Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research - Summary

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Guides institutions and researchers in responsible research practices.

Summary of Code Content

What is the purpose of the Code?

The NHMRC, in partnership with the Australian Research Council and Universities Australia, and through extensive public consultation, has developed the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. The Code replaces the Joint NHMRC/AVCC Statement and Guidelines on Research Practice (1997).

The purpose of the Code is to guide institutions and researchers in responsible research practices. The Code promotes integrity in research and explains what is expected of researchers by the community. The Code assists researchers, administrators and the community with how to manage departures from best research practice.

Who should use the Code?

The Code is written specifically for universities and other public sector research institutions. However, all organisations involved in research will be encouraged to incorporate it as far as possible in their operating environments. The Code is also a reference for people outside the research community who require information on the standards expected in responsible conduct of research within Australia.

Compliance with the Code is a prerequisite for National Health and Medical Research Council funding.

What is in the Code?

The Code is in two parts:

  • Part A advocates and describes best practice for both institutions and researchers. For example, guidance is provided on how to manage research data and materials, how to publish and disseminate research findings, including proper attribution of authorship, how to conduct effective peer review and how to manage conflicts of interest.
  • Part B provides a valuable framework for handling breaches of the Code and research misconduct. This part of the Code helps institutions and researchers to understand their responsibilities in the event that a breach of the Code occurs or an allegation of research misconduct is made. The Code guides institutions through the appropriate responses and explains the responsibilities and rights of researchers if they witness research misconduct.  This section of the Code is designed to ensure there are agreed, clear, fair and effective processes in place in the event of an allegation of research misconduct.

When do research institutes and researchers have to comply with the new Code?

Research institutes and researchers should acquaint themselves with, and meet, the requirements of the new Code as soon as possible.

The National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council expect that institutions in receipt of public research funds will progressively include the Code’s framework for handling research misconduct in relevant instruments regulating employment conditions as well as all new employment contracts.

Click here to view the full Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.