Integrity of Research and Scholarship

Policy Number: 
3403
Policy Responsibility: 
Vice-President, Academic
Approved: 
Board of Governors
Effective: 
September 24, 2008
Last Amended: 
June 6, 2019

Context / Purpose: 

NOTE: This Policy is consistent with Justice Institute of British Columbia policies and procedures and the principles of the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research (2016).

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance and to ensure that all research conducted under the auspices of, in affiliation or in collaboration with the Justice Institute of British Columbia (“JIBC” or the “Institute”) will fulfill the highest standards of academic integrity, honesty and accountability of research and scholarship. Accordingly, this policy aims to promote and protect the quality, accuracy, and reliability of research and scholarly activities conducted at or in affiliation or collaboration with the Institute.  It includes the provision of an appropriate mechanism for the investigation and prompt and fair resolution of allegations of misconduct related to the integrity of research and scholarship.

Policy Statement: 

Individuals engaged in the conduct and dissemination of research, as well as research funding applications or the management of research funds, for, or in affiliation or collaboration with the Institute (e.g., researchers) are expected to carry out research and related scholarly activities with the highest standards of ethical behaviour and academic integrity.  Misconduct in research will not be condoned and may be the cause for disciplinary action commensurate and proportionate with the severity of the misconduct as described in JIBC’s 3403-001 Procedure - Investigating and Responding to Allegations of Misconduct in Research.

At a minimum, researchers are responsible for:

  • Rigour: Scholarly and scientific rigour in proposing and performing research; in recording, analyzing, and interpreting data; and in reporting, presenting (written or oral) and publishing data and findings.
  • Record keeping: Keeping complete and accurate records of data, methodologies and findings, including graphs and images, in accordance with applicable funding agreements, institutional policies, procedures, laws, regulations, and professional or disciplinary standards in a manner that will allow verification or replication of the work by others.
  • Accurate referencing: Referencing and, where applicable, obtaining permission for the use of all published and unpublished work, including theories, concepts, data, source material, methodologies, findings, graphs and images.
  • Authorship: Including as authors, with their consent, all those and only those who have made a substantial contribution to, and who accept responsibility for, the contents of the publication or document. The substantial contribution may be conceptual or material.
  • Acknowledgement: Acknowledging appropriately all those and only those who have contributed to research, including funders and sponsors.
  • Conflict of interest management: Appropriately identifying and addressing any real, potential or perceived conflict of interest, in accordance with JIBC’s Conflict of Interest Procedure under its policy on Research on Human Participants Ethics and with JIBC’s Conflict of Interest and Standards of Ethical Conduct Policy.
  • Holding and managing research funds: Complying with external research funding agency and the Institute’s guidelines, internal policies and regulations as they relate to the operational and financial terms of research grants and/or contracts awarded to the researcher.

Scope: 

This Policy applies to the conduct and dissemination of research, as well as research funding applications or the management of research funds, for, or in affiliation or collaboration with the Institute.

Misconduct in Research

Inappropriate conduct while undertaking research is unacceptable and may be cause for disciplinary actions. Examples of misconduct may include, but are not limited to:

  • Fabrication: Falsifying, distorting or making up data, source material, methodologies or findings, including graphs and images.
  • Falsification: Manipulating, changing, or omitting data, source material, methodologies or findings, including graphs and images, without acknowledgement and which results in inaccurate findings or conclusions.
  • Destruction of research records: The destruction of one’s own or another’s research data or records to specifically avoid the detection of wrongdoing or in contravention of the applicable funding agreement, institutional policy and/or laws, regulations and professional or disciplinary standards.
  • Plagiarism: Presenting and using another’s published or unpublished work, including theories, concepts, data, source material, methodologies or findings, including graphs and images, as one’s own, without appropriate referencing and, if required, without permission.
  • Redundant publication or self-plagiarism: The re-publication of one’s own previously published work or part thereof, including data, in any language, without adequate acknowledgment of the source, or justification.
  • Invalid authorship and co-authorship: Inaccurate attribution of authorship, including, but not limited to, attribution of authorship to persons other than those who have made a substantial contribution to, and who accept responsibility for, the contents of a publication or document.
  • Inadequate acknowledgement: Failure to appropriately recognize contributors.
  • Mismanagement of conflict of interest: Failure to appropriately identify and address any real, potential or perceived conflict of interest, in accordance with the institute’s procedure 3404-001 on Conflict of Interest in applied research, preventing one or more of the objectives or related procedures of this Policy from being met.
  • Mismanagement of grants or award funds: Using grant or award funds for purposes inconsistent with the policies of this Institute or funding agencies; misappropriating grants and award funds; contravening this Institute or funding agency financial policies, namely the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide, funding organization or agency grants and awards guides; or providing incomplete, inaccurate or false information on documentation for expenditures from grant or award accounts.
  • Misrepresentation in an funding application or related document:
    • Providing incomplete, inaccurate or false information in a grant or award application or related document submitted to a funding agency or other organization, such as a letter of support or a progress report.
    • Applying for and/or holding a funding organization or agency grant award when deemed ineligible by this Institute or the funding organization or agency for reasons of breach of responsible conduct of research policies such as ethics, integrity or financial management policies.
    • Listing of co-applicants, collaborators or partners without their agreement.

Definitions: 

Research – An undertaking intended to extend knowledge through a disciplined inquiry or systematic investigation.

Research Associates – Well-recognized professionals or subject matter experts, external to the Institute, who will undertake or advise on JIBC applied research activities. Research Associates bring knowledge and expertise in their particular fields to JIBC research projects. Research Associates may work independently or collaboratively with administrators, faculty, staff, students or researchers within the JIBC and other institutions on joint projects. Research Associates may also serve as JIBC contractors or sessional employees.

Researcher – Any individual who leads (Principal Investigator or Project Director), participates or collaborates in (Co-Investigator or Collaborator) or otherwise conducts or participates in research activities.  At JIBC, researchers may include staff, faculty, students or other individuals carrying out research under the auspices of, in collaboration or in affiliation with the Institute.

Confidentiality and Documentation:

1. JIBC recognizes the confidentiality interests and privacy rights of all parties involved in an investigation under this Policy and any related Procedures, and must protect personal information in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, subject to the exceptions thereunder.

2. JIBC may disclose information relating to allegations of a breach of this Policy in certain circumstances, including but not limited to where:

a. necessary to ensure the requirements of procedural fairness are met;

b. the sharing of personal information is necessary for the protection of the health or safety of any individual;

c. the sharing of personal information is required or authorized by law; or

d. the person the information is about has consented to the release of the personal information.

3. All persons involved in an investigation under this Policy are required to keep the allegation and information relating to the investigation confidential, and are not to disclose the allegation or information revealed to them through the investigation to others, except as may be expressly permitted or as required by law. Individuals involved in investigations should be aware that while confidentiality is expected, anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

4. Research misconduct investigation files and records under this Policy and any related Procedures will be retained at the Institute in accordance with JIBC’s records classification system and retention schedule as defined by the B.C. Government Administrative Records Classification System (ARCS) and JIBC’s Operational Records Classification System (ORCS).

No Retaliation:

1. It is contrary to this Policy for anyone to retaliate, engage in reprisals or threaten to retaliate against a person for:

a. reporting any alleged violation of this Policy; or

b. having participated or co-operated in an informal process or investigation under this Policy.

2. Anyone who engages in such retaliation will be subject to Disciplinary or Corrective Measures equal to or proportionate to the severity of the breach.

Last updated August 30, 2019