Australian Code of Conduct for the Responsible Conduct of Research
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), in partnership with the Australian Research Council and Universities Australia has developed the Australian Code of Conduct for the Responsible Conduct of Research.
The Code advocates and describes best practice in research for researchers and institutions, as well as setting out a framework for handling breaches of the Code. While the document is aimed at universities and researchers in the public, sector, it can be applied by any organisation involved in conducting research.
The meaning of 'research', as used in this Code, is original investigation undertaken to gain knowledge, understanding and insight. It is a broad concept and there is no simple, single way to define research for all disciplines
A definition of research based on the Research Assessment Exercise for universities in the United Kingdom is as follows:
Research is defined as that which:
"…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.
It excludes routine testing and routine analysis of materials, components and processes such as for the maintenance of national standards, as distinct from the development of new analytical techniques. It also excludes the development of teaching materials that do not embody original research."
Here the term 'scholarship' has the particular meaning:
"… the creation, development and maintenance of the intellectual infrastructure of subjects and disciplines, in forms such as dictionaries, scholarly editions, catalogues and contributions to major research databases."
The Code provides advice on how to manage research data and materials; how to publish and disseminate research findings (including proper attribution of authorship); obligations in peer; how to collaborate across institutions; and how to manage conflicts of interest. The Code also provides guidance to institutions when establishing independent external inquiries to evaluate allegations of serious misconduct.
The Code is also intended to inform the public about the standards expected of Australian research institutes and individual researchers. Copies of the code are available from:
Updated: 30 May 2012