This online version is for convenience; the official version of this policy is housed in the University Secretariat. In case of discrepancy between the online version and the official version held by the Secretariat, the official version shall prevail.
Approving Authority: President
Original Approval Date: June 27, 2012
Date of Most Recent Review/Revision: January 27, 2020
Office of Accountability: Vice-President: Research
Administrative Responsibility: Office of Research Services
1.01 Wilfrid Laurier University considers responsible conduct in research to be an essential component of academic integrity. As such, the university holds all involved in research at Laurier to the highest standards of ethical conduct. This policy:
a. Outlines and promotes the responsible conduct of research and lists the responsibilities of Laurier researchers; and
b. Defines activities that can constitute a breach with respect to responsible conduct of research.
1.02 This policy meets the requirements of the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research as required under the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions, between the university and the Tri-Agencies. To best conform with the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research document, sections of this policy are reproduced from the Framework to minimize potential ambiguity.
2.01 Allegation: A declaration, statement, or assertion communicated in writing to the institution to the effect that there has been, or continues to be, a breach of the Responsible Conduct of Research Policy, the validity of which has not been established.
2.02 Breach: A breach of the Responsible Conduct of Research Policy is the failure to comply with the Policy at any time during the life cycle of a research project – from application for funding, to the conduct of the research and the dissemination of research results.
2.03 Complainant(s): An individual or representative from an organization who has notified the university of potential research misconduct and/or a suspected breach of the Responsible Conduct of Research Policy.
2.04 Research misconduct: Any research practice that deviates seriously from the commonly accepted ethics/integrity standards or practices of the relevant research community. Examples of research misconduct include, but are not limited to, the following:
2.04.01 Fabrication: Making up data, source material, methodologies or findings, including graphs and images;
2.04.02 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;
2.04.03 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;
2.04.04 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;
2.04.05 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;
2.04.06 Invalid authorship: Inaccurate attribution of authorship, including 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;
2.04.07 Inadequate acknowledgement: Failure to appropriately recognize contributors;
2.04.08 Mismanagement of conflict of interest: Failure to appropriately identify and address any real, potential or perceived conflict of interest, in accordance with the institution’s policy on conflict of interest in research, preventing one or more of the objectives of the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research from being met;
2.04.09 Misrepresentation in grant and award applications and related documents:
a. Providing incomplete, inaccurate or false information in a grant or award application or related document, such as a letter of support, curriculum vitae, or progress report;
b. Applying for and/or holding an award when deemed ineligible by an Agency or any other research funding organization world-wide for reasons of breach of responsible conduct of research policies such as ethics, integrity or financial management policies; and
c. Listing of co-applicants, collaborators or partners without their agreement.
2.04.10 Mismanagement of grant and award funds: Using grant or award funds for purposes inconsistent with the policies of the funding agency; misappropriating grants and award funds; contravening the funding agency’s financial policies; or providing incomplete, inaccurate or false information on documentation for expenditures from grant or award accounts;
2.04.11 Failure to fulfil compliance and other requirements related to research activities: Failing to meet funding agency or university policies for research activities, or failure to comply with relevant policies, laws or regulations, for the conduct of certain types of research activities; failing to obtain or comply with the appropriate approvals, permits, or certifications before and in conducting these activities (including research ethics board or animal care approvals);
2.04.12 Breaching Tri-Agency review process: Not complying with the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations and/or participating in a Tri-Agency Review process while under investigation.
2.05 Respondent(s): An individual who has been identified in an allegation as having possibly breached the Responsible Conduct of Research Policy.
2.06 Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research (Tri-Agency Secretariat): A body established by the Tri-Agencies to support the implementation of the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research. The Secretariat is responsible for managing allegations of breaches of Tri-Agency policies nationally.
2.07 Tri-Agencies: Canada’s three federal granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR); the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC); and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
3.01 This policy applies to all individuals involved in research under the auspices or jurisdiction of the university. This includes, but is not limited to faculty, adjunct faculty, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants and associates, visiting scientists, staff, and students.
3.02 Where the respondent to an allegation of research misconduct is a student of the university, and the alleged misconduct relates to a research activity completed as a part of course-work, or for course credit, the allegations will normally be investigated using the procedures set out in the Student Code of Conduct and Discipline.
3.03 Where the respondent to an allegation of research misconduct is a student of the university, the alleged misconduct relates to a research activity completed as a part of course-work, or for course credit, and the research activity is funded by an external funding agency (including the Tri-Agencies), the allegation will be investigated under the procedure set out in this policy.
3.04 All other non-course related cases of allegations of research misconduct involving students (e.g., in the case of paid employment as a research associate or assistant) shall be investigated under the procedure set out in this policy.
3.05 This policy shall not impede academic freedom and shall not affect or conflict with the provisions of collective agreements or any relevant legislation.
4.01 In their search for, and dissemination of knowledge, Laurier researchers shall practice honesty, accountability, openness and fairness. Researchers are responsible for the following:
4.01.01 Scholarly and scientific rigour in proposing and performing research; in recording, analyzing, and interpreting data; and in reporting and publishing data and findings;
4.01.02 Keeping complete and accurate records of data, methodologies and findings, including graphs and images, in accordance with the applicable funding agreement, institutional policies, laws, regulations, and professional or disciplinary standards in a manner that will allow verification or replication of the work by others;
4.01.03 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;
4.01.04 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;
4.01.05 Acknowledging appropriately all those and only those who have contributed to research, including funders and sponsors;
4.01.06 Appropriately identifying and addressing any real, potential or perceived conflict of interest, in accordance with Laurier’s 8.1 Conflict of Interest policy;
4.01.07 Providing true, complete and accurate information in their funding applications and related documents and representing themselves, their research and their accomplishments in a manner consistent with the norms of the relevant field(s);
4.01.08 Certifying that they are not currently ineligible to apply for, and/or hold funds from a funding organization for reasons of breach of responsible conduct of research policies such as ethics, integrity or financial management policies;
4.01.09 Ensuring that others listed on funding applications have agreed to be included;
4.01.10 Using grant or award funds in accordance with the policies of the funding agency, and for providing true, complete, and accurate information on documentation for expenditures from grant or award accounts;
4.01.11 Complying with all university, Tri-Agency and other external requirements and legislation for the conduct of research, including, but not limited to:
a. Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2);
b. Canadian Council on Animal Care Policies and Guidelines;
c. Agency policies related to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act;
d. Licenses for research in the field;
e. Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines;
f. Controlled Goods Program; Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) Regulations; and
g. Canada’s Food and Drugs Act.
4.01.12 Being proactive in rectifying breaches, for example by correcting the research record or repaying funds; and
4.01.13 Complying with the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations and confirming that they are not currently under investigation for an alleged breach of any responsible conduct of research policies such as ethics, integrity or financial management policies, when participating in an external funding agency review processes.
4.02 In determining whether conduct deviates from relevant research community standards or practices, it is not relevant to consider whether a breach was intentional or a result of honest error. However, intent is a consideration in deciding on the severity of the recourse that may be imposed
4.03 Allegations of research misconduct shall be investigated in accordance to the procedures set out in this policy
5.01 The privacy of the complainant(s) and respondent(s) shall be protected to the extent possible as provided under applicable university policy, collective agreements, and/or legislation.
5.02 The university will take such steps as may be necessary and reasonable to protect the rights, positions and reputations of individuals who in good faith make allegations of research misconduct, or whom it calls as witnesses in the formal investigation.
5.03 The university will not tolerate any retaliation or reprisal, through any means including through social or other electronic media, against anyone who in good faith makes an allegation of research misconduct or who participates in a university process that is addressing allegations of research misconduct, including individuals whom it calls as witnesses in the formal investigation undertaken by the vice-president: research or designate.
5.04 The university may take disciplinary action against those who make allegations of misconduct in research which are reckless, malicious and not in good faith.