value for money is obtained. It will also help to eliminate any duplication of research.

Within the research community as a whole, there is a move towards transparency and accessibility of research results. For example, UKRI prioritises Open Access (OA) to research articles and publications with UKRI funding. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) also makes requirements for OA. Details of the policies and reviews of them can be found here.

Meeting the requirements of the Concordat

The Concordat makes the requirement that research should be conducted in reliable, honest, legal, transparent and accountable ways. The table at Annex B summarises obligations under the Concordat and ways in which they may be met within Government (but note that consideration must be given to the Concordat as a whole).

Compliance with the Concordat should become a condition of all government research funding and should be considered right from the start of the commissioning process through to delivery.

In leading on the implementation of the Concordat within their department, CSAs will need, in conjunction with DDANs and AF Heads of Professions, to:

  • firstly identify the extent to which the Concordat’s requirements are already covered by departmental systems, processes and standards, to avoid making unnecessary changes

  • introduce or amend policies, practices and procedures to ensure that research integrity and ethics are considered in all areas of research (existing research ethics committees will need to extend their role to cover the requirements of the Concordat)

  • challenge their department’s research community (including Science Advisory Councils and Committees, for example where they are advising on research design) to engage with the Concordat and to think about how it applies to them, with a focus on research quality as well as integrity. Similarly ensure that wider professions and officials are aware of and engage with the Concordat and understand the importance of research integrity, as commissioners and users of research evidence

  • ensure that there are appropriate and proportionate governance and reporting systems, identifying what progress against the requirements of the Concordat looks like, how compliance will be demonstrated (including collection of evidence) and how success will be measured

  • ensure that there are appropriate procedures in place for investigating infractions and handling disputes

  • provide leadership and ensure appropriate training and mentoring arrangements, so that all who are involved with research continually update their knowledge and skills

  • bring about the necessary culture change and motivation needed so that officials whose activities fall within scope of the Concordat continually consider research integrity (good research integrity culture requires: frequent and open communication, sharing of data, an environment in which mistakes can be admitted)

  • arrange the sharing of best practice, for example through mentoring or peer-led activity such as researcher or research commissioner discussion groups

  • communicate their department’s position on research integrity both internally and externally and ensure that research integrity advice is available within the department

  • become departmental ‘champions’ of research integrity and issue a statement on departmental compliance with the Concordat

  • arrange and oversee the writing and publication of the departmental annual statement on research integrity

  • a Self-Assessment Tool has been published by UKRIO to help institutions identify practices, systems and issues that may need revision in order to comply with the Concordat

Procurement of research

When commissioning research services, departments should reflect the research integrity requirements from the Concordat and stipulate that the research provider must comply with those (it is not proposed that this be added retrospectively to existing agreements to provide research services). Note that ideally, the documentation used to commission research services should not simply state that compliance with the Concordat is required – the requirements of the Concordat actually need to be reflected within (copied into) the documentation. This is because the Concordat itself is essentially a voluntary agreement that is not legally enforceable.

The documentation could also include this wording:

the [department’s name] expects all individuals involved with the provision of research services, including researchers, research support staff, research managers and administrators, to abide by the research integrity principles set out in this document and to work with due respect for one another within a supportive and open environment. All are expected to observe the highest standards of integrity, honesty and professionalism and to embed good practice in every aspect of their work.

Ensuring and reporting compliance

Ensuring that research conducted or commissioned by government complies with the Concordat will help to ensure the reliability and value of research outputs. The main risk resulting from departments failing to comply with the Concordat is a reputational risk (given that the Concordat is a voluntary agreement, is not legally binding; and CSAs, Departmental Directors of Analysis and AF Heads of Professions have signed up to the principles of the Concordat, rather than becoming full signatories).

Each Department or body will need to have a system in place that will best enable them to ensure and demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the Concordat. The system will involve use of appropriate processes and authorities which will provide internal assurance, such as: use of internal audit, internal governance and clear authorities associated with particular roles or processes (for example, review and release of research reports); and documenting those. Departments will need to give early consideration to what reporting process they will need and what evidence they should collect in order to demonstrate compliance.

Departments and bodies should provide a short annual statement of compliance with the Concordat, to demonstrate that the commitments are being met. This statement should cover the period of a financial year and should be completed within 6 weeks of the financial year ending. Where agencies conduct or commission research for more than one department, the sponsoring department should establish the format of the statement (to avoid the need for the agency to provide more than one statement). The level of detail provided by the statement should be commensurate with the amount of relevant research being conducted by the department or body. Annex C provides more detailed information about what to include in the statement. The Research Integrity Concordat Signatories (RICS) have agreed the following as the minimum reporting requirements:

  • identify a named senior member of staff to oversee research integrity and ensure that this information is kept up to date and made publicly available on the institution’s website

  • identify a named member of staff who will act as a first point of contact for anyone wanting more information on matters of research integrity (and ensure that their contact details are maintained on a public website)

  • produce a short annual statement as specified in page 16 of the concordat

For Government departments and bodies, the ‘named senior member of staff’ who oversees research integrity should be the CSA or Departmental Director of Analysis, who will also have the responsibility for annual statements on compliance. The person appointed as ‘the first point of contact’ for research integrity may wish to set up a general mailbox for receiving e-mail enquiries about research integrity within the department. The ‘short annual statement’ required might also be included in the organisation’s annual report. Annex C sets out what to include in the annual statement. UKRIO’s Self-Assessment Tool also provides guidance on the statement.

Government internal auditors could be commissioned to conduct research integrity audits (note that it is not essential to involve auditors, but it may be useful to utilise their expertise). HMRC, FCDO and MoD currently have their own internal audit services, whilst other departments use the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA). Research integrity audits could assess risks and identify suitable systems, processes, controls and benefits of compliance. Internal auditors or GIAA could also help departments to identify suitable processes and standards for the purpose of auditing their PSREs and the work of their other research providers. GIAA have also indicated that they could conduct a multi-department research integrity audit, if a group of departments wanted to group together to commission GIAA to do so. Internal audit committees, where departments still have them, could also have a role.

Cases of non-compliance

Departments may wish to draw upon the procedure set out by UKRIO for investigating misconduct in research: Departments may wish to incorporate the addressing of research integrity misconduct into existing procedures for reporting and investigating research misconduct, rather than creating a new procedure.

The UKRI has set out its own policies and guidance on research conduct, which includes guidance on handling of allegations of misconduct in research.

Where a research organisation is found not to have acted in compliance with the research integrity requirements within their contract, they should be required to remedy the breach for the remainder of the contract and to prevent any further breaches from occurring. The approach should be proportionate and should aim to minimise further risk. The organisation may also be advised that future contracts may be at risk unless they can demonstrate that they will be able to comply.

Further advice on implementing the Concordat

The Government Science and Engineering (GSE) Profession Career Framework refers to the Concordat on Research Integrity as one of the standards which government scientists and engineers will need to understand and apply. Learning and Development activities are being identified which will help GSE professionals to develop their career in accordance with the Framework. Some of these activities will help officials develop their skills, knowledge and experience of research integrity. Further details about the Framework and related learning and development activities can be obtained from The Analysis Function Career Framework underpinned by the Government Analysis Functional Standard, sets out the skills, knowledge and professional expectations that will support analysts across government in increasing research integrity capability.

The UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) website offers publications which will aid compliance with the Concordat. These include a Code of Practice for Research, a Recommended Checklist for Researchers and the Integrity in Practice toolkit.

UKRIO also offer advice on implementing the Concordat


The Concordat to Support Research Integrity

UKRIO’s Self Assessment Tool for the Concordat

The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity

Montreal Statement on Research Integrity in Cross-Boundary Research Collaborations

Singapore Statement on Research Integrity (2010)

Civil Service code

Official Secrets Act

Freedom of Information Act

UK Research Integrity Committee (UKRIC)

Data Protection Act 2018 (implements GDPR in UK)

Government Analysis Functional Standard

Analysis Function Career Framework

GSR Publication Protocol

Annex A

Definition of research

The Concordat draws on the definition in the Research Excellence Framework:

Research: Drawing on the UK funding bodies’ definition used in the Research Excellence Framework, as described in Assessment framework and guidance on submissions (Hefce, Hefcw, SFC, DEL, 2011), ‘research’ is defined as, ‘a process of investigation leading to new insights, effectively shared… It includes work of direct relevance to the needs of commerce, industry, and to the public and voluntary sectors; scholarship; the invention and generation of ideas, images, performances, artefacts including design, where these lead to new or substantially improved insights; and the use of existing knowledge in experimental development to produce new or substantially improved materials, devices, products and processes, including design and construction’.

The Frascati Manual allows for further breakdown of basic research into subcategories, as well as the long-standing UK practice of subdividing applied research (this definition is used within the R&D Strategy Template which has been circulated to departments for use in setting out proposed R&D expenditure):

  • pure basic research is carried out for the advancement of knowledge, without seeking long-term economic or social benefits or making any effort to apply the results to practical problems or to transfer the results to sectors responsible for their application

  • oriented basic research is basic research carried out with the expectation that it will produce a broad base of knowledge likely to form the basis of the solution to recognised or expected current or future problems or possibilities

  • strategic applied research is directed towards practicable aims, but has not yet advanced to the stage where eventual application can be clearly specified

  • specific applied research will have quite specific and detailed products, processes, systems etc. as its aims

  • experimental development is systematic work to install new processes, systems and services, or to improve substantially those already produced or installed

The European System of Accounts ESA10 (2010 version) is also referred to within the template for departmental R&D strategies and offers this definition of research:

Creative work undertaken on a systematic basis to increase the stock of knowledge, and use of this stock of knowledge for the purpose of discovering or developing new products, including improved versions or qualities of existing products, or discovering new or more efficient processes of production.

Annex B

Table of obligations under the Concordat, who they are placed on and which current or proposed practices may be used to meet them.

NOTE: this table contains the more specific actions set out in the Concordat, to aid compliance. However, the Concordat also makes less specific requirements (for example, behavioural, cultural, et cetera). It is therefore essential that the Concordat is considered in full, in order to ensure compliance with the behaviours, cultures, practices, systems, processes and spirit of the Concordat.

Key Actions for those with Departmental responsibility to meet Obligations (refer to Concordat for full set of standards and obligations) Researchers Employers of researchers Funders of researchers Current relevant practice or potential way to meet obligation
Commitment 1: upholding the highest standards of rigour and integrity in all aspects of research        
Have policies, practices and procedures to support researchers, promote research integrity and investigate alleged research misconduct      
Publish standards outlining their expectations regarding research integrity      
Encourage adoption of concordat by associating it with funding conditions     UKRI have made this a condition of their funding
Commitment 2: ensuring that research is conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards        
Policies on ethical review available to all researchers      
Advice and guidance available to all researchers on ethical, legal and professional obligations      
Record of internal legislation being checked against external standards      
Incorporate proportional checks in application process related to legal or ethical requirements and only fund those who comply      
Indicate any specific policies that researchers and employers of research are expected to comply with, beyond what’s usually expected      
Commitment 3: Supporting a research environment underpinned by culture of integrity, based on good governance, best practice, and support for the development of researchers        
Clear policies, practices and procedures to support researchers      
Provide training on research ethics and integrity with suitable learning, training and mentoring opportunities     GSE profession
Robust management systems to ensure that policies on research integrity and behaviour are implemented      
System within research environment that identifies concerns at an early stage     Whistleblowing and Raising a concern policy
Policies in place that ensure there is no stigma attached to researchers who need assistance     Whistleblowing and Raising a concern policy
Processes for staff to raise concerns about integrity     Whistleblowing and Raising a concern policy
Mechanisms in place to periodically review research practice and culture to ensure it remains fit for practice      
Participate in an annual monitoring exercise to demonstrate they have met the commitments of the concordat      
Promote training and development opportunities to staff and encourage uptake     Civil service learning or GSE profession
Senior member of staff to oversee research integrity – information about this published on website    
Staff member to be first point of contact for information on research integrity – publish details on website    
Associate adopting the concordat with funding conditions      
Commitment 4: Using transparent, timely, robust and fair processes to deal with allegations of research misconduct should they arise        
Declare and act accordingly to manage conflicts of interest     Civil Service Code
Handle potential instances of research misconduct in an appropriate manner, including by reporting instances     Reporting misconduct to employers, funders and professional, statutory and regulatory bodies as circumstances require
Have clear, well- articulated and confidential mechanisms for reporting misconduct and make sure staff are aware of them     Whistleblowing procedure or Civil Service Commission
Have robust, transparent and fair processes for dealing with accusations of misconduct      
Provide information on investigations of misconduct to funders and professional bodies as required by their funding conditions or other obligations      
Provide a named point of contact to act as a liaison for whistle blowers or anyone wishing to raise a concern     Nominated appeals officers in each department or Civil Service Commission
Publish clear statements of what constitutes misconduct      
Ensure recipients of funding are aware of requirements regarding investigation and reporting of misconduct      
Commitment 5: Working together to strengthen the integrity of research and to review progress regularly and openly        
Produce an annual statement to be presented to their own governing body and put on their website containing their commitments to the concordat (see minimum reporting requirements, agreed by RICS and see Annex C)     Could tie into departmental annual report
Periodically review policies, grant conditions and practices to ensure they support good practice in research integrity and don’t provide inappropriate incentives      

Annex C

Departmental annual statement on compliance with the Research Integrity Concordat in relation to research

The annual statement should summarise activities undertaken over the period of a financial year to support research integrity, including investigating allegations of misconduct. As well as reporting on specific implementation activities, the report should demonstrate a broader commitment to the promotion of research integrity.

The table below proposes the sections that each department’s annual statement should include in relation to the research they conduct and commission. See also page 16 of the Concordat (which addresses reporting on misconduct in particular) and page 60 of the UKRIO Self-Assessment Tool for further details of what to include. Where departments have existing published information or documented processes that would offer evidence for compliance, they may wish to cross-refer to that documentation in their statement, rather than repeating the information.

The statement should cover the period of a financial year and should be produced within 6 weeks of it ending.

Section Offering evidence on:
Introductory statement and summary of actions Commitment to research integrity and any formally adopted statement; how research integrity relates to department’s core mission; a summary of actions and activities undertaken to support and strengthen understanding and the application of research integrity issues (for example training, or process reviews)
Governance Senior leadership and key bodies or groups in the department overseeing and ensuring research integrity, and their roles (including named senior member of staff who oversees research integrity and named member of staff who is first point of contact for research integrity information). This may include the Chief Scientific Adviser, the Departmental Director of Analysis and Departmental Heads of Policy Profession
Processes to support culture of research integrity Policy and risk levels and how arrived at (and how they complement other departmental policies and guidelines on standards in research); work underway towards best practice systems and processes; cross-reference any relevant documented processes stemming from the department’s Science Plan or Evidence Strategy
Guidance for researchers, employers and commissioners of research Guidance documents, who aimed at, how promulgated, for example code of conduct, code of principles; additional guidance on specific issues, for example overseas research, work with children or animals, transparency, use of personal data, et cetera; expansions or revisions to guidance documents during the period, or proposed; website or webpages
Training and awareness raising Career framework – research integrity content (potential example: department may describe how they have informed and facilitated staff to utilise the Government Science and Engineering Profession Career Framework, which refers at page 12 to research integrity); training courses or developmental activities undertaken or required for staff, continual professional development, acquiring soft skills (potential example: CSA actions under recommendation 12 of the Science Capability Review, to equip science specialists to undertake excellent research by providing access to tools, research journals and data); mentoring arrangements
External engagement External engagement activity with other organisations and institutions to share information and best practice on research integrity (for example with UKRIO)
Open Science and research protocols How Open Science approaches have been applied when research was conducted or commissioned; whether research protocols and analysis plans have been published in advance of research studies starting
Publication of research Statement indicating the policy and practice on publishing research and where research conducted is recorded (central recording recommended) Instances of non-publication of research and reasons for this
Research misconduct Statement to provide assurance that the processes the institution has in place for dealing with allegations of misconduct are transparent, timely, robust and fair, and appropriate to the needs of the organisation; details of the policy and procedure for tackling misconduct (and any changes planned); role of the Named Person and other roles established to deal with cases; whistleblowing arrangements; high-level statement on formal investigations of research misconduct, including data on the number of investigations and any cases upheld (individual details withheld). If no formal investigation undertaken, this should also be noted; statement on what the institution has learned from any formal investigations of research misconduct that have been undertaken; statement on how the institution creates and embeds a research environment in which all staff, researchers and students feel comfortable to report instances of misconduct

Annex D

Sources of information, useful examples and good practice

UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) advice:

UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) resources:

UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) Misconduct investigation procedure:

The Royal Society’s Integrity in Practice toolkit:

ESRC framework for research ethics:

University of Cambridge research integrity webpages:

Research Culture at University of Glasgow

Annual research integrity reports have been made publicly available by some universities and offer useful examples:

The Dilemma Game by the Erasmus University Rotterdam, includes 75 different dilemmas, to generate open discussions about situations researchers may face and to help train researchers in how to approach these situations. Game free to download, hard copy can be requested.

Inquiry into suppressed or delayed government-commissioned research reports by Sense about Science and later spot-check:

Article on Dutch National Survey on Research Integrity

The UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research provides a useful example of linking principles of best practice to the roles with responsibility – e.g. see Appendix 3:

Finch Review and government opening up publicly funded research:

UKRI’s Open Access Research page:

CPNI and Trusted Research Guidance - getting the most out of international scientific collaboration whilst protecting intellectual property, sensitive research and personal information.