ACAP’s third Academic Integrity Awareness Week (17th June to 21st June) focussed on the theme of ‘Research Integrity Matters’. This week aims to affirm ACAP’s continuing commitment to academic integrity, honesty and promote ethical research and scholarship amongst the staff and student community.
What is academic integrity in the research context?
Academic integrity is more than just plagiarism. In a research context you will be expected and required to maintain high standards of responsible and ethical research, including honesty, integrity, and scholarly and scientific rigour. This includes:
- avoiding actual or perceived conflicts of interest in the research process
- the validity and integrity of your data
- maintaining confidentiality in research and publication processes.
As part of the event, there was a panel discussion on the topic of ‘Real-world examples and practical advice for responsible research’. Panellists discussed the key issues students need to address when it comes to research integrity. Some key messages from members of the panel include:
“All research carries some element of risk and it’s important for us to be aware of that risk. Often we become so embedded in our research and its language, that we forget that our participants may not understand that same language and we became a little cavalier when giving them questionnaires that potentially might be triggering for them. Being very aware of the language you are using in your questionnaires and interview questions and positioning yourself in the participant’s perspective will help with this risk.”
– Fiona Ann Papps (Research Expert, NPI HREC)
“Challenges for students include mentoring and guiding them and letting them have a genuine understanding of the research space so they fly with their own wings. It’s about the protocols before the research is formally commenced – intellectual property, copyright, who is the first and second author. It’s about the rights of those that you are immersing in the research studies that you’re engaging in. It’s also about declaring and managing potential conflicts of interest. Often in the Counselling field you may have students who are going to do research where they are doing a placement. It’s about not using the research for your own ambition and personal advantage and not compromising scholarly pursuit.”
– Margaret Carter (Discipline of Counselling Chair)
Academic and other staff were also invited to share their messages on different themes around research integrity which were shared across digital platforms. Here are some of the key messages that were shared by various staff: