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This policy applies to all research undertaken by staff and students of Deakin University.

Responsible Officer: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Implementation Officer: Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Development and Training)

First approved by:
Academic Board on 20 November 2012

Amendments approved by:
Academic Board (Chair AB out of cycle approval) on 19 August 2013
- amended Schedule A: Authorship Statement, to the Research Conduct policy;

Chair AB on 11 July 2014
(New clause 57 - under delegated authority)

Amended on 12 August 2015
(Legislation document link change to Unisol website)

Research Conduct Policy

This policy was approved by Academic Board on 20 November 2012 and incorporates all amendments to 11 July 2014.

The law governing research conduct at Deakin University includes:
Statute 2.2 – The Academic Board
Statute 5.2 – Academic Awards
Regulation 5.2 (1) – Academic Awards
Statute 9.1 – Intellectual Property
Regulation 9.1 (1) – Intellectual Property


This document includes the following schedules:
Schedule A: Authorship statement
Schedule A: Academic Units (Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) Policy)


This policy outlines the standards of conduct and performance required of all those engaged in research at the University.


This policy applies to all research undertaken by staff and students of Deakin University.


Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research: deals with the ethical and responsible conduct of research and issues surrounding attribution and acknowledgement of the work and scholarship of others.

Publication: includes all formal public presentations of research outcomes, including exhibition or performance of artworks.

Materials: includes but is not limited to physical samples, photographs, written or audio-visual recordings, artwork, questionnaires or other instruments, fieldwork notes, and other items which are the sources of data or themselves constitute data in a research project.

Personal information: as defined in the Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic), is information or an opinion (including information or an opinion forming part of a database), that is recorded in any form and whether true or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion, but does not include health information.

Health information: as defined in the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) is:

a)information or an opinion about:
i)the physical, mental or psychological health (at any time) of an individual; or
ii)a disability (at any time) of an individual; or
iii)an individual's expressed wishes about the future provision of health services to him or her; or
iv)a health service provided, or to be provided, to an individual – that is also personal information; or
b)other personal information collected to provide, or in providing, a health service; or
c)other personal information about an individual collected in connection with the donation, or intended donation, by the individual of his or her body parts, organs or body substances; or
d)other personal information that is genetic information about an individual in a form which is or could be predictive of the health (at any time) of the individual or of any of his or her descendants.
Head of Academic Unit: Heads of Academic Units listed in Schedule A of the Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) Policy.

Statement of commitment and social responsibility

1The University is committed to high standards of professional conduct in all activities.
2The University will not engage in research that has the potential to damage its reputation as an ethical organisation. The University will not accept funding for research from organisations known to engage in activities that are illegal or unethical, or that cause damage to health, the community or the environment.
3The University will not accept funding from organisations with a vested interest in limiting measures to mitigate harmful social or health impacts of their products. The University will not accept funding from the tobacco or gambling industries for any purpose. Funding from the alcohol industry or related industries will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may only proceed with the written approval of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research). Approval must be obtained prior to submission of a proposal funded by those industries.
Roles and responsibilities
4Heads of Academic Units are responsible for the conduct of research within their schools and for the observance of this policy and related policies and procedures. In particular, this means having clear, documented processes for managing research work and ensuring any associated health and safety, environmental, business or financial risks are identified and managed. This includes research undertaken at any location substantially controlled by the University even though it may not be a University owned site.
5All researchers (including student researchers) must comply with the requirements of their discipline for quality research, and with the University requirements for safety, privacy, risk management, financial management and ethical acceptability and with any governing codes and legislation.
Research integrity
6Researchers should only participate in work that conforms to accepted scholarly and ethical standards and that they are competent to perform. It is researchers’ responsibility to make themselves aware of research integrity requirements, as set out from time to time on the Deakin Research Integrity (DRI) website, and to participate in further education and training as required for the conduct of their research.
7All research on humans or animals must be approved by a properly constituted ethics review body. The identification of the hazards and consequent risks associated with the research work must be evaluated as part of a research work proposal (see the University’s Research and Teaching website). Research involving hazardous materials, processes or activities must be approved by the Laboratory and Biosafety Committee (LBC) or relevant faculty occupational health and safety process. Research involving genetically modified organisms must be reviewed by the LBC for compliance with the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) guidelines.
8The University complies with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (National Statement) and other codes, legislation and guidelines governing human research. The required ethics review processes are set out from time to time in the Human Research Ethics Guidelines and associated documents.
9The University complies with all relevant legislation and codes governing the use of animals for research and teaching. Such use is regulated by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (Vic) and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2008 (Vic). The regulations prescribe that conduct of scientific procedures using animals must comply with the principles and guidelines set out in the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (2004) and other codes governing animal research. In addition, under regulatory requirements, reporting on the use of animals at the University must be made to the Department of Primary Industries on an annual basis. The required review and reporting processes for use of animals for research and teaching are set out on the University’s Animal Ethics website.
10The University complies with all relevant legislation governing occupational health and safety, the procurement, use, storage, transport and disposal of dangerous materials, and the environment. These requirements are detailed on the OHS website.
11The University complies with all relevant legislation governing the use of microorganisms and biological materials. This includes legislation promulgated by the OGTR for genetically modified organisms, Biosecurity Australia for quarantine materials and the Department of Health and Ageing’s Security Sensitive Biological Agents (SSBA) Regulatory Scheme for potential bioterrorist agents. The Australian and New Zealand Standard for Safety in Laboratories – Microbiological safety and containment AS/NZS 2243.3: 2010 should also be followed. These requirements are detailed on the Biosafety and Biosecurity website.
12The University complies with the Radiation Act 2005 (Vic), the Radiation Regulations 2007 (Vic) and other national codes and standards governing the use of ionising radiation as administered in Victoria by the Department of Health. The requirements are set out in the University’s Radiation Management Plan.
Conscientious objection
13Researchers who conscientiously object to being involved in conducting research with human embryos, foetuses or embryonic or foetal tissue shall not be obliged to participate in such research, nor shall they be put at a disadvantage because of their objection.
Research data and materials
14Data and materials that provide the basis of research outcomes must be preserved and managed in compliance with the standards set out in section 2 of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.
15Research data and materials must be stored and managed in such a form and for such a period (see clause 20 of this policy) that the research outcomes may be justified if challenged, and data and materials that have long-term value are preserved.
16The University supports the dissemination of research data as freely as practicable, subject to privacy, contractual and intellectual property requirements.
17Ownership of data and materials, unless specified otherwise by contract, will be construed in accordance with the Intellectual Property Policy and Intellectual Property Procedure.
18In all University research projects, the University shall maintain custody of the original materials for the specified retention period unless appropriate alternative arrangements for secure storage are made and are approved by the Head of Academic Unit.
19In the event that the staff or student researcher responsible for the materials leaves the University during the retention period, unless specified otherwise by contract, they may transfer a copy of the material or data to a new secure storage location for their own use.
Storage and management of materials
20Materials must be stored securely in circumstances that will protect them from damage, degradation, tampering or loss, in an appropriately ordered form, for at least the required retention period set out in clause 23 below. Potentially hazardous materials must be stored, managed and disposed of in accordance with the relevant safety standards.
21Researchers are responsible for ensuring appropriate security for any confidential material, including that held in electronic form. Security and confidentiality must be assured in a way that allows for multiple users and the departure of individual researchers.
22Storage and management of personal information must comply with the Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic) and the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) where relevant. It must also take account of professional standards and contractual arrangements, including agreements entered into with research participants.
23The required minimum periods for the retention of materials, following publication of research outcomes are as follows. Materials may be kept for longer periods, or indefinitely, provided that this does not breach any agreement under which the materials were obtained.

a)For student work not undertaken for a higher degree by research and which is not intended for publication, materials must be kept for a minimum period of one year after the degree is conferred
b)For published research not involving clinical interventions, the minimum period for retention is at least five years from the date of publication
c)For research involving clinical interventions, the minimum period of retention is 15 years from the date of publication
d)For clinical research where an intervention may have long-term effects on the health of the patient, data relating to that patient and their exposure must be retained permanently in their patient records
e)Where individually identified data are involved, researchers must abide by the agreements entered into with research participants in relation to data storage and identifiability, unless a variation is approved by the relevant Human Research Ethics Committee
f)If the materials have long-term value, appropriate storage and management should be arranged and a description of the materials, including location and access conditions provided to Deakin Research Online.
24Management of materials from a research project is the responsibility of the principal investigator, or, in the case of collaboration, of the researcher nominated by the principal investigator/s.
25The period of retention for a particular data set should be determined by the researcher/s and approved by the Head of Academic Unit.
26If results of research are challenged, or if there are allegations of research misconduct in relation to the project, all relevant materials must be retained and made available if required until the challenge or allegations have been resolved.
27If appropriate facilities for storage are not available within the school it is the responsibility of the Head of Academic Unit to ensure that appropriate facilities are provided.
28Disposal of materials from research work and any associated costs are the responsibility of the principal investigator, or, in the case of collaboration, of the researcher nominated by the principal investigator/s. Disposal must be undertaken in compliance with the required safety and environmental standards and in accordance with confidentiality or other requirements.
Data and materials from collaborative projects
29Where the project involves collaborative research across institutions the research agreement must include data ownership, storage, disposal and any associated costs. Where no other agreement is put in place, ownership of data and primary materials shall follow the intellectual property in the project.
30Confidentiality agreements to protect intellectual property rights may be reached between the institution, the researcher and a sponsor of the research. Where such agreements limit free publication and discussion, limitations and restrictions must be explicitly agreed.
31The establishment and ownership of databases containing confidential information, and access to them, must follow the University’s Intellectual Property Policy and Intellectual Property Procedure.
32When data are obtained from limited access databases, or via a contractual arrangement, written indication of the location of the original data or key information regarding the database from which it was collected must be retained by the researcher or research unit.
33To be eligible to be an author, a person must meet the following conditions set out in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.
34Attribution of authorship depends to some extent on the discipline but, in all cases, authorship must be based on substantial contributions in a combination of:
  1. conception and design of the project
  2. analysis and interpretation of research data
  3. drafting significant parts of the work or critically revising it so as to contribute to the interpretation.
35The right to authorship is not tied to position or profession and does not depend on whether the contribution was paid for or voluntary. It is not enough to have provided materials or routine technical support, or to have made the measurements on which the publication is based. Substantial intellectual involvement is required (Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, section 5).
36Authorship relates to all formal research outcomes irrespective of the medium and includes the creator of an artistic work. Authorship shall be deemed to include analogous rights and duties of an editor or curator so far as they are relevant.
37A person qualified to be named as an author must be offered authorship.
38A person not qualified to be named as an author must not be offered authorship. If they have contributed to the creation of the work in other ways, their contribution should be appropriately acknowledged.
39A person qualified to be named as an author must not be included or excluded without their permission.
40Where a work is the outcome of collaboration, authorship and other contributions should be discussed at an early stage and agreement reached as to the roles and responsibilities of collaborators. This agreement should be documented in the author agreement.
41Where a work has several authors, one shall be designated as the lead (executive) author for the work, and shall have responsibility for providing the required documentation to the University.
42It is the responsibility of the lead author to ensure that the documented agreement of all authors and other contributors is maintained within their school.
43If an author is unavailable or otherwise unable to sign the statement of authorship, the Head of Academic Unit may sign on their behalf, noting the reason for their unavailability, provided there is no evidence to suggest that the person would object to being named as author.
44Contributions to the creation of the work other than those of an author shall also be acknowledged as appropriate to the form of the work and shall be documented as required in clause 40 of this policy. If individuals are to be named in the publication they must agree to this in writing.
45Every attempt must be made to reach agreement on the authorship of a publication and the order in which authors are listed. If agreement cannot be reached, advice and assistance should be sought from the Head of Academic Unit, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) as appropriate. If necessary, formal mediation may be arranged.
Intellectual property
46Intellectual property resulting from research conducted at the University shall be managed in accordance with the University’s Intellectual Property Policy and Intellectual Property Procedure.
Publication and dissemination of research findings
47All reasonable steps must be taken to ensure that published reports, statistics and public statements about research activities, performances and exhibitions are complete, accurate and unambiguous. If researchers become aware of inaccurate statements about their work they must correct the record as soon as possible.
48Researchers must ensure that they cite other relevant work appropriately and accurately when disseminating research findings.
49Where a researcher publishes multiple papers based on the same set/s or subset/s of data, care must be taken not to present previously published data or conclusions as new work.
50Where research involves material that is considered confidential, whether for protection of intellectual property, by contractual arrangement, or because of guarantees made to research participants, these arrangements must be agreed between all affected parties and documented appropriately. Where such arrangements are part of a research contract, they must be determined as set out in the Externally-funded Research and Work Contracts Procedure. It is the responsibility of the researcher to ensure that all parties to a project, including students and support staff, are aware of these arrangements.
Reporting of research publications and open public access
51All research publications by researchers are to be reported to the University for the purposes of the assessment of research output in accordance with the annual Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) and procedures outlined on the Deakin Research website.
52All refereed publications by University researchers in conferences, journals and books are to be deposited in the Deakin Research Online (DRO) repository and in so doing researchers agree to the terms and conditions of the Deakin Research Online (DRO) Deposit Agreement.
53All research publications will be made open access, available to anyone on the web, except where this is restricted by copyright law and publisher policy. If researchers wish material to not be made publicly available they must lodge a request for it to be confidential.
54The University recommends the dissemination of research outcomes to a range of audiences, subject to any confidentiality requirements that apply to the research. Support for publicising the University’s research is available from the Research Promotions and Communications Manager based in Deakin Research and from the Government and Media Relations Unit.
Research misconduct
55Allegations of research misconduct or other breaches of this policy may be reported at any time to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or their nominee. Allegations shall be dealt with in accordance with the Staff Research Misconduct Procedure or the Student Academic Misconduct Procedure, according to the status of the researcher against whom the allegation is made.
56Advice on matters of research conduct or allegations of misconduct may be sought from the Advisors in Research Integrity (ARI). Details of the ARIs are available on Deakin Research Integrity (DRI) website.
57The DVC(R) will notify the Director, Quality and Standards of allegations of research misconduct. The Director will ensure that the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards (TEQSA) is notified where required under the TEQSA Act.

Animal Ethics website
Australian and New Zealand Standard for Safety in Laboratories – Microbiological safety and containment AS/NZS 2243.3: 2010
Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research
Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (2004)
Biosafety and Biosecurity website
Conflict of Interest Procedure
Deakin Research Integrity (DRI) website
Deakin Research Online (DRO) Deposit Agreement
Deakin Research website
Externally-funded Research Contracts Procedure
Health Records Act 2001 (Vic)
Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) Supervision Procedure
Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic)
Intellectual Property Policy
Intellectual Property Procedure
National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research
OHS Manual
OHS website
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (Vic)
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2008 (Vic)
Radiation Act 2005 (Vic)
Radiation Management Plan
Radiation Regulations 2007 (Vic)
Risk and Compliance Management Policy
Risk Management Procedure
Security Sensitive Biological Agents (SSBA) Regulatory Scheme
Staff Research Misconduct Procedure
Student Academic Misconduct Procedure

Printed copies of this document may not be current. Please refer to The Guide for the most recent version.
Deakin University 2015